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Cowboys Embarrassed in Season Finale Loss

Sports

The Cowboys were soundly defeated by the Commanders in the season finale | Image by Blogging the Boys.

The Dallas Cowboys were out of sync all day on Sunday as the team dropped the season finale 26-6 against a Washington Commanders team with nothing to play for but postseason film.

With both San Francisco and Philadelphia collecting wins in Week 18, the loss changes nothing for the Cowboys except perhaps hurt pride. Dallas will be the No.5 seed and head to Tampa Bay to face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers for Wild Card Weekend.

Washington will have the offseason to consider what to do next to build on the season finale win.

WHAT TO KNOW

The loss does not affect the Cowboys’ playoff seed. The only way the Cowboys could have advanced beyond the five seed was if Philadelphia lost.

The Eagles elected to play their starters, including Jalen Hurts, who had missed the previous two weeks with a shoulder strain, against a New York Giants squad that essentially fielded backups as the team rested up for its first playoff appearance since 2016. The Eagles defeated the Giants 22-16.

The Cowboys finish the regular season with a 12-5 record and a 5-2 division record, falling short of the NFC East title after winning it last season. In addition to losses against Philadelphia and Washington, Dallas conceded games to the Green Bay Packers, the playoff-bound Jacksonville Jaguars, and a season-opening loss to the Buccaneers — whom Dallas will face in the Wild Card round.

BY THE NUMBERS

The problems for the Cowboys were rampant and showed right from the get-go on the road in Maryland. Quarterback Dak Prescott hit just 14-of-37 passes for his worst numbers of the year.

Prescott connected with CeeDee Lamb for just one touchdown in a game in which the running back corps did not show up in a meaningful way. Prescott threw another pick-six in the game, his third game in a row with an interception returned for a touchdown.

Tony Pollard hit the field for the first time in two weeks, but he was no more effective than Malik Davis. Pollard averaged just 2.7 yards on seven carries, lower than Davis, who averaged 3.8 yards on five carries.

Ezekiel Elliott had the lowest numbers of the day, clocking just 1.3 yards per carry on eight tries for a total of just 10 yards.

The defense was porous as well, equaling recent disappointing performances that do not bode well for the Cowboys’ chances in the postseason. Washington quarterback Sam Howell hit 11-of-19 for 169 yards — nearly as much as the Dallas offense recorded in the game.

Linebacker Micah Parsons and defensive end Dorance Armstrong combined for a sack on Howell. The Cowboys vaunted defense recorded three sacks, better numbers than in recent weeks, but also allowed 169 yards receiving and 158 yards passing against a rookie in Howell making his first career start for Washington.

Special teams were also an issue for the Cowboys as kicker Bryan Anger fumbled a snap, and Pro Bowl returner KaVontae Turpin muffed a kick return that the Commanders recovered. Kicker Brett Maher also missed an extra point on the Cowboys’ only touchdown.

WHO SAID

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said: “This is not about one guy. You can’t look at our offensive performance and blame it on one guy. Plenty to go around.”

UP NEXT

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will welcome the Dallas Cowboys to Raymond James Stadium for the first round of the NFL playoffs in a Monday night game on January 16.

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