The Cowboys are in the playoffs as the NFC East champions. That part we know. What we still have to figure out is the seeding, although the best bet is Dallas will be the No. 3 seed and play the loser of the Packers-Lions game to be played Sunday afternoon.
But a few other things could happen that give the Cowboys the No. 2 seed and even crazier scenarios have them as the No. 1. So this game against the Redskins still has some meaning for the Cowboys.
Here are the gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus and David Helman.
Bryan Broaddus: Look for Dez Bryant to come out swinging against this Redskins secondary after what happened to him the last time these two teams met. Bryant was held in check and was never able to get anything going which resulted in his worst game of the season statistics wise. My expectations are that we will see Bryant finish this game with two touchdowns in a Dallas 24 - 13 victory.
David Helman: Even after all the talk this week, I'm going to be relatively surprised if all of the Cowboys' starters wind up finishing this game. I understand the idea about maintaining momentum, and I think it was important for Jason Garrett to have his team treat this week like any other. It'll also be good for them to get some game reps before the playoffs start. That said, there's too little to gain and too much to lose by keeping guys like Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray in the game against a nasty pass rush for 60 minutes. I think Murray is going to break Emmitt Smith's single-season rushing record, and I also think Dez Bryant is going to set the team's single-season receiving touchdown record – he needs two to top Terrell Owens' mark of 15. With the Cowboys having secured a playoff berth, I don't think Washington will have much incentive to fight. The Cowboys will finish with a 12-4 record in a forgettable game – something like 28-17. Only time will tell if it's enough for a first-round bye. My guess is not.
Nick Eatman: My gut feeling is that Tony Romo won't play this game. It's nothing I've been told, in fact, we've heard the opposite. But at the end of the day, it's just not worth it to play Romo when the only way a win this week helps you is if the Lions-Packers tie. The chances of a tie aren't nearly as high as Romo getting banged up, especially against a Redskins team that has hurt him each of the last two games against him. I think most of the starters will play some but won't finish it. There's a good chance the Cowboys play on Saturday night in the playoffs so technically, it could be a short week, so I would imagine the Cowboys do what they can to get out of this game unscathed. All that being said, I think the momentum this team has generated will trickle down to the rest of the team and the Cowboys will still win. Something tells me Devin Street will catch a few passes and maybe a touchdown. On defense, DeMarcus Lawrence breaks out with two sacks and the Cowboys get this win, 27-22.