The close of Week 12 has the San Francisco 49ers currently settled in at the No. 5 spot in the 2016 NFL Draft order. They are tied with the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers at 3-8, a game back of the 2-9 Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns. The strength of schedule tiebreakers have left the 49ers at the back of the pack, at .534, compared to the Chargers (.528) and the Cowboys (.523). The Tennessee Titans get the edge for the top pick (.511) over the Cleveland Browns (.517).
We have five weeks left in the season, which means draft positioning is going to change a decent amount. All five teams will lose more games, but I would be surprised if in five weeks the top five looked exactly like it does today. With that in mind, I thought I'd take a look at the schedules of the teams ahead of the 49ers. I might do a one-off looking at the 4-7 teams, but for these four teams in front of the 49ers, I thought I'd break it up into four articles over four days. On Tuesday, we discussed the Titans, and on Wednesday, we discussed the Browns. Today, we move on to the team holding the No. 3 overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys remaining schedule
Week 13: @ Washington
Week 14: @ Packers
Week 15: vs. Jets
Week 16: @ Bills
Week 17: vs. Washington
Week 12 Injury news
QB Tony Romo - Suffered collarbone fracture, likely out the rest of the year (but not yet placed on IR)
What to make of them
The return of Romo in Week 11 seemed to set the Cowboys up for a potential run for the NFC East title. They were getting pummeled by the
Cowboys Panthers in Week 12, but Romo was going to net them at least a few more wins the rest of the season. Instead, Romo went down with another injury and is unlikely to play the rest of the regular season. The team was winless this season during Tony Romo's previous absence.
There are some winnable games in that schedule, particularly that home game against Washington in Week 17. They travel to Washington this week, but Kirk Cousins and that offense have been looking pretty good at home lately. The Jets and Bills offer winnable games, but both those defenses are good enough that they could make the Cowboys offense look silly. There is a very good chance this team is 3-13 by the end of the season, with a possibility of 4-12.