When the Cowboys (10-4) host the Washington Football Team (6-8) on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) in the penultimate game of NFL Week 16, they will be looking to wrap up their first NFC East title in three seasons.
Dallas clinched a return to the playoffs in Week 16 and made sure Washington can no longer win the division, as the lead increased to four games with only three games left. Although the Cowboys aren’t lighting it up on offense, they keep rolling with defense and special teams. Washington has faded hard from potential wild-card team to also-ran with no repeat in the East.
Washington will hope Taylor Heinicke provides a spark starting at quarterback again. Dallas will hope Dak Prescott uses the favorable defensive spot to get well.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Cowboys vs. Washington in Week 16, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team odds for Sunday Night Football
- Spread: Cowboys by 10
- Over/under: 47
- Moneyline: Washington +370, Cowboys -480
The Cowboys have been strong double-digit favorites since the initial lines. When the teams last met a couple weeks ago, the Cowboys were a little more than field-goal favorites. The number reflects the current state of each team.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team all-time series
The Cowboys still hold a strong 74-47-2 in the teams’ history. They won 27-0 in Week 14 at Washington after WFT swept the two-game series last season. Before then Dallas had won three straight and seven of eight.
Three trends to know
—75 percent of spread bettors think the number is too big in favor of the Cowboys in the rematch and like Washington to keep things closer in a division game, despite the very short week.
—57 percent of over/under bettors think the number is too low given there are some explosive offensive elements on both sides.
—Washington is 4-5-1 against the spread in the past 10 games while going 4-6 straight up. The total has gone over only three times in those games. The Cowboys are both 7-3 ATS and 7-3 SU in the past 10 games, also with only three going over.
Three things to watch
Prescott and his confidence
The Cowboys have been satisfied grinding games away with a lead, instead of forcing things in the downfield passing game with Prescott. He’s been a little off coming back from the ankle and shoulder injuries. Short-to-intermediate is still working better than hitting on big plays as a result. Dak could use a clean game with no sacks and giveaways to give the Cowboys a chance to dominate.
Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs
The Cowboys’ Pro Bowl defensive youngsters have been amazing in 2021 breakout seasons. Parsons is moving around everywhere and making big plays, getting to the quarterback from all angles. Diggs is racking up the interceptions on the back end playing off the pressure. They will be a handful for Heinicke after a week off.
The running games
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard have had limited results for Dallas of late, partly because of wear and injuries. The Cowboys were a little more effective against the Giants in Week 15. They need to get rolling there to help their chances in the playoffs.
Washington has lead back Antonio Gibson (toe) hurting and rookie Jaret Patterson might need a bigger role. Washington is an above-average rushing team and would benefit offensively and defensively by committing to whoever’s in the backfield.
Stat that matters
31.8 percent. That’s how often opponents convert on third down against the Cowboys’ defense, worst in the NFL. Washington is No. 17 offensively in that area, converting at 39.3 percent. Dallas is good at winning early downs against the run and setting itself up in favorable medium-to-long down-and-distance. The Cowboys have been on point in the front seven with Dan Quinn all season and also are cleaning up well in the secondary and elsewhere to close the door in critical situations.
Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team prediction
The Cowboys are laser-focused on winning the NFC East and building momentum into the playoffs so they can win more when they get there. Washington is wiling everywhere and already has overachieved. Prescott delivers an efficient game and the defense won’t let up and give WFT any feeling of a potential upset.
Cowboys 33, Washington 14