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Dallas Cowboys 2023 opponent preview: 2 Commanders to keep an eye on

Which Commanders players concern you the most?

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

Commanders File

2022 Record: 8-8-1 (2023 record: 4-12)

Last Meeting: 11/23/23 45-10 Cowboys win (Cowboys lead all-time series 77-48-2)

Head Coach: Ron Rivera (102-102-2)

Key Additions: QB, Jacoby Brissett, OT Andrew Wylie, LB Cody Barton

Key Departures: DL, Chase Young, DL Montez Sweat, QB Taylor Heinicke

2022 Overview

The Washington Commanders in 2022 were a middle-of-the-pack team that showed glimpses of talent at times, while also showing the ability to fall flat on any given Sunday. Fast forward to 2023 and there really is no other way to describe their season other than disappointment.

As the 2023 regular season comes to an end this weekend, the Commanders and their players have one more game before a world of unknown is sure to come. Who will be the head coach, what players will make it to next season, and where do they go from here will all be on the front of their minds.

This is a game the Cowboys should win handily, but with it being against a team that has nothing to lose, and a very familiar opponent, you can leave a little bit of room for some interesting possibilities. The Cowboys need a win to lock in the division crown and the No. 2 seed, will the Commanders be motivated enough to play spoiler?

Player to watch… QB, Sam Howell

NFL: Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for Sam Howell. In what was supposed to be a game he was relegated to the bench last week in favor of Jacoby Brissett, he was thrust back into the starting role as Brissett got injured in the week leading up to the game.

Why Howell is so intriguing is due to the fact he plays care free. He is a gunslinger by nature and with nothing to lose he’s certainly going to let it rip on Sunday. That’s a dangerous combination for a team that is still looking to lock up a home playoff game. The Cowboys have stomped this team out already this season, but that was at home, not in the cold of D.C. in the dead of winter.

Get to Howell early and often, force some mistakes, and get out of D.C. with the divisional crown.

Don’t forget about… WR, Terry McLaurin

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

If Howell is going to be successful in the air, it is going to take having a good day from Terry McLaurin to do so. The talented wide out is one of the few true game-changing playmakers the Commanders have on their roster, and despite some hard fought battles recently won by the Cowboys, McLaurin has been able to have some success against the Cowboys in the past.

Week 18 is truly unique across the league because you don’t know what kind of effort you’re going to get. Could McLaurin come out, show pride and want to play spoiler against his hated rival, or will he be thinking about that vacation he has lined up and the last thing he wants to do is get hurt in the final game of the year.

The Cowboys can’t take anything for granted and need to expect their best effort. But with that being said, the Cowboys have had a plan for Howell and McLaurin before and nothing should make Cowboys Nation think they can’t and won’t go out there and do what needs to be done on Sunday.

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