Dak Prescott signals offense, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) calls a play against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

  • The Dallas Cowboys (8-4) visit the Washington Football Team (6-6) with plenty of playoff implications in Week 14
  • 2021 Record: 7-5, +0.42 units
  • See the updated odds for Sunday’s NFC East showdown

After a 2-6 start, the Washington Football Team is not only back in the thick of the Wild Card picture, but the NFC East as well.

Following their Week 8 bye, WFT have won four in a row. That stretch began with a statement victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with wins over the Panthers, Seahawks and Raiders following.

The Dallas Cowboys have to be careful. With two games remaining against the Football Team, Dallas is 3-3 since their bye. Their nice cushion atop the NFC East is quickly dwindling.

Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm EST from FedExField in Washington on a clear, but potentially breezy day.

Cowboys vs Football Team Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Dallas Cowboys -200 -4.5 (-110) Ov 48.0 (-110)
Washington Football Team +170 +4.5 (-110) Un 48.0 (-110)

Odds as of December 11th at DraftKings

The Cowboys are road favorites but are just 2-3 against the spread over their last five. The under has hit in four of those games, after Dallas opened the season with four overs in a row.

NFL Public Money has reflected that, as the public is backing the Cowboys both outright and to cover, but the under as well. Washington is 4-0 ATS over their winning streak after opening the season 1-5.

Cowboys vs Football Team Injury Report

While the foot injury that saw Tony Pollard pop up on the injury report this week is concerning, it was mostly good news all around for Dallas. A hip injury showed up for Micah Parsons mid-week, but he was removed from the final injury report.

The team is managing a knee injury for Ezekiel Elliott, but he was also removed from the final injury report.

Week 14 Injury Report

Cowboys Injury, Status Football Team Injury, Status
Noah Brown, WR Groin, Out Landon Collins, S Foot, Questionable
Tony Pollard, RB Foot, Questionable Jamin Davis, LB Concussion, Questionable
N/A N/A Wes Schweltzer, G Ankle, Out
N/A N/A Jordan Kunaszyk, LB Hamstring, Out
N/A N/A Curtis Samuel, WR Groin, Questionable
N/A N/A JD McKissic, RB Concussion

The good news for Washington is that JD McKissic made progress in his return from a concussion. Landon Collins seems to be trending in the right direction to play on Sunday, as is rookie LB Jamin Davis.

While Logan Thomas didn’t suffer a torn ACL, the tight end went on injured reserve earlier in the week. It’s his second trip to the IR in 2021, ending his season.

Cowboys vs Football Team Head-to-Head

Prior to last season when Washington took both games from the Cowboys, this classic rivalry had been one-sided.

Washington had won just two of the previous nine against Dallas, which is par for the course of the lifetime head-to-head.

Cowboys vs Football Team: Last Five Games

Date Away Team Home Team Result Closing Line Total
November 22, 2018 Washington Football Team Dallas Cowboys 31-23 Cowboys DAL -7.0 40.0 (Over)
September 15, 2019 Dallas Cowboys Washington Football Team 31-21 Cowboys DAL -6.0 46.5 (Over)
December 29, 2019 Washington Football Team Dallas Cowboys 47-16 Cowboys DAL -12.5 47.5 (Over)
October 25, 2020 Dallas Cowboys Washington Football Team 25-3 WFT DAL -1.0 44.5 (Under)
November 26, 2020 Washington Football Team Dallas Cowboys 41-16 WFT DAL -2.5 46.0 (Over)

The interesting thing about the Dallas/Washington rivalry, is that the late-season game typically happens in Dallas.

You have to go all the way back to 2015 for the last time the Cowboys visited the Football Team in Washington after November 1st. It actually happened in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The under hit in two of those three, with Dallas covering in ’14 and ’15.

WFT’s Revamped Defense

In one of the least-expected developments of the season, the improvement on defense for Washington began when they lost their best player. Chase Young saw his season end against the Buccaneers with a torn ACL in Week 10, but the Football Team overcame it for a statement win.

Since then they’ve been one of the stingiest units in the league.

Washington Football Team Defense: Pre and Post Bye

8 Games Played 4
67.3 Completion Percentage 70.8
286.8 Passing Yards Allowed (Average) 218.3
102.6 Rushing Yards Allowed (Average) 68.5
28.75 Points Against (Average) 17.5
4 Interceptions 6
19 Sacks 5
-11.41 Expected Points (Average) -3.35

Washington has also done a much better job at getting off of the field. Opponents have gone 12-for-39 (31%) on third down over the last five weeks. Before that they allowed 65 conversions on 115 third down attempts (56.5%).

Taylor Heinicke and the offense have been performing better as well, and it starts on the ground. Washington’s running attack is averaging 137 yards on 37 attempts per game the last four, compared to 118 on 26 attempts the first eight weeks.

To his credit, Heinicke has done a better job of taking care of the ball. He was averaging 1.1 interceptions per game over the first eight weeks, but has trimmed that to an average of 0.5. His four-week completion percentage is red-hot at 77.31%.

They’re second in average time of possession the last three weeks (37:05) because they’ve been able to play with, and hold, a lead.

Cowboys vs Football Team Prediction

Since their bye, Dallas hasn’t always held up their end of the bargain considering the firepower they have. Even considering blowouts, the projected over has only hit in one of Dallas’ last six games.

While they’ve played in some this year, Washington would likely struggle in a track meet. There’s the chance of some showers and some wind on Sunday, and while it won’t be freezing, it’ll be cool.

On their home turf, this feels like a game Washington makes the Cowboys earn.

The Pick: Under 48.0 (-110); 1 unit

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Bryan Thiel

Sports Writer


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