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Cowboys clinch third straight playoff berth before kickoff

Rico Dowdle Dallas Cowboys Rico Dowdle - The Canadian Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys clinched a playoff berth — their third straight — before they even kicked off against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

The Cowboys' clinching scenario came down to Green Bay and Atlanta losing earlier in the day, coupled with the Detroit Lions' 42-17 win over Denver on Saturday.

The Cowboys (10-3) are now playing for seeding position, with a chance win the NFC East and first place overall in the NFC.

Dallas entered the weekend tied with NFC East rival Philadelphia as well as the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners have the tiebreakers in having beaten both Dallas and Philadelphia already this season. The tiebreaker between Dallas and Philadelphia could come down to the teams' overall division or conference records.

The Cowboys' three-season playoff run is their longest since a six-year run spanning the 1991-96 seasons.