The Washington Commanders beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-6 in what was arguably Big D’s most embarrassing loss of the season.
The Cowboys needed to win, and for the Philadelphia Eagles to lose for Dallas to win the NFC East. Philadelphia pulled out a win vs. the New York Giants to clinch the division title, so even if the Cowboys won, they would still enter the playoffs as the fifth seed.
But one thing Dallas did stand to gain from a win was cleaning up the sloppy play fans have been subjected to in recent weeks, and that didn’t happen.
The defense played well, allowing just over 300 yards of offense to the Commanders. Dallas also recorded three sacks and an interception in the game.
Plus, allowing only 26 points was actually impressive considering the Cowboys turned the ball over three times, and one of which was a pick-six.
Here are the three most embarrassing components from the Week 18 loss:
The Commanders had nothing to play for
As we mentioned, the Cowboys could’ve won the NFC East with a win and an Eagles loss. But the Commanders were eliminated from playoff contention and had nothing to gain from a victory.
So Commander’s rookie QB Sam Howell made his NFL debut. Washington’s RB1 was Jaret Patterson, who also made his season debut on Sunday. DT Jonathan Allen, who is third on the Commanders with 7.5 sacks, was also benched along with other defensive starters.
This didn’t stop Washington from dominating the Cowboys. The Commanders had it going on the ground, with six rushers combining for 151 yards.
On defense, Washington only allowed 182 yards of offense. This was by far Dallas’ worst offensive output of the season, with the second-lowest total coming in at 239 yards in Week 5 vs. the Los Angeles Rams.
The last time the Cowboys failed to gain 200 yards in a game was in 2020.
The Cowboys offense failed in every way
The Cowboys offense struggled from start to finish in this game. Dallas’ second 1st down of the game came at the two minute warning in the first half.
The offense also went three-and-out on 10 drives. So it should come as no surprise that Washington dominated the time of possession battle, 36:12 to 23:48.
Dak Prescott completed just 37% of his passes, the lowest total in his career.
Dak also threw for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception that was returned for a score. Prescott missed five games this season, but still managed to lead the NFL with 15 interceptions.
But it’s not all on Dak. Dallas combined for 64 yards on 27 attempts, which comes out to 2.4 yards per carry.
Even special teams struggled
The Cowboys special teams unit has been solid this season, but not against the Commanders.
Dallas tried punting on its opening drive, but P Bryan Anger mishandled the snap and was tackled for a loss of downs on the Cowboys 19 yard line. Two plays later, Howell found Terry McLaurin for a touchdown.
Later in the first quarter, Washington punted away but PR KaVontae Turpin muffed the catch and the Commanders jumped on the loose ball on Dallas’ 15 yard line. Luckily, the Cowboys were bailed out by a missed FG attempt from Joey Slye, so no points were given up from Turpins’ mistake.
Even Brett Maher had a miscue. Maher missed the extra point on Dallas’ only touchdown of the game. That was Maher’s third XP miss of the season, knocking his hit rate down to 94% this season.
The Cowboys have a lot of work to do this week before a Wild Card matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Monday night.