Jan 3, 2016, 7:44 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 3, the day the Washington Redskins play the Cowboys in Dallas.
Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Cowboys
DALLAS—Five final thoughts as the Redskins finish off their regular season against the Cowboys.
—One player who does not need rest is Alfred Morris. He needs to get out there and try to get into a rhythm. As you watch him during recent games it feels like he’s doing better but then you look at the stat sheet when it’s over and he’s averaging less than three years per carry in three of his last four games. I don’t think he will be back next year in any case but it would be good to see him get going and finish off strong.
—How much should Kirk Cousins play? How much should Cousins play if Trent Williams does not play? Two separate questions, of course. Asking the question like that does slight Ty Nsekhe, who actually has done a decent job when asked to fill in at both tackle spots. But they gave Williams a five-year $66 million contract because he’s much, much better than Nsekhe, who makes the minimum of $600,000.
—I saw Cousins in the lobby of the hotel last night. His game face was in playoff mode; he is here on a business trip. He is likely in the mindset that he will play the entire game even though he probably won’t. It was hard to get a read on him to see if individual passing yards record mean to him. He referred to it as a team accomplishment when I asked him this week. I think he’ll get the 120 yards he needs for the record and will sit out the second half.
—As noted earlier this week, injuries will make it tough for Jay Gruden to do anything but play his starters on defense; there just aren’t enough bodies to do otherwise, especially with both Quinton Dunbar and Dashon Goldson on the shelf for this game. We might see a lot of Preston Smith and Trent Murphy as the two outside linebackers with Ryan Kerrigan playing a limited role.
—The result of the game doesn’t have any impact on the standings but it’s important in a few ways. The Redskins don’t want to get swept by the Cowboys and they would rather go into the playoffs with a winning record for the season. Today they need to get off to a hot start like they did against the Giants, Bears, and Bills. If they get the Cowboys down 17-0 in the middle of the second quarter that will be it. If it’s a slog to the end, who knows what will happen.
—Today’s schedule: Redskins @ Cowboys 1 p.m. FOX
—Days until: Start of NFL playoffs 6
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