The Dallas Cowboys played to win when they took on a short-handed Washington Commanders squad. Things didn’t go to plan. The Cowboys looked lousy in a 26-6 drubbing to their NFC East rivals. Dallas was hoping to improve their playoff seeding with a win, but it didn’t matter in the end because both the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers won their games.
That locked the Cowboys into the fifth seed in the NFC and forced them to go on the road for a wild card playoff game. Their opponent will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winners of the NFC South with an 8-9 record. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Cowboys as 3-point favorites in their initial odds.
The Cowboys have a 12-5 record and have been the superior team in many ways for much of the season. But Tampa Bay did beat Dallas 19-3 to open the season, and their offense has started to look better toward the end of the season. And they have Tom Brady who has never lost to Dallas.
It’s hard to see the Cowboys as favorites after their abysmal performance against the Commanders. But looking at the totality of the season, you can make sense of Dallas being the favorite, even going on the road.