4 NFC teams still ahead of Atlanta Falcons and 3 they have passed

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
3 of 7

3. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are an elite regular-season team. While this is a bit of a backhanded compliment it is far more than Atlanta has managed to accomplish in quite some time. Dallas has won 12 games consistently and put together strong offensive numbers.

Atlanta is going to get their shot at the Cowboys in the regular season in what could be a great measurement of where the team is. For Dallas, the concerns are obvious as they look to defend their division title. You have three players who deserve to be paid and an owner who suggested they are going all in and is yet to make any moves of note.

Dallas is still far ahead of Atlanta based on what they have accomplished. However, unlike San Francisco or Detroit, it isn't outlandish to believe the Falcons could beat or surpass them in the NFC. The Packers' blowout win in the playoffs exposed this team for what they continue to be when it matters most.

Atlanta could pass them if...

Contract issues and podcast debates divide and distract the team. Raheem Morris turned into a great hire and is the better coach helping elevate Kirk Cousins. The third piece of the puzzle would be taking away the Dallas pass rush by running the ball and controlling the clock with Bijan Robinson.

Dallas lacks a clear run game and could struggle to face teams who have strong offensive lines and the ability to control the clock.