The Dallas Cowboys travel for Week 18 to take on the Washington Commanders. The Cowboys still have things to play for, while the Commanders have been eliminated from the post-season. The Cowboys will play to win while the Commanders will be looking at some young players. As such, the Cowboys are 7-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbooks.
We check in with the fine folks at Hogs Haven to see what is up with the Commanders.
Blogging The Boys: The Commanders are going with Sam Howell at QB. What will Howell bring to the offense?
Hogs Haven: Sam Howell hasn’t played since the pre-season, and the word is, he hasn’t gotten a ton of practice time in either. I expect him to make a few nice plays, but overall struggle with the speed of the pro game at this point. He does have a pretty strong arm and racked up over 800 yards rushing last year in college. I wrote a profile of Howell earlier in the year.
BTB: Do you expect the Commanders to focus on winning the game, or will there be plenty of looking at young players for the future?
HH: I think this game will be almost entirely geared toward the future. There already appear to be a ton of injuries popping up this week among vets, and I suspect many of them aren’t very interested in risking injury in a meaningless (for Washington) game. Ron Rivera pulled the rug out from the team last week by starting Carson Wentz, and I expect the team to return the favor against the Cowboys.
BTB: Do Ron Rivera and the coaching staff deserve to be back next year, or is it time to clean house?
HH: Absolutely, categorically, not. Ron Rivera and Scott Turner, the offensive coordinator, should have been fired on Sunday night, after that debacle against the Browns. Ron’s coaching this season has been incompetent, and Turner’s play calling has been abysmal. If I had my druthers, Jack Del Rio would be the acting head coach, with Ken Zampese elevated to OC for this final match.
BTB: Who are the bright spots for next year, which players do you think are the cornerstones to a playoff team in Washington?
HH: For as miserable as things have been for the past few weeks, the team has definitely had a few bright spots. Wide receiver Jahan Dotson looks like the real deal, currently tied with Christian Watson for the most receiving TDs among rookies. Rookie running back Brian Robinson also looks like a very solid addition, and with a full offseason to get healthy, I expect him to be a 1,000+ yard back next year. On the defensive side of the ball, safety Darrick Forrest broke out this year, and second year linebacker Jamin Davis started playing up to his billing this season.
BTB: The Cowboys are 7-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. Is that a fair spread? Do you think the Commanders can cover or win? How do you think Sunday plays out?
HH: I expect the Cowboys to win this game by multiple touchdowns. My primary hope is that Sam Howell makes it out relatively unscathed.