This is the first two times Dallas will face Washington with its new moniker “Commanders”. Washington officially hasn’t had a team name for the past two seasons, going by “Washington Football Team” after dropping the Redskins name in 2020.
Last season, the Cowboys swept Washington, including a 56-14 victory at home, the most points they've scored since 1980.
At quarterback, the Commanders will start the newly-acquired Carson Wentz. Washington received Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts for a second-round pick and third-round pick. Last season, Wentz threw for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He returns to the NFC East, having gone 4-4 against Dallas with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016-20.
Wentz’s No. 1 receiver will be Terry McLaurin, who just signed a three-year, $71 million extension with the Commanders. A second-round pick in 2019, McLaurin has tallied 3,090 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in his NFL career.
At running back, third-year back Antonio Gibson starts. He rushed for 1,037 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
After losing guard Brandon Scherff to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason, the Commanders signed Andrew Norwell from Jacksonville in free agency. He’ll line up alongside fellow guard Wes Schweitzer, center Chase Roullier and tackles Charles Leno and Sam Cosmi.
The Commanders’ defensive line is stacked. At defensive tackle, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne form one of the best interior line duos in the league. The two combined for 66 tackles and 13.5 sacks in 2021, with Allen recording nine of those sacks.
At edge rusher, Chase Young and Montez Sweat form another great duo. The two combined for 28 tackles and 6.5 sacks last season. Sweat recorded five sacks in 2021.
Cole Holcomb and Jamin Davis start at linebacker for the Commanders, combining for 218 tackles last season. Kendall Fuller and William Jackson start at cornerback. Fuller recorded one interception and 16 passes defended last season, while Jackson had two interceptions with eight passes defended.
Kamren Curl returns at strong safety after recording five passes defended in 2021. Bobby McCain is expected to start at free safety after signing a two-year extension in the offseason, intercepting four passes in 2021.
Ron Rivera enters his third season as Commanders head coach, having gone 14-19 with an NFC East championship in 2020. Dallas’ Week 4 matchup takes place on Sept. 18 at noon CT on Fox, while the Week 18 matchup will be played on Jan. 8 at a TBD time.