This is it. We’ve reached the end of the 2022 regular season. After the conclusion of Week 18 we enter the winner-take-all tournament where the last man standing is the one who gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. If all things work out the way we hope, it’ll be the Dallas Cowboys who get that honor.
Before we can enter into postseason mode though, we first have to get through the regular-season finale this week against the division rival Washington Commanders. While this is shaping up to be a game in which the Cowboys should win relatively easy, there are key matchups worth monitoring that should help sway the game in their favor.
Tony Pollard vs. Commanders’ run defense
As things stand right now, Tony Pollard currently has 988 total rushing yards on the year, just 12 measly yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season. Hitting that milestone should be relatively easy and could quite possibly happen on just one carry considering Pollard’s explosiveness. But, when and how it ends up happening remains to be seen. Although the Washington Commanders don’t have much to play for in the regular-season finale, they’d probably love nothing more than to stop No. 20 from succeeding.
Cowboys’ OL vs. Commanders’ DL
Tyler Biadasz will miss the regular-season finale with a high ankle sprain, meaning the entire left side of the Cowboys offensive line will be shuffled to compensate. Connor McGovern takes over at center, Tyler Smith kicks inside to left guard, and Jason Peters steps in at left tackle. Washington’s defensive line that has former first-round picks throughout their front should provide a good measuring stick for Dallas’ new starting five. If they can dominate this matchup we can feel better about what they’ll do in the playoffs.
Cowboys’ defense vs. Commanders’ offense
This matchup is shaping up to be the confidence booster the Cowboys might need before heading into the postseason. As of late, Dallas’ defense hasn’t quite been the dominant unit they once were early in the season. Injuries of course factor into their struggles as of late, but a bounce-back game against the Commanders in Week 18 could help them get back to their dominant form. And, with the playoffs on the horizon, Washington could be doing the Cowboys a favor starting the rookie QB Sam Howell in the regular-season finale.