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Former North Carolina quarterback and now Washington Commander Sam Howell connected with receiver Terry McLaurin from 17 yards out to record a touchdown on his first NFL pass on Sunday.

The Commanders would retain the lead for the remaining 56 minutes of action en route to a 26-6 domination of the Dallas Cowboys.

Howell, who had been either inactive or served as the backup for the season's first 16 games, was given the keys to the offense after Washington had been eliminated from playoff contention.

With nothing to play for in the standings and everything to prove to the coaching staff, the rookie signal caller impressed in his NFL debut, recording 194 total yards and two touchdowns,

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Howell showcased his dual-threat ability under center, connecting on 11 of his 19 passing attempts for 169 yards and a score, while rushing for 35 yards and a touchdown.

Although he was the beneficiary of special teams play that set up short field drives, kicker Joey Slye's two field goal misses and one blunder on an extra point prevented the Commanders from becoming just the third team this season to score 30 or more points against Dallas.

A fifth-round pick in this year's NFL Draft, Howell joined a quarterback room that included the likes of Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke, two established veterans.

As both Wentz and Heinicke now face free agency, there is a potential path for Howell to serve as QB1 in Washington in 2023.

Will the Commanders designate Howell as their quarterback of the future or will they use free agency to bring in their signal caller?