NFL Week 15 overreactions: Judging pretenders and contenders

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Jeez, Dallas Cowboys ...

Last week was a week's worth of shows about whether you guys were in trouble because you struggled to beat the league-worst Houston Texans, and I was on your side. I talked about not denigrating victories, about how it's a good sign when you can win even though you don't play your best, about how Dak Prescott doesn't really have a history of throwing interceptions. "The Cowboys are fine," I said, over and over again. I had your back.

So how do you repay me? You lose in overtime to the Jacksonville Jaguars. On an interception!

So now I'm bracing for another week's worth of shows about what's wrong with the Cowboys and whether they can be expected to win in the playoffs if they don't stop playing down to their competition, and I'm not sure I can help you this time.

What I can do is use your loss to open up the Overreactions column, which has a theme this week: contender or pretender? We're picking teams that we're either sure or pretty sure will make the playoffs and asking whether they have what it takes to make a postseason run.

You won't find the Kansas City Chiefs here because we obviously know they can. You won't find the Cincinnati Bengals here because they did it last season. You won't find the Buffalo Bills or the Philadelphia Eagles, who'd currently be the top seeds and automatically advance to the second round. You won't find the New England Patriots because the final play of their game Sunday should be disqualifying. And you won't find the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because ... come on.

Just teams we think are interesting, asking the basic question about whether they're contenders or pretenders. And starting with those Cowboys.