Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team Matchup Preview (12/12/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team Matchup Preview (12/12/21)
It’s an exciting NFC East matchup this week between Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys and the revamped Washington Football Team led by Taylor Heinicke. The Cowboys are 8-4 and are coming off a win last week after beating the Saints 27-17 on Thursday night. They have played three games in 12 days so they will definitely appreciate the extra couple days of rest from playing on a Thursday. This gives them time to get their coaches back and tend to ailing injuries that we have seen from them all season long. As far as this Washington team, they have pulled themselves out of a 2-6 hole that looked unfixable. They went into their bye week on a four-game losing streak and came out of it a new team – they are on a four-game winning streak now, which includes a take down of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now they are 6-6, one spot behind the Cowboys in the NFC East rankings, and are serious playoff contenders. If the Cowboys win this game, they will go to 9-4 on the season and will almost certainly take the NFC East title and would have beaten all NFC East teams.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team Betting Odds
The Cowboys are the 4-point favored team in this division rivalry, which isn’t surprising given their record, even though Washington has been finding success lately. The Cowboys have managed to cover 75% of the time this year and are 2-0 in divisional games and as the away favorite. Washington is 5-7 against the spread, 2-2 as the home underdog and 0-1 division games, so definitely a riskier choice for betters, however they have covered in their last four wins. The total is set at 48 points which seems reasonable given Dallas’ almost 30-point game average and Washington’s 20.5-point game average. The Cowboys have hit over 50% of the time this year, but are 2-0 against divisional teams and 5-3 as the favored team. Meanwhile Washington has only hit over 42% of the time and are 3-6 on hitting it as the underdog.
There is adoration to be had for this Washington Football team and there is no doubt about it, but against a Cowboys team with additional rest to get the right game plan, I don’t see them being able to keep up with this offense.
My Prediction: Cowboys win 28-13, Cowboys cover, under 48
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Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: FedEx Field – Landover, MD
TV Coverage: FOX
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team Live Stream
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Dallas Cowboys Analysis
The Cowboys won last Thursday night, beating the Saints 27-17 with four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. They accomplished this despite missing their head coach and five of their other coaches including two offensive-line coaches. Last week’s game snapped their losing streak, and they will certainly look to add to their winning streak this week against Washington to secure the NFC East. They have a good track record in their division and lucky for them, four of their next five games are against NFC East teams.
The Cowboys have the weapons to be scary good – and they certainly have been at times. Though star running back Ezekiel Elliott is averaging over 60 rushing yards per game and has the sixth most touchdowns by any running back in the league, he is beaten up. They haven’t been able to keep him healthy, which is not helping their consistency in the run game. Tony Pollard follows closely behind Elliott with over 50 rushing yards per game and two touchdowns this season, but they haven’t committed to him in Elliott’s absence and this is putting even more pressure on the running game. When they do put Pollard in there is a serious change of pace. This is especially true with a somewhat depleted offensive line that has also suffered ailing injuries this season.
Where they have faltered in the running game, Dak Prescott and his wide receivers have made up for it in the passing game over the season. Prescott has lost three out of his last five games but historically he does well against his division, notching a 21-6 record. If he reflects these stats in the performance this week, this could be a good get-right game for him. The Cowboys offense currently leads the NFL in total yards, averaging over 400 per game, 287 of which come from Prescott’s arm. His primary target this season is CeeDee Lamb who has 829 yards over 57 catches and six touchdowns this season. Last week in New Orleans, he had 89 yards over just 7 catches. Amari Cooper returned for his post-Covid debut last week against the Saints alongside Lamb and Michael Gallup. The more we see of these three on the field, the more success we see this team have.
They also have lethal defensive weapons despite allowing over 350 yards per game, which is the sixth-most in the league. Rookie Micah Parsons has been huge for them, tallying 10 sacks on the season, 7.5 of which came in the last five games. They also have the league-leading interception king Trevon Diggs, who has tallied 9 of the Cowboys’ 19 interceptions, which is also leading the league. DeMarcus Lawrence returned from a foot injury last week and looked brand new, and Neville Gallimore and Randy Gregory are supposed to join him this week. Lawrence was on a snap-count last week that limited his time in the game, and he was still one of the biggest defensive presences last week. The Gallimore-Gregory-Lawrence combination will be huge against Washington.
This is a great defense, but they have had a serious issue with penalties this season. They have given up 29 first downs by penalties and 97 total penalties that have equated to almost 800 yards. They need to keep this under control this week as this Washington offense leads the league in first downs by penalties and have gotten 30 in their favor.
Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart
Washington Football Team Analysis
Most people wrote this team off early in the season when they were 2-6 going into their bye week. They have made a remarkable comeback that has raised them through the ranks to become a serious playoff contender. Last week, they beat the Raiders in a nail-biter that left it up to their brand new kicker, Brian Johnson to score a 48-yard field goal, which he did. Heinicke completed 77% of his passes that game but liked the ball on the ground and gave Antonio Gibson room to run.
Gibson has 358 rushing yards over their last four games along with 72 receiving yards and has become a focal point of this offense, leading the running game to 124.4 yards per game. Their passing game is commendable as well – led by Heinicke who is averaging 234.1 passing yards per game behind a weak offensive line nonetheless, who has allowed 10 sacks on him in the last five games. Heinicke has also shown impressive ability to scramble under pressure and this will most certainly be put to the test against a defense that includes Parsons and Lawrence.
When Heinicke gets the ball in the air, it is likely going to Terry McLaurin who has been targeted 103 times this season, which is almost twice as much as their second targeted player. But McLaurin has been quiet as of late as teams are starting to pick up on his abilities – he had just 22 yards over 5 targets last week against the Raiders.
Cole Holcomb leads the defense with 102 tackles and Jonathon Allen follows behind with 6.5 sacks on the season. Allen has improved this pass rush defense this season since the loss of Chase Young. This defense has held teams to just 91.3 rushing yards per game which is the third best in the league. They have given up just 63 rushing first downs, compared to the 164 they have given up on passing first downs. They have the third most passing yards against them, which suggest problems for them against Prescott and his receivers. The safety combo of Landon Collins and Kamren Curl has been great this season – they have a combined 138 tackles and hold down the secondary. But Collins was out last week with a foot injury and is questionable for return this week. He is a key part to this secondary so his presence against a strong Cowboys offense will be crucial.
Hats off to Washington for pulling out four straight wins, but the script that they have been using will not work against a healthy Dallas team.
Washington Football Team Depth Chart
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team Daily Fantasy Picks
If Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t come back healthy enough to play, I think Tony Pollard is a really good option. He has stepped up in the run game when they needed him to and been a spark for this offense when they used him. He averages 5.6 yards per carry. But if Elliott can play, then this will likely put Pollard on the bench and this wouldn’t be a good option.
Brian Johnson could be a good choice if you are looking for a kicker. He came up clutch in their last game essentially winning the game for them in his first game with WFT. He will be an interesting one to watch this year.