Playoff-bound Cowboys set for quick Washington rematch
WASHINGTON (6-8) at DALLAS (10-4)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
BETTING LINE: Cowboys by 10½, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Washington 5-9; Cowboys 11-3.
SERIES RECORD: Cowboys lead 74-47-2.
LAST MEETING: Cowboys beat Washington 27-20 on Dec. 12, at Landover, Maryland.
LAST WEEK: Washington lost to Eagles 27-17; Cowboys beat Giants 21-6.
WASHINGTON OFFENSE: OVERALL (20), RUSH (14), PASS (21), SCORING (23).
WASHINGTON DEFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (8), PASS (30), SCORING (25).
COWBOYS OFFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (6), PASS (6), SCORING (2).
COWBOYS DEFENSE: OVERALL (12), RUSH (15), PASS (23), SCORING (7).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Washington minus-5; Cowboys plus-12.
WASHINGTON PLAYER TO WATCH: DT Jonathan Allen blamed himself and the defensive line for allowing Philadelphia to rush for 238 yards Tuesday night. Allen has been Washington’s best player all season, leads the team with 8½ sacks and guaranteed he’d be better against the Cowboys.
COWBOYS PLAYER TO WATCH: With three games remaining, NFL interceptions leader CB Trevon Diggs is one pick from the franchise record of 11 by Everson Walls in 1981. He had one last week against the Giants on a play that was initially ruled incomplete in the end zone.
KEY MATCHUP: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott vs. Washington pass defense. The Dallas star hasn’t been nearly as good since returning from a calf injury in the eighth game. Prescott couldn’t get himself going in the first meeting with Washington two weeks ago. His pick-6 in the fourth quarter gave Washington a chance to tie after trailing by 19 with less than six minutes remaining. Prescott is 4-0 with 11 TDs (nine passing, two rushing) and no interceptions at home against Washington.
KEY INJURIES: Washington coach Ron Rivera said Antonio Gibson’s toe injury is “very similar” to the one that derailed the young running back late last season. Pass-catching back J.D. McKissic is already on injured reserve, so if Gibson can’t go, it will be rookie Jaret Patterson getting the bulk of the action. ... CB William Jackson (calf) and S Landon Collins (foot) are also question marks, along with several COVID-19 protocol absences. LB Cole Holcomb was added to the COVID-19 list Wednesday. ... Cowboys LT Tyron Smith (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday, but coach Mike McCarthy said the injury had improved. Smith was out against the Giants after missing three consecutive games earlier in the season.
SERIES NOTES: The teams are playing for the second time in three weeks. ... This is the first Sunday night game between Washington and Dallas since 2013. ... Washington is 19-17-1 in Sunday night games. ... Washington is looking to win consecutive games at Dallas for the first time since 2014 and 2015.
STATS AND STUFF: Four quarterbacks have thrown a pass for Washington this season. Three of them are Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen and Garrett Gilbert. Heinicke and Allen missed the game at Philadelphia on Tuesday while in COVID-19 protocols, but Heinicke has been taken off the coronavirus list. ... Gilbert was 20 of 31 for 194 yards against the Eagles. ... Heinicke injured a knee in the first meeting with Dallas and didn’t return. He needs 69 yards passing for 3,000 this season. ... Gibson ran for 20 of his 26 yards on one drive at Philadelphia that included him touching the ball on all seven plays. The toe injury slowed him down after that. ... Patterson ran for his first NFL touchdown last week. ... WR Terry McLaurin has only been targeted seven times over the past two games, though that includes part of the first Cowboys game he missed while being evaluated for a concussion. McLaurin leads Washington with 63 catches, 859 yards and five touchdowns. ... DE Montez Sweat forced Eagles QB Jalen Hurts to fumble in Sweat’s first game back from a seven-week absence. Sweat had been out with a broken jaw and then COVID-19. ... DE Bunmi Rotimi made his first pro sack against Philadelphia. ... Collins picked up his 11th career interception when he caught the ball after it bounced off the back of Eagles TE Dallas Goedert’s right foot. He would have had a pick-6 had officials not blown the play dead thinking the ball hit the ground. ... Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott needs 123 scrimmage yards to join Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players to with at least 1,250 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns in each of their first six seasons. ... Backup RB Tony Pollard needs 52 scrimmage yards for his first season with at least 1,000. ... DE Randy Gregory had a sack, interception and forced fumble in the first Washington meeting. ... In last week’s win, DE DeMarcus Lawrence’s hit on Giants QB Mike Glennon caused an interception to set up the first Dallas touchdown. He was in on a fourth-down stuff that led to the other TD. ... The Cowboys have at least four takeaways in each of the past three games. Three teams since 1990 have done that in four straight.
FANTASY TIP: While Elliott has been saying his ailing right knee is getting better, he’s now on a six-game streak with a per-carry average below 4 yards. With 51 yards against the Giants, he ended a five-game run below that mark. He does have four touchdowns in the past six games.