Cowboys vs Washington Week 14: History, players to watch, gut projection

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sunday, Dec 12. 6-6. 58. 1 PM ET. 8-4. Cowboys -4. 123. FOX

The Dallas Cowboys have a big one this Sunday. I cannot state that enough. The Cowboys righted the ship against the New Orleans Saints last week to get to an 8-4 record and retain their control of the NFC East for the time being.

Dallas hits the road to take on NFC East foe, the Washington Football Team, in their first meeting this season.

Although this is just the first of two times they will meet, this game could be the turning point in the NFC East. With 5 games to go, this matchup could nearly decide the division.

A Cowboys win gives them a three-game lead with only four games left to play. A loss brings Washington right back into the thick of things being only one game back with four to play. More or less, this game is massive for the Cowboys if they want to win the NFC East.

Washington is coming in hot. No doubt about it. After starting the season 2-6 and looking dead in the water, WFT has reeled off four straight victories to at least give them a pulse for the NFC East and the Wild Card conversation.

Time to get into a little history of this long-time rivalry, a look into the weather (BUCKLE UP, BABY, AN OUTDOOR GAME), some guys that have a great chance to step up, and a prediction for how this one shakes out.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Football Team: Matchup History

All-Time Record: 73-47-2 in favor of the Cowboys (2-0 postseason record in favor of WFT)

Most Recent Result: WFT 41, Dallas Cowboys 16 on November 26, 2020

The Cowboys have dominated this series. Back in the day, recently, and overall. Well, minus last season. But, we all know the pain 2020 was all around. The Cowboys are 11-7 over the last decade against Washington.

Last season saw the WFT sweep the Dallas Cowboys for the first time since 2012. That is largely attributed to a decimated Cowboys team with backup quarterbacks and struggles all around.

One of my personal favorite games in this rivalry was back in December of 2013. The Cowboys were down 23-17 late in the fourth quarter of a Sunday Night game that included an extremely limited Tony Romo as he showed guts playing through a severe back injury. Romo led the Cowboys down the field late.

With just over one minute left, it came down to a fourth down to decide the game. Romo did one of his famous acts of keeping the play alive and found running back Demarco Murray for a completion that got into the end zone, allowing the Cowboys to take a late 24-23 lead, and ultimately win the game.

This year will be a bit different. On paper, the Cowboys have a clear advantage offensively, especially at the quarterback position with Dak Prescott matching up against a former XFL quarterback, Taylor Heinicke. Make no mistake, though. Heinicke is gutsy and shows some moxie. But, his true quarterback play leaves something to be desired.

Defensively, the WFT will be without key pass rusher Montez Sweat after a positive COVID-19 test. Their defensive unit has been a bit of a rollercoaster. They initially were looked at as one of the best in the league before the season. As the year progressed, they looked like the disappointment of the league. However, they have stabled out a bit since.

The Cowboys have advantages across the board on paper. But as they say, you still gotta play the game.