The Cowboys know they can clinch the NFC East with a win Sunday night. But there's a good chance the division will be wrapped up before kickoff, depending on a few other games earlier in the day.
Either way, the Cowboys will be focused on beating Washington to stay near the top of the conference standings, with an eye on landing the No. 1 seed.
Can the Cowboys knock off Washington twice in three weeks?
Check out what are staff writers think will happen when the Cowboys take on WFT Sunday night.
Rob Phillips: If the Cowboys get a little help from scores around the league, they might clinch the NFC East before kickoff Sunday night. Either way, it's clear that they're motivated to take care of business. Beyond the division, the NFC's top seed is a realistic goal if they keep winning, and I like them to win Sunday against a resilient Washington squad that has faced some real challenges with COVID cases and the schedule (flying back home early Wednesday morning from the Eagles game, then a quick turnaround to Dallas this weekend). The Cowboys are the more rested team, they're looking forward to their first home game since Thanksgiving, and as we saw in the teams' first meeting two weeks ago, the Dallas defensive line is a real problem for opponents.
David Helman: Thanks to the quirks of the NFL schedule, I don't feel like I have to overthink this. We just saw this game two weeks ago, and the Cowboys were clearly a better team. Dak Prescott played one of his worst games of the season that day at FedEx Field, and the Cowboys still dominated the game for roughly 55 of 60 minutes. The teams are more or less the same as they were on Dec. 12, although Washington gets some help with Montez Sweat back in the lineup. That's nowhere near enough for me to expect a different result than what we saw in Landover. The Cowboys' pass rush is playing too well to give Taylor Heinicke a serious shot at success, and Washington's ground game hasn't looked explosive in a month. Combine that with the fact that the Cowboys have only been held below 30 points once in six home games, and I think this will be a fairly straightforward game. Dallas puts the finishing touch on a division title with a 34-17 win on Sunday night.
Nick Eatman: The Cowboys were a lot better than Washington a couple of weeks ago. And yes, it does seem that like team will have more players available this time around. The Cowboys will also have Tony Pollard, and will play at home in a stadium that should be more conducive to passing the ball around. I see the offense somewhat getting back on track, eclipsing the 30-point mark although I'm selling another defensive touchdown. I think the Cowboys will clinch the NFC East long before the game kicks off, but I still think they play with a hunger of a team with bigger goals. Give me touchdowns by Connor McGovern and Damontae Kazee, another pick for Diggs and a 33-14 win.
Mickey Spagnola: OK, Sunday is the day. Sunday is the day the Cowboys offense breaks out of this little shell. The Cowboys have been close the past two weeks. Sunday, against a beat-up Washington team, between injuries, COVID complications and playing on a short week, the Cowboys should flourish. Plus, they are playing at home finally after winning three straight games all played on the road. Home, sweet home. And mostly healthy. And let Cowboys owner Jerry Jones set the tone for Sunday night. "This is a big game," said Jones Friday morning on 105.3 The Fan. "We want to walk out here and we want to win every series. We want to win the series, we want to win the down, we want to win every quarter." And you know they want to win the game, so let's say, Cowboys 27, WFT 13. And this is also the day Pro Bowler Trevon Diggs gets his 11th interception to tie Everson Walls' franchise record for most picks in a single season set 40 years ago in 1981.