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Gut Feeling: Staff Picks For Dallas-Washington


Apparently the NFL knew what it was doing when the schedule came out last spring. This is the latest Washington and Dallas has ever met for the first time in a regular season and it seems to come at the perfect time as Washington has won four straight to get to 6-6, just two games behind the Cowboys with five to play.

Check out what are staff writers think will happen when the Cowboys go to Washington on Sunday.

Rob Phillips: This week's comments from Mike McCarthy and Ron Rivera have added a little extra juice to the matchup, but to me, Sunday just comes down to which team plays a cleaner game. Washington won its last two contests by a score of 17-15. The Cowboys admittedly won an ugly one against the Saints. Is this the week the offense gets rolling again? It'll be interesting to see if they can get the run game re-established against a Washington defense that's only allowing 4.1 yards per carry this season. Maybe the more important question is whether the passing game can find its rhythm and timing now that Amari Cooper is back. Washington's four-game win streak without some key players has been impressive, and they've been a much better defensive team the last few weeks. But I'll take the Cowboys because of their overall talent, finding a way to score just enough in another one of these grimy games.

David Helman: The Cowboys have been waiting for this moment for the better part of a month. They're healthy, they're rested and they're COVID-free. The reinforcements we've been talking about since October are finally here. With all those additions on top of what they're already bringing to the table, they should be the better team on Sunday. I get that it's a division game. Washington's defense is impressively salty for a group that lost Chase Young and Montez Sweat, and you can't deny Taylor Heinicke gives them some kind of spark. I don't care. I'll gladly take the Cowboys' rejuvenated pass rush, not to mention Dak Prescott working with a fully healthy offensive line and his top three receivers. It might take some time to get things situated, but I've got Dallas in a fairly straightforward 27-13 win.

Nick Eatman: I think so much has been made about the quotes Mike McCarthy said this week and then the response by Ron Rivera and all the back-and-forth. But to me I think it's important to dig just a little bit deeper in what McCarthy said in his prediction of the Cowboys winning the game. I think he truly believes the Cowboys are just a better football team with better talent and finally healthy and just about at full strength, depending on Tony Pollard situation. I said earlier this week I felt this game Sunday will be the toughest one yet on the schedule. I know Arizona is playing very well and have the best record but there's no way they will be as desperate as Washington will be on Sunday. For that reason I think this is going to be more of a boxing match than a football game. But I just can't visualize how Washington is going to score a lot of points and I think the Cowboys will figure out a way to at least get to 20 … and in my head, that'll be enough. Give me the Cowboys going to 9-4 with a 20-15 win.

Kyle Youmans: It's hard to believe, but it's been 33 years since the Washington Football Team has put together a three-game winning streak against the Cowboys. I'm not sure how aware Dallas is of that fact, but they're definitely aware of the two beat downs that Washington handed them last season. I believe this locker room sees this as revenge opportunity, hence the strong confidence and mindset portrayed in the media throughout the week. Dak Prescott has been borderline unstoppable against Washington in the past, and I think that continues with all three of his top receivers available. Dallas gets the offense rolling and takes advantage on a couple defensive takeaways in a 31-21 win on the road.

Mickey Spagnola: So 30 years ago on Nov. 24, 1991, the Cowboys with a 6-5 record went up to Washington to defeat an 11-0 WFT, 24-21, kick starting a five-game winning streak to finish 11-5 and earn their first playoff berth since 1985. For symmetry sake, these Cowboys go up to FedEx Field on Sunday to defeat the red-hot Washingtons by the same score, 24-21, and instead of Michael Irvin the offensive star he was 30 years ago, this time it's CeeDee Lamb, burning WFT by turning short passes into huge plays the Cowboys offense must generate if they are to score enough points to defeat this team.

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