DALLAS (12-4) at WASHINGTON (7-8-1)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST, Fox
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Cowboys by 7½
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Cowboys 10-6; Commanders 7-8-1
SERIES RECORD: Cowboys lead 75-47-2.
LAST MEETING: Cowboys beat Commanders 25-10 on Oct. 2, 2022, at Dallas.
LAST WEEK: Cowboys beat Titans 27-13; Commanders lost to Browns 24-10.
COWBOYS OFFENSE: OVERALL (8), RUSH (7), PASS (14), SCORING (2)
COWBOYS DEFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (T-21), PASS (10), SCORING (7)
COMMANDERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (20), RUSH (14), PASS (20), SCORING (25)
COMMANDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (5), RUSH (14), PASS (5), SCORING (14)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Cowboys plus-11; Commanders minus-6
COWBOYS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Dak Prescott has a six-game interception streak for the first time in his career. However, the Cowboys are 5-1 in those games, and the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year does have more TD passes (14) than picks (10) in this stretch. Still, the interceptions need to stop for the playoff-bound Cowboys. Despite missing five games with a broken thumb, Prescott enters the week tied with Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins and the benched Derek Carr in Las Vegas for the NFL lead with 14 picks.
COMMANDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: Rookie QB Sam Howell is making his pro debut after Washington was eliminated from playoff contention. Playing behind a makeshift offensive line and without the top two Commanders quarterbacks against a strong pass rush is not setting up Howell for success, but the organization needs to see what he can do under pressure.
KEY MATCHUP: Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy against the out-of-town scoreboard. Because Dallas needs the Philadelphia Eagles to lose to the New York Giants — in addition to beating Washington — to win the division, decisions could be made based on how the other NFC East game is going. McCarthy will try to keep an eye on the Giants-Eagles to rest top players if it becomes prudent but also said he will coach to win.
KEY INJURIES: RB Tony Pollard could return after missing a game with a thigh injury. Barring a huge game from two-time rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard will be the first back not named Elliott to lead the Cowboys in rushing since Elliott was drafted fourth overall in 2016. … C Tyler Biadasz is likely out after spraining his right ankle against the Titans, but could be ready for the playoffs. The same is true for LB Leighton Vander Esch, who injured his neck three weeks ago against Jacksonville. ... The Commanders are expected to be without RBs Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson, Pro Bowl DT Jonathan Allen, CB Benjamin St-Juste and S Kam Curl, among others.
SERIES NOTES: The Cowboys have won three in a row against Washington, their third streak at least that long since the start of 2016. That’s the year Prescott and Elliott had their standout rookie seasons together and Dallas earned the No. 1 seed. ... Dallas is 10-3 against Washington since Prescott and Elliott were drafted. ... This is the 13th consecutive season Washington has finished the regular season against a divisional opponent. The Commanders need to win to avoid the franchise's sixth consecutive losing season. .... This could be Dan Snyder's final game as owner, with he and wife Tanya looking to sell the team he bought in 1999.
STATS AND STUFF: Beyond needing to win and for Philadelphia to lose to clinch the division, the Cowboys also need San Francisco to lose at home to 4-12 Arizona to get the bye as the NFC’s top seed. ... Dallas is 10-1 against the NFC East the past two seasons. ... One TD pass will move Prescott past Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman for second on the club’s career list with 166. Tony Romo had 247. ... One more rushing touchdown by Pollard would make him and Elliott the first pair of NFL backs with at least 10 apiece in a season since Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in 2008. Elliott has scored at least one rushing TD in a career-best nine consecutive games. ... Elliott needs 42 scrimmage yards to keep alive the seventh-year pro’s streak of having at least 1,000 each season. ... Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb needs 10 catches to break Michael Irvin’s single-season club record of 111 from 1995, which came in a 16-game season. ... TE Dalton Schultz had two TD catches against the Titans. ... LB Micah Parsons leads the NFL with six multi-sack games but hasn’t had one since Week 12. ... S Donovan Wilson leads NFL defensive backs with five sacks. He’s tied with Bill Bates (1984) for the single-season franchise record for sacks by a DB. ... Dallas leads the NFL with 32 takeaways after finishing last season with a league-best 34. The Cowboys can become the first team to lead the NFL in takeaways in consecutive seasons since the “Steel Curtain” Pittsburgh Steelers did it three years in a row from 1972-74. ... Dallas leads the NFL with 20 forced fumbles, the most for the franchise since the stat became official in 1994. ... The Commanders benched QB Carson Wentz after he threw three interceptions in the Browns game. Taylor Heinicke is expected to back up Howell. ... RBs Jonathan Williams and Jaret Patterson could split carries with Gibson and Robinson injured. ... WR Terry McLaurin leads Washington with 74 catches and 1,117 yards receiving. He needs 2 yards to set a career high. ... Jahan Dotson is tied for most TD catches by a rookie with seven. ... TE Logan Thomas led the Commanders with six catches and 56 yards receiving against Cleveland. ... Pending free agent DT Daron Payne could be playing his final game with Washington. He leads the team with a career-best 11 1/2 sacks and 18 tackles for loss.
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