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Cowboys news: Coach Mike McCarthy’s confidence in a win on Sunday causes a stir

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Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy: ‘I’m confident’ that ‘we’re going to win this game’ vs. Washington - Nick Shook, NFL.com

A head coach having confidence in his team shouldn’t be a shock, but when its rivalry week everything gets magnified.

“We’re going to win this game,” McCarthy stated Thursday. “I’m confident in that.”

“What am I supposed to say?” McCarthy asked, via the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken. “I fully expect to win every game I’ve ever competed in.”

Even after losing two straight at the end of November, McCarthy’s team has won two-thirds of the games in which it’s appeared this season. It’s been a significant turnaround from the Cowboys’ struggle to a 6-10 finish in 2020, and has them in position to make a deep playoff run.

Washington, meanwhile, is just focused on trying to reach the postseason for a second straight year. After starting 2-6, the Football Team has won four straight and proven it is capable of triumphing in close contests, taking all but one of those games by a single possession.

The Football Team faces a different beast in the Cowboys, who rank first in total offense, second in scoring, fourth in passing and sixth in rushing. Washington will have to bring its best to defeat its rival this weekend and keep itself in the wild-card race. Currently, Washington is slated to be the sixth seed in the upcoming playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys’ Micah Parsons has hip injury; Tony Pollard will be game-time decision - Stefan Stevenson, Star Telegram

Injuries to some key players for Dallas will surely be something to watch as the week progresses.

Dallas Cowboys rookie Micah Parsons was limited in Thursday’s practice with a hip injury. It’s the first time the linebacker has shown up on the team’s official injury report this season.

Running back Tony Pollard said his status will be a game-time decision. Pollard has plantar fasciitis, a foot injury that occurred on his 58-yard touchdown run last week against the New Orleans Saints.

The Cowboys (8-4) play the Washington Football Team (6-6) at noon Sunday at FedEx Field.

“I kind of picked my foot up a little higher and then when I put it down and pushed off I kind of felt a little tear in my plantar fasciitis,” said Pollard, who did not practice Thursday but did some work with trainers on the side. “That was the reason for such limited touches after that play. Because of the foot and dealing with it after that.”

Dak Prescott Doubles Down on Mike McCarthy’s Sunday Win Guarantee - Dan Lyons, Sports Illustrated

There is no question that the head coach and QB1 are on the same page heading into Sunday.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy wasn’t afraid to lay it out there for Sunday’s game against Washington. “We’re going to win this game,” he said. “I’m confident in that.”

You don’t typically see coaches making predictions that open, but McCarthy thinks his team is set to get back on track. After a 6–1 start to the season, the team has fallen back to the pack a bit, and currently sits at 8–4. Dallas remains atop the NFC East, but Washington has been hot and has clawed to within two games of its division rival.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott appreciates McCarthy’s confidence, though. When asked whether he supports his coach’s win guarantee, Dallas reporter Clarence Hill tweeted that Prescott had a clear, two-word response: “S--- yeah.”

Blue Chips: Washington’s Top Six Players - Bucky Brooks, Dallascowboys.com

Let Bucky Brooks walk you through this week’s opponent and some of their weapons the Cowboys will need to account for come Sunday.

If you ask old school scouts what is required to field a championship contender, they will quickly tell you that it takes eight to twelve blue-chip players to compete for a title. This premise has been the standard for general managers around the league and I rely on it to help me identify the players to watch on game day.

With that in mind, I thought I would take a little time to identify the players to watch on the Cowboys’ next opponent. Here are current blue-chip players for Washington.

The ultra-confident gunslinger has given the WFT a spark with freewheeling style from the pocket. Heinicke has a knack for making the play with the game on the line and his emergence as a clutch performer has thrust WFTs back into playoff contention.

Cowboys 2021 Playoff Scenarios: Week 14 Impact Games - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

It is December and officially that time of year where teams can start to lock up playoff spots. Take a look at where the Cowboys are at the current moment.

The Cowboys are fighting on two fronts now this season. They’re still a contender for the top seed in the NFC but also have rivals closing the gap in the division. This makes many games on the Week 14 schedule noteworthy for Dallas.

As always, we’re going to focus on teams that currently still have seeming playoff relevance. Apologies to the Bears, Giants, Lions, and Seahawks but there’s just only so much time in the day.

If the season ended today, here would be your NFC playoff picture.

Current NFC Playoff Standings

Arizona Cardinals (10-2)

Green Bay Packers (9-3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

Dallas Cowboys (8-4)

Los Angeles Rams (8-4)

Washington (6-6)

San Francisco 49ers (6-6)

——————————————

Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Carolina Panthers (5-7)

Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

New Orleans Saints (5-7)

TIEBREAKERS

The Packers (7-2) are ahead of the Bucs (6-3) based on a superior record in conference games.

Washington (5-2) is ahead of the 49ers (5-5) based on a superior record in conference games.

The Vikings are ahead of the Panthers based on a head-to-head victory..

The Panthers are ahead of the Falcons and Saints based on head-to-head victories.

The Falcons are ahead of the Saints based on a head-to-head victory.

Even if getting the number-one seed eventually becomes out of reach for Dallas, there’s plenty of incentive to just move up from fourth. Drawing the Rams in the first round is an unenviable assignment for anyone; the likely drop off from L.A. to Washington, San Francisco, or whoever else ends up in the other two wild card spots is considerable.

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