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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Cowboys

Sep 18, 2016, 6:00 AM EDT

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Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 18, the day the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, noon, CSN; Redskins vs. Cowboys 1 p.m., FOX

Days until: Browns @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Ravens 21; Eagles @ Redskins 28

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Cowboys

—You’ve heard that the Cowboys have gone 1-14 in their last 15 games without Tony Romo at quarterback. And you probably know that the one win came at the expense of the Redskins at FedEx Field on Monday night in Week 13. If you’ve been around a while you probably remember that the “1” in the 1-15 record the Cowboys had in 1989 came at RFK Stadium at the expense of the Redskins. That one still leaves a scar as the loss cost the Redskins a playoff spot. Washington does not want to be the victim of a second Romo-less win for Dallas.

—In that game last December, Dallas won despite compiling only 73 yards rushing. On the 2015 season the Cowboys weren’t as good running the ball as they were when they went 12-4 the previous season but they were still ninth in yards gained and fifth in yards per carry. Looking back, the Cowboys haven’t rushed for more than 125 yards against Washington since Week 6 of the 2013 season, their first meeting that year. The Redskins, of course, have not had one of the stouter rushing defenses in the league the last few years. I’m skeptical of the notion that Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris will run all over the Redskins.

—I probably haven’t been as hard on Kirk Cousins as I should have been this week. That’s because the Steelers racked up 38 points. They had six scoring drives and all but the last one started in Pittsburgh territory. I’m not sure how much difference Cousins would have made even if he was on his game. But clearly he needs to play better for the Redskins to win. Cousins doesn’t get the new starter mulligan this year; he needs to get rolling.

—Look for Cullen Jenkins to play and possibly play a lot. With Kendall Reyes out and Anthony Lanier still green they are going to have to get some snaps out of the other five linemen. Jenkins played 18 snaps against the Bucs in the fourth preseason game. Look for him to play more than that, maybe 10 or 15 more, today. On the other side of the ball we should see Josh Doctson getting an increase on the 12 snaps he played last week but maybe not a big one.

—Although you can’t like it anytime a wounded Cowboys team comes to town, I think the Redskins will take this one. I don’t see them winning by a big margin but they should be in control of Dak Prescott, enough so even if Dallas gets something going on the ground the Redskins will be fine. Cousins won’t get rolling like he did in the last 10 games of last year but he will be better than he was last Monday and good enough to pull out the win.

Redskins 28, Cowboys 20

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  1. redskins12thman - Sep 18, 2016 at 6:54 AM

    I hope you are right on a Redskins win; I believe they can and will win too, but I will be really upset if this does not occur. As shared earlier, the Redskins cannot allow Elliott, Morris or Prescott to run on them; they must force the Cowboys to move down the field via the pass; I expect the Cowboys to heavily use Beasley and Witten so Phillips and potentially Cravens, if he is not seriously hurt, will be key. If Cravens can’t go, who will mark Witten? Look for the Cowboys to pass to RBs and run WR screens too. I expect Prescott to play really well, but hopefully he makes a few rookie mistakes along the way.

    We need Cravens healthy for the year; I don’t want this hip flexor to derail him. I hope Baker’s injury is not so serious that it impacts the way he plays. It’s scary to think Williams is starting the season so gimpy; I wasn’t expecting this and, because of this, the Redskins may need to go with four tackles next season at the latest.

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    • chimps000 - Sep 18, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      12thman, the skins have one of the worst front 7’s in the NFL. They were bad last year, and I was down on both Hatcher and Pot Roast, but without them, their talent level actually looks worse. Hard to see how they stop any good rushing attack.

      Cravens is a 224 pound LB, don’t see how he can make a huge impact if Dallas just decides to run the ball down our throat, which would be my gameplan if I was OC in Dallas. Give Alf 20 plus carries, sprinkle in some play action to Dez Bryant who you know will often be in single coverage against Breeland, and the skins defense will gassed and gashed by the 4th quarter.

      Baker, Kerrigan, Smith, D Hall, Bruton need to step up huge today.

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  2. sidepull - Sep 18, 2016 at 7:16 AM

    Somebody knock the snot outta Beasley today OK?

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  3. garg8050 - Sep 18, 2016 at 7:18 AM

    As close to a must win as you can have in Week 2. I really don’t like starting the season with 2 home games. This team tends to start slow under Gruden; definitely something that needs to be looked at in future years, ie more playing time for the starters in the preseason.

    A win today essentially buys them a mulligan for next week and a chance to be 2-2 after the first 4. A loss today and next week’s game becomes a “code red”. And we’ve all seen the Meadowlands be a house of horrors for this franchise.

    I see the ‘Skins establishing the run today. Jones, Thompson, and Kelley all contribute. Cousins plays a solid but not spectacular game. Mostly short passes, screens, etc. The tight ends, including Paul contribute. We control the time of possession and come away with a 27-17 win.

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  4. Brenton - Sep 18, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Beasley did most of his damage on shallow crossing routes. Actually most of the receptions came on shallow crossers or pick plays so maybe coach will take that away by leaving a LB in those passing lanes. Compton with a big pick???

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  5. DmvDario - Sep 18, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    I’m hoping my skins will win but honestly I think the cry girls will get this. I hate when people talk about a passing league but if u can’t stop the run, u can’t stop the pass. Adding Jenkins isn’t going to magically make that better. I want to believe Prescott is not for real but after watching him closely in the Giant game and seeing as how our def. can’t penetrate up the middle or generate a pass rush consistently I feel Prescott can handle our Def. n will probably use his legs an awful lot with our lack of containment. On Off. Cousins plays better but not a lot better. There will times in the game where he needs to make a play from the pocket and his nerves will get the best of him. Story of his NFL life. That’s who he is and Redskins Nation is going to have to accept that. Unfortunately Crygirls win 28-25.

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  6. SE Omar - Sep 19, 2016 at 3:47 AM

    I wish Rich or SE Jerome would tell the Red$kin$ to Run The Dammmmm Ball

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