Last updated: December 27th at 9:30am ET
Team Totals: Cowboys 27.5, Redskins 16.5
Back under center following Dwayne Haskins’ high ankle sprain, Case Keenum gets a chance to play spoiler at Jerryworld, where the Cowboys must beat the Skins and must have the Eagles lose at the Giants to regain control of the NFC East. Keenum appears unlikely to have difference-maker Terry McLaurin (concussion) on hand, which should force more onto Steven Sims, Kelvin Harmon, and Chris Thompson’s Week 17 plates. Sims runs 81% of his routes in the slot, where fellow interior-oriented WRs Cole Beasley (6/110/1), Julian Edelman (8/93/0), Jakobi Meyers (4/74/0), Greg Ward (4/71/0), Cooper Kupp (6/41/1), and Anthony Miller (3/42/1) gave Dallas fits over the last five weeks. Harmon will stand in as Washington’s primary perimeter wideout in McLaurin’s absence. Thompson hasn’t hit pay dirt once all season, but the Cowboys permit the NFL’s fourth-most receptions per game to running backs (6.1).
One Redskin we know needs no outside motivation is Adrian Peterson, who’s logged between 16 and 25 touches in each of the last seven games missed outright or exited early by Derrius Guice (knee, I.R.). His matchup also favorable, Peterson draws a Dallas defense that yielded 100-plus rushing yards in four of the last five weeks and has underachieved enough to believe the Cowboys could let even the lowly Skins make a game of this one, allowing run-committed Bill Callahan to feed Peterson in competitive script.
The Cowboys still fighting for their playoff lives as their quarterback fights through multiple throwing-arm injuries, Washington-Dallas sets up as a firmly straightforward Ezekiel Elliott game after the Skins were stampeded for a combined 70/495/3 (7.07 YPC) rushing line by enemy backs over the past three weeks. A healthy Dak Prescott would normally be set up to smash in a spot like this, but Dak’s damaged right shoulder and throwing hand provide reason to tread lightly with Dallas’ Week 17 passing game. Prescot, Michael Gallup, and Amari Cooper are best approached as contrarian DFS-tournament plays.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 24, Redskins 14