Washington Commanders vs Dallas Cowboys Matchup Preview - October 2nd, 2022


The Washington Commanders come in as 3.0 point road underdog as they travel to AT&T Stadium to play the Dallas Cowboys. It was quite the blowout the last time these two teams played. The Cowboys won by double digits at home, outscoring the Commanders 56-14 in Week 16 of 2021. They say, good teams win, but great teams cover. The Cowboys not only won, but covered the -10.0 spread that game. The Game Total for that game was 46.0 and which the Over hit.

Dallas's primary advantage has been their offense, which ranks #4 in the NFL at 410 yards per game. The quality of their passing attack has led to much of their success. The Cowboys 300 yards per game through the air ranks #6-best in football this year. It's easy to see why they've done so well through the air when you notice the quality of their offensive line, which ranks #1 in the league in pass protection. It should also be said that opposing defenses have stacked the box a massive 13.3% of the time against the Cowboys in an attempt to keep their run game under control. Of course, this means fewer defenders back in coverage, which has opener up opportunities through the air for Dallas. When it comes to their defense, the Cowboys check in at #17 in football when it comes to total yards allowed per game. Opposing air attacks have notched 235 yards per game against Dallas this year (#15 in football). Opposing ball-carriers have ranked #17 against them with 4.54 yards per ground attempt. This Cowboys defense hits their peak effectiveness when it comes to defending opposing wide receivers, allowing them to complete just 58.1% of their passes (#1-lowest in the league). Dallas's defensive effectiveness bottoms out when it comes to defending opposing wide receivers, who have scorched them for 159 yards per game (#8-worst in the league).

Washington's biggest weakness has been their defense, ranking #25 in the league while allowing 375 yards per game. Much of their struggle has come in trying to lock down the pass game, as they've allowed opposing QBs pass for the #2-most yards per game: 265. The Commanders have been at their worst when it comes to shutting down opposing wide receivers, allowing them to rack up 178 yards per game (#2-worst). Washington's worst position group in coverage has been their linebackers, which rank just #31 in the league in locking down route-runners. Washington's pass rush has been weak this year, being weighed down by their defensive ends, which check in as just the #29-best unit in terms of getting to the passer. This represents a particular disadvantage for Washington given that the Cowboys have excelled in the pass game this year, accumulating 7.56 yards per target (#8-best in the league). In terms of their offense, the Commanders have ranked #25 in the league in total yards per game. They've passed for 223 yards per game (#23 in football). On the ground they've ranked #25 with 3.92 yards per carry.

Washington Commanders Insights

  • This game will be played in a dome—which means zero wind, increased pass volume, increased TD potential, and better passing efficiency.

  • Terry McLaurin has posted a monstrous 102.0 air yards per game since the start of last season: 96th percentile among wide receivers.

  • The Washington Commanders have incorporated play action on 34.1% of their passing plays since the start of last season (most in football), making the defense think run and leading to much higher passing efficiency.

Dallas Cowboys Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects Cooper Rush to be a more integral piece of his team's rushing attack this week (8.0% projected Carry Share) than he has been this year (0.0% in games he has played).

  • The Dallas Cowboys linebackers rank as the best unit in the NFL since the start of last season when it comes to rushing the passer.

  • The Sharp Model projects Ezekiel Elliott to rush for 0.50 TDs in this contest, on average, putting him in the 86th percentile among RBs.

Betting Trends

  • The Dallas Cowboys have covered the 1H Spread in 7 of their last 10 games (+3.50 Units / 30% ROI)

  • The Washington Commanders have hit the 1H Game Total Under in 9 of their last 15 games (+3.60 Units / 21% ROI)

  • James Washington has hit the Receptions Under in his last 5 games (+5.00 Units / 58% ROI)