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Cowboys Fans Fear Another NFL Playoffs Failure as Eagles Lock Up NFC's Top Seed

Doric SamJanuary 9, 2023

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JANUARY 08: Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the first half of the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on January 08, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys were believed to be a team poised to make a deep run in the playoffs this year, but Sunday's performance against the Washington Commanders in the regular-season finale did not inspire much confidence as the postseason looms.

The Cowboys limped to a disappointing 26-6 loss to the Commanders at FedEx Field to finish the season with a 12-5 record. Dallas would've needed a win and a loss by the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title, but the Eagles outlasted the New York Giants 22-16.

Dallas was facing a Commanders team that was already eliminated from playoff contention and played mostly backups, including rookie quarterback Sam Howell. In his first career NFL start, Howell didn't have much trouble dealing with the Cowboys defense and did enough to power Washington (8-8-1) to victory. The 22-year-old threw for 169 yards, a touchdown and an interception while also adding a rushing score.

The effort by the Cowboys offense was even more alarming, as the starters played until late in the fourth quarter and failed to produce. Dak Prescott was pulled with just over five minutes left in the game and finished with 128 yards, a touchdown and an interception that was returned for a Commanders score. He completed just 14 of his 37 passes, and Dallas had nine three-and-outs while he was under center.

Sunday's showing rightfully has Cowboys fans concerned, with many on social media wondering if another playoff collapse is on the horizon:

Scott Abraham @Scott7news

I'm just stunned at how poorly the Dallas Cowboys are playing today.<br><br>They play like this next week against the Bucs...they will be going home early from the playoffs again.

ᑎIᑕK ᗩᔕᕼOOᕼ 🤧 @NickAshooh

The Cowboys look like a team that's about to lose to Tampa in the playoffs

Camo🔮🧬 @_OfficialCamo

Dallas cowboys might be the worst team in playoffs NGL

Anthony Tilghman @AnthonyTilghman

If the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> play like this in playoffs they going home early

Alessandro Miglio @AlexMiglio

Cowboys are playing like the playoffs already started.

Allan Bell @AllanBell247

Cowboys in no-mans land now. Either sit the starters pregame or play the starters but approach it seriously. <br><br>Now you've half-assed it both ways and not really what you wanna do heading into the playoffs. <br><br>Someone has to wake up over there.

University of Auburn Alan @SarcasmAndMore

Cowboys really sucking against the crappy Commanders. <br><br>Dak appears to be ready for another playoff choke job.

Sweeney Tim @AveryEaston1

<a href="https://twitter.com/dak?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dak</a> showing everyone why the Cowboys will not make a deep playoff run.

Jay Croucher @croucherJD

Swap in Sam Howell for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys might actually do something in the playoffs.

Wise Capper @WiseCapper

This Cowboys team is going to get bounced from the playoffs so fast and I can't wait

Max Crawford @KBTXMax

Cowboys looking FANTASTIC just in time for their usual first round playoff exit 🫠 <a href="https://t.co/MoGgzNkckU">pic.twitter.com/MoGgzNkckU</a>

Yaya Dubin @JADubin5

If you're worried about the Cowboys in the playoffs because of this game, that's pretty stupid. You should have been worried they were going to lose already. TB &gt; DAL in Round 1 has been obviously coming since like Week 8.

Entering Sunday, the Cowboys ranked second in the NFL with 28.8 points per game. This is the first time the team has been under 10 points since its Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will host Dallas in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs.

The Cowboys offense has looked unstoppable at times, but Sunday's performance surely raises questions. It will need to put forth a better effort if it hopes to avoid another early postseason exit.