Cowboys vs. Commanders Injury Report


Dallas Cowboys Tony Pollard | Image by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders will enter Week 18 headed in different directions.

The Commanders have been eliminated from the playoffs while opportunities for Dallas to jump from the No.5 seed to the No.1 or No.2 seed are still on the table.

The Cowboys will need a win over Washington at a minimum and will have personnel available that has not seen the field in several weeks.

The biggest news out of the Cowboys camp this week is the return of running back Tony Pollard. Pollard missed last week while dealing with a thigh injury and has been active at practice this week.

Pollard is the “sword” in the Cowboys’ dual-threat backfield, dubbed the “Sword and Hammer” by teammates.

The Hammer, of course, is Ezekiel Elliott. After dealing with his own setbacks mid-season, Elliott is now performing at an elite level while handling most of the Cowboys’ short-yardage runs.

Pollard’s return not only sparks the run game, but he also is one of the Cowboys’ most lethal threats in the passing game.

The Cowboys will not see either center Tyler Biadasz or linebacker Johnathan Hankins suit up this week, but both are on track to be ready for the postseason. Hankins will sit Sunday against Washington after being placed on Injured Reserve three weeks ago with a pectoral injury.

Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones said this week that the team could see up to three players return just in time for the start of the playoffs.

“Yeah, we’re feeling really good about him for the playoffs,” Jones said Monday on 105.3FM the Fan. “We’ll be welcoming back three really good football players: Leighton Vander Esch, certainly Hankins, and then if we get Biadasz back, you know, that will be a big plus for our group out there. We all know what Hankins does for that run game.”

Washington will start rookie quarterback Sam Howell, though the decision is less about injury and more about seeing what the team has in store for 2023. Head coach Ron Rivera said the decision to start the fifth-round pick at quarterback is “intriguing.”

After throwing three interceptions in a devastating loss that eliminated the Commanders from the playoffs, Rivera said that Carson Wentz would be inactive. Taylor Heinicke will be the backup against Dallas.

Washington also ruled out running back Antonio Gibson with a knee or foot injury and moved the player to Injured Reserve, ending his season. The Commanders also placed cornerback De’Jon Harris on injured reserve this week but did not disclose the reason for the move.

It is likely that the Commanders will also sit several key players listed as questionable for the game, including defensive end Montez Sweat and running back Brian Robinson.

Robinson has had a breakout rookie campaign that started with the player being shot twice in the leg during an attempted robbery during the preseason, but he is not likely to get on the field in Week 18 as he is dealing with a knee injury.

The Cowboys and Commanders will kick off at 3:25 p.m. CST on Sunday. The most important game of the day for the Cowboys’ playoff hopes — the Philadelphia Eagles against the New York Giants — will be played simultaneously.

The Cowboys need a win over Washington and an Eagles loss to climb the playoff seed ladder. A loss by San Francisco and Philadelphia, combined with a Dallas win, would give the Cowboys the No.1 seed, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

An Eagles loss, 49ers win, and a Dallas victory will move the Cowboys to the No.2 seed. Any other result will lock the Cowboys in at No.5 and set a rematch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the playoffs.

If you enjoyed this article, please support us today!

Formed in 2021, we provide fact-based, non-partisan news. The Dallas Express is a non-profit organization funded by charitable support and advertising.

Please join us on the important journey to make Dallas a better place!

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments