Redskins at Cowboys: How to Watch the Biggest Meaningless Game of the 2017 NFL Season on TV and Live Stream

The Washington Redskins travel to Dallas on Thursday night to play the Cowboys in the latest instalment of probably the NFL's most bitter and storied rivalry, accusations of hyperbole mulled over and quite possibly accepted.

Millions will watch because, well, it's football, on a Thursday night that often produces terrible football but that still gets ratings—because no matter how bad the NFL gets as an on-field product, it has that McDonald's thing where people just don't seem to care. Or not in big enough numbers to deny Roger Goodell a contract extension, anyway. They will watch because the Cowboys are like a magnet that picks up schadenfreude instead of iron filings, and the Redskins aren't significantly less morbidly interesting.

They shouldn't watch. The Redskins at the Cowboys still matters tremendously to fans of both teams, of course, in the context of two games per season. But in terms of the NFL in 2017, this matchup could hardly matter less for all the good, interesting stuff to come in January. Neither team is terrible, exactly. Until the 'Boys lost Ezekiel Elliott to his much-delayed suspension, they looked good for a Wild Card in the NFC. The Redskins have actually done okay with a nasty schedule—the seventh-hardest in the NFL this season. They have a franchise quarterback still making plays even though he's been sacked 31 times through 11 games, according to The Washington Post. They've beaten all of the teams they should have beaten and lost to everyone stronger than them, including a Cowboys team that was still pounding the rock via Elliott in Week 8. They even own a couple of really impressive wins over the Rams and the Seahawks.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys face cross-state rivals the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football tonight. You can watch games via live stream with options for a free trial to see online for free. Tom Pennington/Getty

But they're still the definition of mediocrity, as are the Cowboys without Elliott and Sean Lee and with Dak Prescott throwing picks and looking more like a rookie quarterback than he did in his rookie season. The Cowboys and Redskins, with significant help from the Giants, are doing their best to make the NFC East the worst division in football in 2017. Only the magnificent Eagles, with M.V.P. candidate Carson Wentz at the controls, lift it above the weird AFC West. And at least that division still has three potential winners. And sure, these things are cyclical, but look at the NFC South. That division is currently filling three of four Wild Card spots.

The Cowboys and Redskins don't suck but they are drifting towards the end of the season and for two such storied franchises and such a major rivalry, that's kind of sad. The Eagles are going to win the NFC East. The Cowboys and Redskins aren't going to the playoffs. If you want to watch it, the game is on NBC from 8.25 p.m. E.T. and it's streamable via But be prepared for a strangely hollow experience.