DALLAS—The Redskins’ 31-26 loss to the Cowboys put them in a position where they will have a hard time defending their NFC East division title. But they are still in good shape to make the playoffs for the second straight year.

That may not seem like much of an accomplishment but the Redskins have not played in the postseason after two consecutive seasons since 1991-1992.

Looking at the division race first, the 6-4-1 Redskins trail the 10-1 Cowboys by three and a half games. Both teams have five games left to play. The Redskins also are behind the 7-3 Giants. The chances of the Redskins catching the Cowboys and moving past the Giants to take the division look very remote.

The wild card race is a different story. The Redskins will finish Week 12 where they started it, in position for the sixth and final NFC playoff spot. The Vikings, who lost to the Lions on Thursday are 6-5, a half game being Washington. Two 5-5 teams, the Bucs and Eagles, play on Sunday and Monday, respectively, so they both will have a chance to move to within a half game of the Redskins. But no team is in position to overtake them for that final spot this week.

The Redskins will travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals, who are 4-5-1, on Dec. 4. If they beat the Falcons on Sunday they would have a chance to pull even with the Redskins. That looms as a key game for Washington, but if the Cardinals pull off the upset there will be a lot at stake for both teams.