It’s hard to put into words how disappointing the Cowboys have been this season. The team earned a hard-fought playoff victory last season, and they were looking to build on that in their 2019 campaign. Combined with their 3-0 start to the season, there was Super Bowl talk floating around, and the Cowboys were being discussed as a legitimate contender to represent the NFC in the big game in February. 

Dec 22, 2019; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) calls a play against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Fast-forward to Week 17, and the Cowboys are coming off one of their most disappointing losses of the season, which is saying a lot, even for them. Their Week 16 loss in Philadelphia saw them drop out of first place in the NFC East for the first time all season. And now, all they can do to stay alive in the playoff picture, is to beat the division rival Redskins on Sunday. Still, they’ll need some help from the Giants, as the Eagles would need to lose to Big Blue in order for the Cowboys to leapfrog them and win the NFC East. 

All the Cowboys can do is to focus on what’s in front of them, and instead of scoreboard watching, they’ll need to focus on the task at hand, which is defeating the Redskins at home. They’re massive favorites in the game, according to Sports Betting Odds, and are currently laying 12 points. The Redskins are without both rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins and stud receiver Terry McLaurin, so it’ll be up to Case Keenum to lead the offense, along with a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson and Co as well. 

Dec 22, 2019; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For Dallas, all the talk has been about head coach Jason Garrett, and his job security. Team owner Jerry Jones decided not to renew Garrett’s contract heading into the team’s 2019 campaign, and it will expire at season’s end, unless a new deal is signed. Given what has taken place this season, that appears highly unlikely, even if the Cowboys do win on Sunday. It looks as if the Cowboys would need to get hot — with some help from the Giants — and make a run all the way to the NFC title game, if not the Super Bowl, for Garrett to return next year. That appears highly unlikely, and it will be interesting to see if that big of a distraction has an effect on the team’s play on Sunday. As for the Redskins, well, they have nothing to lose, and no pressure weighing them down.