4 Commanders who will be playing for their future jobs in Week 18

Things could go either way for these Commanders players...

Phidarian Mathis
Phidarian Mathis / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Sam Howell - Commanders QB

After some deliberation, Ron Rivera decided to see things through with Sam Howell as his starting quarterback for their regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. This is the right call.

It's been an up-and-down campaign for Howell. There have been tremendous highs. There have been the lowest of lows. But he's kept working hard and deserves the chance to showcase his talent versus one of the league's most opportunist defenses.

Howell is the first Washington Commanders quarterback to play a full slate of games since Kirk Cousins in 2017. That's a remarkable statistic - one that highlights the complete dysfunction overseen by Rivera where the most crucial position on the football field is concerned.

Asking Howell to muster one last big effort against the Dallas Cowboys is challenging. He's taken significant punishment behind a woeful offensive line. There are clear confidence issues. In hindsight, Eric Bieniemy asked him to do too much schematically given his lack of NFL experience.

With the Commanders in prime position to select a potential franchise-caliber quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft, Howell's prospects of getting another year under center don't look especially promising. However, a good performance in the face of a team fighting to secure the NFC East might see a few admiring glances come his way from elsewhere this offseason.

If not, then the Commanders have a cheap, dependable backup capable of stepping in at a moment's notice.

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