The Washington Commanders will play the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField to close out the 2023 season on Jan. 7, the NFL officially announced on New Year's Day. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. and will be televised on FOX.
The Commanders (4-12) have been eliminated from playoff contention for two weeks since their 28-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 17. After starting the season 2-0, both victories having dramatic finishes against the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos, they have won just two games in the past 14 weeks. Their 27-10 Week 17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers pushed them to seven consecutive defeats -- their longest streak since 2013.
Despite the season not unfolding the way they originally intended, the Commanders still have some things to play for. A win over a playoff team with a shot at winning the Super Bowl would create some hope for the future of the franchise. The same thing happened last season, when Sam Howell made his first career start and defeated the Cowboys 26-6 and ruined their NFC East rival's chances at better seeding in the postseason.
The Commanders can player spoiler to the Cowboys postseason aspirations once again. While the No. 1 seed in the conference is out of reach -- the 49ers locked that up with a win at FedExField plus an Arizona Cardinals upset over the Philadelphia Eagles -- the Cowboys could still win the NFC East. They currently have the No. 2 seed with an 11-5 record, but the Eagles, currently the No. 5 seed, are also 11-5 and plays the New York Giants at the same time at MetLife Stadium. The Cowboys have the tiebreaker, but they need to win to keep their position and win the division.
The Cowboys are undefeated at home this season and have not lost at AT&T Stadium since the 2022 season opener. So, locking up the NFC East and ensuring home field advantage until the NFC Championship game would slide the odds of a deep postseason run in their favor.
More than anything, though, Washington's players want to end the season on a good note, and that can still happen.
"We've got one game to finish this season off," said wideout Terry McLaurin, who is just 54 yards away from being the first player in franchise history to have four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. "You want to try to win this game. That's why you come in here. That's why you prepare each and every day. So that's my mentality to give it everything I've got. Try to see if we can get a win."
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