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Laying the points against a banged-up Washington team

The Cowboys need a win in Week 17 to have a shot at the NFC East. Here’s a look at why they’ll cover the spread against Washington.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence sacks Washington quarterback Case Keenum during the second half at FedExField. Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys host Washington in a critical must-win game to close out the regular season. It will mean nothing if the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants, but if Big Blue upsets Philly, the Cowboys could win the NFC East with a victory.

Dallas is a 10.5-point favorite against Washington, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and the point total sits at 45.5. Dallas is -530 on the money line and Washington is +425. The Cowboys are 8-7 against the spread this season and have gone over the point total nine times. Washington is 6-9 ATS and has gone over the point total seven times.

Injury Report

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has missed two straight practices heading into Friday, marking the first such absence of his career. His shoulder is an issue, but it seems like he’ll gut out another start. Two other big concerns are defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Both were DNPs the first two days this week, and Lawrence in particular is a big concern with his shoulder injury. I suspect he plays through the final game, but it is something to watch.

Washington has nothing to play for and likely will be sitting some injured starters. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins suffered a high ankle sprain last week and was replaced by Case Keenum. Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin suffered a concussion and is unlikely to play this weekend. They could also be without cornerback Fabian Moreau, and safeties Montae Nicholson and Landon Collins. Also, they added Adrian Peterson to the report mid-week with a toe injury and cornerback Josh Norman with an illness.

Pick Against The Spread

That’s a sizable line and a lot to lay with an inconsistent Cowboys team, but Washington is in a world of hurt this week coming off a game in which the Giants dropped 41 on them. Dak’s shoulder injury is a concern, and if you decide to take the points, I wouldn’t blame you with that injury. But I think we see Zeke run wild against Washington and Dak get enough done against a beleaguered defense. And let’s not forget the choice matchup Case Keenum provides to the Cowboys defense. I think they win this by two touchdowns, but I like having the hook below 11 just in case.

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