The last week of the season is always an interesting one across the NFL. For teams like the Dallas Cowboys and others at the top of the league who are either jockeying for seeding or playoff spots, a win may be important and the main focus, while more than half the league will see their season end following this weekends slate of games. Those lesser teams will use this final game in hopes of getting quality evaluations for some young guys they hope to develop while hoping to take some positive momentum into the offseason.
As the Cowboys head to FedEx Field on Sunday, the Commanders are in the latter of those two scenarios and will turn their quarterback position over to rookie Sam Howell. Howell will get his first real look at an NFL defense, one of which that still has much to play for. On the flip side, the Cowboys will have a new challenge to attack as Howell presents a unique skill set and ability to run when needed and is capable of extending plays, a some what of an Achilles for this defense. As a whole, it looks as if Washington will play on Sunday with their eyes to the future and we will see two rivals heading in two different directions to end the regular season.
Week 18 underrated star
With the playoffs on the horizon and another injury forcing a shuffle on the Cowboys offensive line, all signs point to Connor McGovern getting his first real extensive work at center in Tyler Biadasz’s absence. Reports are that Biadasz may be ready to go for the first round of the playoffs as they believe he dodged a bullet in regards to his high ankle sprain’s severity, but it is far from a certainty that he will be available at the start of the playoffs which allows McGovern a huge opportunity to calm the nerves of the coaching staff and Cowboys Nation alike if he is able to step in and play well with his opportunity.
Cowboys OC Kellen Moore expressed confidence in LG Connor McGovern’s ability to make his first start Sunday at center. “It’s not anything foreign to him. …We’re fortunate we have him.” pic.twitter.com/d2dNLfv9SF— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 2, 2023
So far this season McGovern has been consistent when on the field for the Cowboys. In his 14 games and 842 snaps of action, McGovern has only committed one penalty and allowed just two sacks, most of his work coming from the left guard position. He hasn’t wowed anybody with his play, and he doesn’t have too, but he has been consistent and reliable when on the field for much of his career.
Cowboys are hopeful Tyler Biadasz can return for the postseason with his high-ankle sprain. In the meantime Connor McGovern is the starting center.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) December 30, 2022
Understanding that playing center is an entirely different ball game, if McGovern is able to come in and soften the blow of a Biadasz absence, it could pay huge dividends not only now but also moving forward and may be able to keep the Cowboys season on track heading into the playoffs. McGovern may not be needed at center for long with the reemergence of Matt Farniok off of the injured reserve list, but his performance in week 18 could make him a viable option and even more proven, valuable depth on the offensive line if needed. Much more can be learned and earned on Sunday than just the teams 13th win. Connor McGovern will have many eyes on him and his opportunity and a solid performance could be huge for both him and the organization.