Serious momentum was on the Washington Football Team side going into Sunday. A four-game winning streak and a prime spot NFC playoff picture had the Burgundy and Gold thinking even grander.
Perhaps Ron Rivera’s team could catch the Dallas Cowboys and win the NFC East.
That dream basically died on the FedExField turf after the latest meeting between the longtime rivals.
The Cowboys widened their division lead to three games with four games to go with the 27-20 win. Dallas improved to 9-4, with Washington dropping to 6-7.
The Football Team would have climbed within a game of Dallas with a win. Instead, the loss served a two-game swing in favor of the Cowboys. The two teams meet again Dec. 26 at AT&T Stadium and, depending on what happens next week, the outcome may not even matter in terms of the division race.
Should the Cowboys win at the New York Giants next week and WFT loses at the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFC East title would belong to Dallas for the first time since 2018.
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The Football Team won the division last season.
If Washington stays alive past next week, the Cowboys could close the door on the division at home. The importance of clinching the division means at least a home game in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Washington is still in the thick of Wild Card race despite having its winning streak snapped. With only division games left – two against the Eagles, and the Cowboys and Giants – the path is there for a strong finish and at least a playoff berth.
Dallas still has hopes of claiming the top seed in the NFC. The Arizona Cardinals (10-2) are currently in that spot, but have a tough matchup against NFC West foe Los Angeles Rams (8-4) on Monday night.
Bet all Cowboys’ eyes will be glued to that prime-time affair. The Cowboys also play host to Arizona on Jan. 2, so the outcome Monday night has a potentially huge impact for Dallas’ conference standing.
The Cowboys’ victory Sunday wasn’t as close as the final score indicated, but Washington put a serious scare into the visitors with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the ball back down a touchdown.
While Dallas sealed the win with a fumble recovery late, perhaps the late rally is something WFT can build on before coming to Texas. Then again, it may not matter by then.