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Cowboys vs. Commanders preview: Fast facts about the division game

The Cowboys welcome the Commanders... for the first time ever.

NFL: Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys welcome the Washington Commanders to AT&T Stadium on Sunday afternoon (1 PM ET). Dallas is favored at home by three points according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and that makes sense given the direction of the two teams over the past two games with the Cowboys now 2-1, and Washington 1-2.

We’re going to sift through some facts from the media guide to see how the Cowboys might exploit the Commanders on Sunday.

Cooper Rush

One big key to the Cowboys success since Dak Prescott went down is the play of quarterback Cooper Rush. He has been very composed under center and has done a good job of getting the ball out. His 2.36 seconds average for throwing a pass is second in the league, only trailing Tom Brady. That’s pretty good company.

If Rush beats the Commanders, he will be the first Cowboys quarterback to win their first four starts, and only the 27th in NFL history to hit that mark. Rush also needs 62 yards to reach 1,000 passing yards for his career. Considering he entered the league in 2017, he is proof that patience is a virtue.

Micah Parsons

The Lion has been eating, and although he didn’t get a sack last week, Parsons has 17 in his first 19 games. Only Joey Bosa has more than that in 19 games to start a career. Bosa got 18, and rushed the passer far more frequently than Parsons. Simply put, Parsons is setting records for efficiency on the pass rush.

Given that Carson Wentz has been sacked 15 times already on the season, the Cowboys will definitely let the Lion eat on Sunday. Last year, Parsons had three sacks and five pressures in two games versus Washington.

Speaking of sacks, Wentz is tied with Joe Burrow for the most sacks this year, with Daniel Jones behind them at 13. Those last two QBs have something in common. Playing the Cowboys defense.

Cowboys Defense

Speaking of that defense, they have held all three opponents this year to 19 points or under. The last time something like that happened was back in 1974 when the Cowboys defense held their first three opponents to under 20 points in a game. They have also held all three opponents to under 200 net passing yards, the first time that has happened in a decade. If they can do it again this week, it will be the first time that has happened for the Cowboys defense since 1977.

CeeDee Lamb

The Cowboys may want to consider getting Lamb a few passes quickly in the first half and then try to build on that. So far this year, Lamb has been a second-half receiver. 136 of his 191 yards receiving have come in the second half of games, the 11th most in the NFL. His only touchdown also came in the second half of a game. If he could get going earlier in games, he would be having a stellar year.

Mike McCarthy

The Cowboys head coach has a 10-5 record on a short week following Monday Night Football. He is also 37-18 in the month of October.

Michael Gallup

The Cowboys absolutely must get Gallup on the field this week. He feasts on the Washington franchise. In five games against them, he has caught 29 passes for 420 yards and four touchdowns. There is no better game for him to return to action in than this one.


The Cowboys are on a seven-game win streak inside the division. Since 2016, they are 27-10 against the division, second only to the Kansa City Chiefs’ 32-5 mark in the AFC West.

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