3 keys to help Cowboys beat Washington on Sunday

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Anthony Brown, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (30) (Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

3. Commit four or fewer penalties

This season, the Cowboys have been killed by penalties. Through 13 weeks, America’s Team has been penalized the most in the NFL with 96 calls against them. This also doesn’t count declined or offsetting ones. Averaging eight penalties a game isn’t going to win games, especially in the playoffs. Additionally, their 851 penalty yards are the most in the NFL.

Fans around the world saw how penalties killed this team on Thanksgiving. During that game, the Cowboys committed 16 penalties for 166 yards, including a game-sealing pass interference call in overtime. The majority of their penalities have come on the offensive side, which might be a surprise to most. On the season, the Cowboys rank second in the league with 21 offensive holding calls.

In a divisional matchup, the Cowboys have to limit all sorts of penalties. More specifically, the holding calls on offense and the defensive pass interference calls. Dallas ranks tenth in DPI (defensive pass inference) calls with eight.

Penalties have killed the Cowboys this season. However, if they can limit it and commit half of their season average, a victory could be in sight. If Dallas can lock in on these three keys, their chances of getting the W will be much higher on Sunday.