NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 14 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 27, Washington Football Team 20

Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) reacts after a sack against the Washington Football Team during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys held off a comeback attempt from Taylor Heinicke (and Kyle Allen) and the Washington Football Team, winning the divisional matchup, 27-20.


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Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback

It was far from Prescott’s best game, as he tossed two turnover-worthy throws, both of which resulted in interceptions, and completed just 56.4% of his passes. He did deal with three drops, but the Mississippi State product had just a 6.8-yard average depth of target figure and averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt. Only 35.9% of Prescott’s throws went past the first-down marker.

Running Back

Tony Pollard missed Sunday with a foot injury, meaning it should’ve been the Ezekiel Elliott show. Wrong. Corey Clement led the backfield with 13 attempts compared to Elliott’s 12. Neither was particularly efficient — both averaged under four yards per carry — but Clement did register two forced missed tackles and one explosive run.

Player RUSH R ATT RUN YDS YCO 1D RUSH MTF RUN
Ezekiel Elliott 58.1 12 45 27 2 1
Corey Clement 63 13 44 33 2 2

Zeke did significantly out-snap Clement in the passing game (31 to 10), but he hauled in just one of his six targets for 15 yards. 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Despite ranking fourth on the team in receiving snaps (37), CeeDee Lamb paced Dallas in targets (10), receptions (seven) and yards (61). The second-year player gained 40 of his yards after the catch and forced two missed tackles. Amari Cooper led the receiving unit in snaps (44) and hauled in five receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Offensive Line

It was a strong day for the Cowboys' offensive line, specifically in pass protection. The unit allowed just one sack and seven total pressures against the Football Team defense. Tyron Smith gave up the lone sack, but he led the unit with an 87.9 pass-block grade on first review. The unit struggled in run blocking, however: Zack Martin was its highest-graded run-blocker with just a 65.5 mark.

Defensive Line

Randy Gregory had himself a day. Fresh off a four-game absence from a calf injury, he registered a 25.0% win rate on 20 pass-rush snaps and made two of the biggest plays of the day for the Dallas defense. He tipped an interception to himself in the first quarter and had a strip-sack fumble in the fourth quarter. 

Linebackers

The Micah Parsons Defensive Rookie of the Year train rolls on. The Penn State rookie finished with an 89.9 pass-rush grade on first review, tallying two sacks on 17 pass-rush snaps. He was rock-solid in pass coverage, as well, not allowing a reception on two targets.

Secondary

Trevon Diggs, the other rookie phenom in Dallas, allowed 50 yards and a touchdown on 42 coverage snaps, but 43 of those yards came on a long touchdown from Heinicke to Cam Sims, who made an impressive catch in the endzone over Diggs. The Alabama product finished with a 76.9 coverage grade after being targeted five times.

Washington Football Team

Quarterback

Bad Heinicke showed up in Landover, Maryland, in Week 14. The Washington quarterback finished the afternoon with a 41.5 passing grade on first review after completing just 11 passes for 122 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He threw for five first downs and made two turnover-worthy plays. Heinicke was also sacked four times and averaged just 4.9 yards per attempt. He did miss most of the fourth quarter due to injury, allowing Kyle Allen to register 11 dropbacks. Allen recorded a pending 55.8 grade, completing 44.4% of his passes for 53 yards, featuring one big-time throw and one turnover-worthy throw.

Running Back

Antonio Gibson had an inefficient day, carrying the ball 10 times for 36 yards. He tallied 22 yards after contact and picked up two first downs on the ground. He boasted just one explosive run and one forced missed tackle. Meanwhile, Jonathan Williams and Jaret Patterson each had four carries. Patterson ripped off an explosive run, finishing with 29 yards, while Williams vultured a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Washington's top receiver, Terry McLaurin, left the contest in the fourth quarter with a concussion, but he didn’t make much of an impact before his exit. The former Ohio State wideout was held without a catch on just four targets. Sims led the unit in yards thanks to the long touchdown, but it was Adam Humphries who led the way in snaps (32). Humphries finished four receptions for 34 yards on a team-leading seven targets.

Player REC REC SNP TGT REC REC YDS YAC
DeAndre Carter 47.5 22 5 2 12 11
Adam Humphries 58.1 32 7 4 34 15
Curtis Samuel 54.7 7 1 0 0 0
Cam Sims 69 26 4 3 69 4
Terry McLaurin 52.7 21 4 0 0 0
Dyami Brown 53.8 12 1 0 0 0
Offensive Line

The Washington offensive line gave up three sacks and 14 total pressures on the day. Tackles Cornelius Lucas and Charles Leno Jr. allowed a sack and four pressures apiece on 42 and 40 pass-blocking snaps, respectively.

Defensive Line

It was an average day for the Football Team defensive line, which tallied nine total pressures and two sacks on Prescott. Daron Payne led the unit with a pending 63.8 pass-rush grade on 40 pass-rush snaps, totaling three pressures — including one sack.

Linebackers

Cole Holcomb dominated the linebacker snaps (78), while the next closest defender — Jamin Davis played just 37 snaps. Holcomb put up a good performance in run defense, registering two solo tackles, three assists and a defensive stop en route to a 77.1 run-defense grade on first review. He struggled a bit in pass coverage, allowing four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown on seven targets.

Secondary

Kendall Fuller had a dominant performance in coverage, co-leading the secondary in snaps (46) with William Jackson III. Fuller allowed four receptions for just 15 yards on nine targets in primary coverage. He forced two incompletions and dropped an interception on his way to a 90.3 coverage grade.

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