Dallas Cowboys: Inside the numbers for Week 18

Dec 4, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) score a receiving touchdown during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Inside the numbers for Week 18

While the Dallas Cowboys (12-4) still have something to play for, the Commanders (7-8-1) have been eliminated from playoff contention as the two meet in the season finale at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. The Cowboys are still in play for the NFC’s East Division crown as well as the top seed or second seed but will need a win over the Commanders and other help to reach any of these scenarios. At worst, Dallas will be the No. 5 seed and open the playoffs on the road at Tampa Bay on Wild Card weekend. Here is a look inside the numbers the Commanders will bring into Sunday’s regular-season finale.

4.8 – Running back Brian Robinson Jr. got a late start to the season after being shot in the leg on Aug. 28, just two weeks before the Washington season opener. But since making his debut, the Commanders rookie has racked up 797 yards on 205 carries in 12 games, all while splitting carries with Antonio Gibson. While that is just a 3.9 yards per carry average, Robinson has really stepped up his game over the last five contests. In those five games against the Browns, 49ers, Falcons, and Giants twice, he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry while rushing for 435 yards on 97 carries.

15.1 – Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin is having the best season of his four-year career this season. While putting up 1,117 yards this season, McLaurin is averaging just over 15 yards per catch, which is good enough for fourth best in the NFL for wide receivers with over 70 catches. He is only behind Jaylen Waddle (18.7), A.J. Brown (16.7), and Davante Adams (15.2) on that list. The Cowboys held McLaurin in check in the first meeting, giving up just two catches for 15 yards to Washington’s top receiver.

37 – Washington rookie quarterback Sam Howell will make his first NFL start when the Cowboys and Commanders kick off on Sunday afternoon. Howell, a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina, started three seasons and led the Tar Heels to a 20-17 record. In his nearly 40 games as a starter, Howell threw for 10,283 yards and 92 touchdowns while completing 63.8% of his passes. Howell also rushed for 1,009 yards on his 369 carries. Howell joins Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke as the only quarterbacks to take a snap for the Commanders this season.

126 – The Cowboys and Washington franchise will meet for the 126th time this Sunday, with Dallas holding a 76-47-2 record while outscoring Washington 2,934-2,442 in the previous 125 games. The Cowboys have won four straight, including a 25-10 victory in the first meeting between the two this season. In that win, the Cowboys got a 223-yard and two-touchdown performance from backup quarterback Cooper Rush. The two teams have met twice in the playoffs, the 1972 and 1983 NFC Championship games, with Washington winning both matchups.

154 – For a franchise that has been around since 1932, Joe Gibbs has the most wins as a head coach with 154 in 248 games. Current head coach Ron Rivera, who has been the head coach since 2020, has won just 21 of his 48 games as the head coach, but that still puts him ninth on the all-time wins list in franchise history, tied with Bill McPeak. Rivera trails Gibbs, George Allen (67), Ray Flaherty (54), Norv Turner (49), Jay Gruden (35), Joe Kuharich (26), Mike Shanahan (24), and Jack Pardee (24).

1,202 – The Commanders are a young team on defense, so this season’s leading tackler linebacker Jamin Davis (170 career tackles, 104 tackles this season) has a long way to go to catch franchise leader Darrell Green with his 1,162 solo and 40 assisted tackles. Green, who played 20 seasons for the franchise, also leads Washington with 54 career interceptions, including six that he returned for touchdowns. Davis, who had five tackles in the first meeting with Dallas this season, also has three sacks, five quarterback hits, and two fumble recoveries in 16 games this season.

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