Final score prediction for Commanders vs. Cowboys, Week 18

The Washington Commanders end the regular season on Sunday, hosting the Dallas Cowboys from FedEx Field. The game is expected to be the last for head coach Ron Rivera, as new owner Josh Harris expects to make widespread changes to the organization.

Rivera reflected on his four years in Washington throughout the week, discussing how he still believes the culture is much better than when he arrived. Heundefined also said he didn’t get to do a lot of coaching until recently.

On Monday, a new era begins for the Commanders.

So, what about the game? There isn’t a lot on the line for the Commanders other than the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft. That’s a pretty big deal. If the Patriots defeat the Jets on Sunday afternoon and the Cowboys take care of Washington as expected, the Commanders clinch the No. 2 pick.

The staff here at Commanders Wire make our final game picks for the 2023 NFL season.

Bryan Manning

It’s been a long and difficult season for the Commanders. However, unlike previous years, hope exists after such a disastrous season. Dan Snyder is gone. Josh Harris leads a new ownership group and is ready to make much-needed changes that will make Washington relevant again.

Do the Commanders have a chance to win this game? Nope. While I don’t know what happens between the Jets/Patriots or the other tiebreakers that could determine the No. 2 overall pick, I do believe Washington will do its part in securing that pick.

Cowboys 27, Commanders 13

Ivan Lambert

The Commanders are going to be without some big names Sunday against the Cowboys. The defense, already perhaps the worst in the NFL, will not have the services of Kendall Fuller or Jonathan Allen, both with knee injuries. Cornerbacks Tariq Castro-Fields (shoulder), Christian Holmes (concussion) and Percy Butler will also miss Sunday’s game.

The Commanders pass protection will miss tackle Charles Leno and center Tyler Larsen and the other tackle, Andrew Wylie, has been upgraded to questionable.

Unlike last season when Dallas was not going to be able to improve their playoff seeding position, this year the Cowboys can obtain the second overall NFC seed if they win. In addition, many of the Cowboys no doubt recall how the team was beaten soundly by Washington to close out the 2022 season when Sam Howell led the Commanders to a 26-6 victory.

There certainly hasn’t been any evidence to lead one to conclude that the Commanders offense will be able to accomplish much of anything against the quicker, more aggressive Cowboys defense.

Dallas 33, Washington 13

Sammy Mansfield

Many are comparing this week’s situation to last year’s season finale when Sam Howell upset the Cowboys in his first NFL start. However, Dallas was already locked into the 5 seed entering last year’s game, while today’s outcome has huge ramifications for the Cowboys and their Super Bowl hopes.

A victory for Dallas would secure them the division title and the 2 seed while a loss drops them to the 5 seed. So it’s hard to imagine the team won’t be laser-focused heading into FedEx to avoid another let down.

Weird things can happen in Week 18 with starters resting and player contract incentives on the line, but this one ends with a Cowboys W and the Commanders heading into a new era with the 2nd pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Cowboys 27, Commanders 17

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire