Commanders will start rookie Sam Howell at quarterback vs. Cowboys

The Washington Commanders will start rookie quarterback Sam Howell on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys in the regular-season finale, head coach Ron Rivera announced on Wednesday.

Rivera’s announcement comes after Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that Taylor Heinicke would start and Howell would get some time. Rivera acknowledged he considering going with Heinicke but spoke to some in the organization who felt Howell was ready for the opportunity.

Rivera said he spoke to other coaches and came to the following conclusion about Howell:

“He’s going to get an opportunity to play,” Rivera said. “Why not just start from the beginning?”

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Heinicke will be Howell’s backup Sunday. Carson Wentz, who returned to the starting lineup and played miserably, will presumably be inactive for the season finale.

Howell, the rookie from North Carolina, showed promise in the preseason. Former Washington tight end Logan Paulsen said this week he didn’t believe Howell was ready.

The Cowboys are playing for a chance at the NFC East title and the potential No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. For that to happen, Dallas needs to beat the Commanders and for the Eagles and 49ers to lose.

This is a great evaluation opportunity for Howell against the Cowboys defense.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire