13 Commanders players to watch in Week 18 finale vs Cowboys

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Howell /
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The 2022 NFL season will come to a close on Sunday and the Washington Commanders will finish the season with some accomplishments and disappointments.  The season finale will present an opportunity for several players to prove what they can provide to the team in 2023.

The 2022 NFL season has gone by quickly and fans of the Washington Commanders were giddy with excitement a few weeks ago.  However, the same fans are staring at another year with no playoffs to enjoy.  In a season filled with highs and lows, the Commanders were a team of three contrasts – bad, good, bad – and while there are some encouraging things to build on, there are also several issues that need attention.

The final game of the season will offer several players a chance to show the coaching staff what they can bring to the football table in 2023.  Head coach Ron Rivera has stated that this game will give him and the front office the opportunity to evaluate several players and see how they can fit into the team’s plans going forward.

With that in mind, here are eleven players (categorized on offense and defense) with something to prove on Sunday and what they must do to impress the coaches.

13 Commanders players to watch vs Cowboys

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /


John Bates, Tight End

John Bates is a solid blocker from the tight end position, but he has regressed a bit as a receiver this season.  With fourteen receptions thus far for 2022,  Bates will need to increase his production in 2023.  His job security is safe for now, but he has a lot to prove and Sunday will give him a chance to step forward.

Dyami Brown, Wide Receiver

Dyami Brown flashed some potential in 2022, but 2023 will be a pivotal season for the former Tar Heel. His job is safe for 2023, but Sunday could allow Brown to seize some positive momentum going into the offseason.

Sam Cosmi, Offensive Tackle/Guard

Sam Cosmi will be entering his third season in 2023 and he was supposed to be firmly entrenched as the starter at right tackle.  At this juncture, Cosmi needs to prove that he can be a starter at tackle or right guard in 2023 and beyond.  Sunday’s game can help him to take charge and prove the doubters wrong.

Sam Howell, Quarterback

Sam Howell will be on the roster this coming season, but Sunday’s game will allow him to gain some valuable experience.  Can this game be his moment to make a claim to be the starter in 2023?

Dax Milne, Wide Receiver and Special Teams

Dax Milne has little impact as a receiver and it is a bonus when he contributes, but his value comes as a punt returner.  Analysts and fans are not impressed with his return skills.  His job could be in jeopardy, but Sunday’s game could be this first step in righting the ship.

Chris Paul, Offensive Guard

Chris Paul hasn’t played in 2022, but Sunday will provide the former Tulsa standout with a golden opportunity to show the coaches that he can succeed at this level.

Cole Turner, Tight End

Cole Turner’s first season in Washington was an injured-plagued nightmare for the rookie out of Nevada.  Sunday is a chance to start the process of making the most of his chances in 2023.