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Cowboys vs Commanders: A fast facts and stats game preview for Week 12

Thursday should be fun.

NFL: JAN 08 Cowboys at Commanders Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We have the annual Thanksgiving Day game coming up for the Dallas Cowboys, and they welcome a familiar foe. The Washington Commanders are the opponents this week and that sets up a holiday clash between NFC East rivals. The Cowboys are 7-3 on the season and pushing for the best playoff position they can get. The Commanders have lost two straight games to fall to 4-7 and may be looking more towards the future after this season. Their new management will finally have an offseason to make changes, and a decision on head coach Ron Rivera is expected to be the biggest decision.

The Cowboys are once again favored this week, and it is by double-digits once again. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Cowboys as 11-point favorites over the Commanders. That’s a pretty large spread for a division game, but it represents the direction each team is moving in.

The Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving Day is an annual tradition that started way back in 1966 when they first volunteered to play on the holiday. In that first game they drew a crowd of over 80,000 at the Cotton Bowl and beat the Cleveland Browns by a score of 26-14.

The Cowboys and the franchise from Washington have met 10 previous times on Thanksgiving with Dallas holding an 8-2 advantage. Those 10 games are the most of any opponent on Thanksgiving for Dallas. They’ve played the Dolphins five times, the Cardinals four times, and then a handful of teams three times.

Overall the Cowboys have a 76-46-2 regular-season record against Washington. The last time the two teams met on Thanksgiving was in 2020, and the Cowboys got crushed 41-16. They didn’t have Dak Prescott in that game because of his season-ending injury that year. The Cowboys have won three of the last four regular-season games between the two, but Washington won the last game 26-6 at the end of last season.

The Cowboys are in the habit of winning big when they do win this year. They have won six games by 20+ points; the franchise hasn't done that since the 1978 season. Part of the reason for that large differential in games is the Dallas defense. They have still yet to allow a 100-yard rusher, 100-yard receiver, or 300-yard passer in a game this season.

Dallas is averaging 40 points per game at AT&T Stadium this season, tops in the league for home games. Their last loss at AT&T Stadium came in Week 1 of the 2022 season, giving them a 12-game home winning streak. Dallas has scored 302 points this season for the second-best scoring total in the league. Add in the fact the Cowboys have five defensive touchdowns this season and those blowouts just keep coming.

Fast stats:

  • Dak Prescott’s 124.2 passer rating in home games this season is the second-best in the NFL for home games.
  • Prescott is 3-3 on Thanksgiving, and his passer rating for those games is 97.3.
  • Micah Parsons has 12 multi-sack games in his career. If he gets another one, he will pass Shawne Merriman for the fourth-most ever in a player’s first three seasons.
  • Parsons faces a Commanders team that has given up 51 sacks this year, second-most in the NFL.
  • DaRon bland leads the league with four touchdowns for non-offensive players. That’s tied for the most since J.J. Watt had five in 2014.
  • CeeDee Lamb needs 10 receptions in this game to become the first Cowboys player to ever have three straight homes game with 10+ receptions.

Team comparison stats:

Scoring Avg. (NFL rank): Dallas - 30.2 (2) Washington - 21.5 (17)

Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL rank): Dallas - 17.5 (5) Washington - 27.7 (32)

Total Off. (NFL rank): Dallas - 372.3 (6) Washington - 340.7 (12)

Rushing Off. (NFL rank): Dallas - 116.8 (12) Washington - 95.7 (26)

Passing Off. (NFL rank): Dallas - 255.5 (6) Washington - 245.0 (11)

Total Def. (NFL rank): Dallas - 266.3 (2) Washington - 372.8 (29)

Rushing Def. (NFL rank): Dallas - 109.2 (15) Washington - 114.3 (21)

Passing Def. (NFL rank): Dallas - 157.1 (2) Washington - 258.5 (30)

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