Cowboys vs. Washington Free NFL Picks for Week 14

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Quarterback Taylor Heinicke #4 of the Washington Football Team. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Don’t look now, but the Dallas Cowboys may not have the NFC East wrapped up just yet. After starting 6-1, Dallas has lost three of the last five, leaving the door open for Washington, who has won four straight. The Boys still have a two-game lead with five to play, but two of those final five games are a home-and-home with the Washington Football Team, starting this Sunday at FedEx Field. Let’s see the NFL odds.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team

Sunday, December 12, 2021- 1:00 PM EST at FedEx Field

Don’t look now, but the Dallas Cowboys may not have the NFC East wrapped up just yet. A month ago, it looked like the Boys would be cruising to a title. Dallas started the season 6-1, while Washington was 2-6 and died in the water.

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Since then, the Washington Football Team hasn’t lost, winning four straight to pull into the sixth seed in the NFC Playoff field. Dallas, meanwhile, has seen Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and even coach Mike McCarthy miss time due to injuries and/or COVID. The Cowboys have gone just 2-3 over that span and left the door wide open for the hard-charging WFT.

Dallas still has a two-game lead with five to play, but Washington can erase that with no help. Due to a quirk in the schedule, 12 games into the season, Dallas and Washington have combined for just three NFC East divisional games. They still have a total of nine to play, including both games of the home-and-home against each other. That starts this Sunday, at FedEx Field.

Getting Guys Back

The Cowboys got things back on track last Thursday, beating the Saints. The win snapped a skid of three losses in four games and gave Dallas a few extra days to rest up before the Washington game kicked off a stretch of four divisional games in the last five.

Dallas intercepted Saints quarterback Taysom Hill four times, as the defense continues to produce big plays. The Cowboys have the second-best interception rate in the league, and the D is getting help this week. Defensive end Randy Gregory and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore are both expected to return from injured reserve this week.

In a radio appearance, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said: “barring a surprise” they’d both participate in full practices this week and be ready to play Sunday. They’ll join end DeMarcus Lawrence, who returned for the Saints game after missing 10 weeks with a broken bone in his foot.

The prognosis is also good for coach Mike McCarthy, who missed the Saints game due to COVID protocols. His required 10-day quarantine ends Thursday, and Jones said he expects the coach to be back on the sideline for the game.

Hottest Team in Football?

Washington’s rise has come thanks in large part to a massive improvement on defense. After giving up 30 or more points in four of the first six games, Washington has not allowed a team to hit that mark since. The Football Team came out of its bye week and knocked off Super Bowl champion Tampa, followed by wins over Carolina, Seattle, and the Raiders. All four games have had a margin of one score or less, but Washington is doing what it takes to get the W.

The defense’s rebirth is surprising, considering Washington has done it without Chase Young, out for the year, and Montez Sweat, who has missed the last month. The pass rusher may be back this Sunday after missing four games with a broken jaw. “We're waiting on the OK,” said coach Ron Rivera. “Once we get the OK, he should be out there (practicing) on Wednesday.”

Safety/linebacker Landon Collins may also return after missing the last game with a foot injury, although he doesn’t sound quite as likely as Sweat. Rivera said he has his “fingers crossed” that Collins would be ready to practice on Wednesday. Washington is also stepping up on offense. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke is managing the game and a run-first offensive attack. Washington is ninth in the NFL with 124.4 yards per game and fifth in the league in time of possession.

The team is controlling the clock and the pace of the game and putting teams in a hole early. After scoring one first-quarter touchdown in the first eight games, Washington has scored first in three of the last four. Take this into consideration next time you see our NFL picks.

The Pick

This will be the biggest game of the season for Washington, and it will be at home against a hated rival. The WFT may not catch Dallas in the standings, but the gap will continue to close this week as a red hot and improving Washington team gets the upset as a home dog.

NFL Pick: Washington +4 (-117) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Washington +4 (-117)
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