A game between a pair of three-win teams on Thanksgiving would generally be viewed as a meaningless contest. That is not the case this season, as Washington and Dallas are going to face off in a game between two teams squarely in the NFC East race. Washington picked up a 20-9 win against Cincinnati over the weekend, while the Cowboys upset Minnesota.
Washington hoping to replicate October win over CowboysWashington enters this game with some momentum. The Football Team has been playing sneaky good football all season and it resulted in a win on Sunday. The main story coming out of the game was the health of Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, who went down with a season-ending knee injury. Washington shut out the Bengals in the second half en route to the 20-9 victory. The Football Team had lost their previous two games, but they were both close contests. They notched a win against Dallas earlier this season, so they have some success to go back to for this Thanksgiving affair.
Quarterback Alex Smith is basically a lock to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. He returned from a gruesome injury and has taken over as the starter in the nation’s capital. Smith has completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 918 yards, but his touchdown-to-interception ratio is 2-to-4. His top target in the passing game is wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who has caught 62 passes for 871 yards and three touchdowns. Running back J.D. McKissic has been a threat in the passing game as well, catching 44 passes for 317 yards. Rookie running back Antonio Gibson has been the top back in the rushing attack, including a 128-yard outing against the Cowboys earlier this season.
Cowboys coming off consecutive strong outingsDallas snapped a four-game losing skid with a surprising 31-28 win at Minnesota as an 8.5-point underdog on Sunday. The Cowboys had previously lost consecutive games to Arizona, Washington, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. They were competitive in the loss to the Steelers, though. It has been a bit of a quarterback carousel after star Dak Prescott went down with a season-ending leg injury. Backup Andy Dalton was knocked out of his start against Washington with a concussion, which led to starts for Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert. Dalton returned from his concussion to lead Dallas to the win against Minnesota on Sunday.
He completed 22 of 32 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Dalton has now completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 655 yards and has a 4-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. This is a tough defense to face, though. Washington has an excellent front seven and has been able to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks all season. The Cowboys will be hoping for another strong outing from running back Zeke Elliott, who had a season-high 103 yards on 21 carries against the Vikings. He was held to 45 yards on 12 carries in the 25-3 loss to Washington in October. Wide receiver Amari Cooper leads the team with 65 receptions for 736 yards and two touchdowns, while rookie CeeDee Lamb has added 48 catches for 629 yards and four scores.
Stats & Trends
The under is:
- 4-2 in Washington's last six games
- 4-1 in Dallas' last five games
- 4-1 in Dallas' last five November games
I love the under in this game. Dallas’ offense might rank high statistically, but that damage was done with Prescott at quarterback. It has struggled to consistently put up points since then and now it has to face a Washington defense that is just outside the top five in the NFL. On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys defense is coming off a few decent games in a row and now gets to face a Washington offense that is among the worst in the league. The under has been a strong play for both of these teams this season.