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Cowboys at Commanders: Regular-season finale matchups to watch for the Dallas Cowboys

Which matchups are you most interested to see this week?

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The 2023 regular-season finale is shaping up to be an interesting one around the NFL and the Week 18 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders is no exception. There's a lot on the line for both organizations, which could make for some really good or bad football.

This division rivalry game just so happens to be between two teams at different ends of the spectrum. The Cowboys need a win to lock up the NFC East title and the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, while the Commanders need a loss to lock up the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Will Washington roll over to help themselves, or will they try to stick it to the Cowboys one last time this year?

Depending on how things play out, Dallas could decide to sit several of their key starters as soon as possible if/when they have the game in hand. That makes identifying certain key matchups this week a tad more difficult. But, based on the information we know now and what we believe could take place here are a few of the battles we will be keeping an eye on.

Cowboys' QB Dak Prescott vs. Commanders' secondary

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

In the first meeting between these two teams back in Week 12, Dak Prescott completely shredded Washington's secondary, completing 22 of 32 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns. It wouldn't be all that surprising to see him have similar success heading into this Week 18 matchup, depending on how much he plays of course. The Dallas Cowboys are currently leading the league in passing touchdowns this year with 32, and on the flipside, the Commanders defense has allowed 35 passing touchdowns, which is also the most the NFL. Dak Prescott should be successful through the air.

Cowboys' iOL T.J. Bass vs. Commanders' iDL

NFL: NOV 19 Cowboys at Panthers Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As of now it's unknown if Tyler Smith will end up playing in the regular-season finale against the Washington Commanders after tearing his planter fascia last week against the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys may decide to take the cautious approach to allow him to rest up as much as possible before the playoffs, but even if he does play he might be on a pitch count. Regardless of how much, if any, No. 73 ends up playing, T.J. Bass will likely see quite a bit of playing time at either left or right guard. He's played surprisingly well as an injury fill-in this season and there's no reason to believe he won't once again in this Week 18 matchup, even if it's against Washington's talented DT duo Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.

Cowboys' CB DaRon Bland vs. Commanders' WR Terry McLaurin

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

With his fifth pick-six of the 2023 season in Week 12 against the Washington Commanders, DaRon Bland cemented himself in the NFL history books for the most interceptions returned for a touchdown in league history, doing it just 11 games into the season. That ended up helping what would have been a really disappointing outing for Bland. Whether it was Terry McLaurin or just about any other of the Commanders wide receivers, Sam Howell was finding quite a bit of success when throwing to Bland's side of the field. It wouldn't be all that surprising if Washington tries to find repeat success in the regular-season finale. Because of that, Bland will probably be targeted early and often.

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