By Danny Cox
The Washington Redskins are coming off of their biggest victory of the year as they blew out the Philadelphia Eagles 31-6. Then again, who isn’t doing that to the Eagles lately? Still, that can’t take away from the fact that they won and did so in a very impressive manner.
Now they’re playing with a very short week as they’ve got to go on the road on Thanksgiving Day and play the Dallas Cowboys in Texas. It is never an easy game for either team, but this one may be even tougher for them both.
Washington is of course riding that big victory over Philadelphia. Dallas, on the other hand, has a two-game winning streak, including a thrilling overtime victory over Cleveland this past Sunday. Someone’s momentum is going to have to give, and right now the odds are in favor of Dallas shutting down Washington.
Upon stepping onto the field, Dallas has the NFL’s 29th ranked rushing offense. The Cowboys are putting up a mere 83.1 yards per game which is just completely and totally awful.
Starting running back DeMarco Murray is still out with a foot injury and unlikely to play on Thursday. Felix Jones really hasn’t done much to help fill in during his absence as he’s not been able to gain more than 71 yards in a single game. Most of the time, Jones can’t even break the 50-yard plateau.
Sadly for the Redskins though, they have the league’s seventh-best rushing defense, but they won’t have a real running game to even worry about.
What Washington does have to worry about is that they have the NFL’s 29th ranked passing defense, and it will be tested against Tony Romo and Dallas’ seventh-ranked passing offense. The Redskins just have no secondary whatsoever that can stand back there and hold their own against the mediocre receivers in the league.
There is no way they’ll be able to contain Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Let’s not forget tight end Jason Witten either. You know, the guy that already has 73 receptions this season and is on pace for a record-breaking year.
The defense of the Cowboys is where the Redskins will have to try and attack, but they’re no slouches.
Dallas currently sits as the sixth-ranked passing defense in the league and the 13th ranked rushing defense. This will be the first look that the Cowboys have ever gotten of Robert Griffin III, and it will be one that tests the home-team as well.
RG3 started out fast this season, but then quieted down, and is now becoming more a leader than a sideshow. He is a quarterback unlike any the Cowboys have seen this season, and they’re going to need to be on their toes in order to contain him in the pocket and keep him from running.
Well, they did see one quarterback similar to RG3 so far this season, but Michael Vick is nowhere what he used to be.
If DeMarcus Ware can be on top of his game, RG3 is going to need to be fully aware of his surroundings. Ware may be the player that they use to spy on RG3 throughout the game and make sure that if all the Washington receivers are covered, then Griffin won’t dare running.
Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day tradition in Dallas is going to be one that is important for both teams. Mathematically, they are both still alive in the playoff hunt and need this victory to stay that way. As of now though, the old kid’s game of “cowboys and Indians” appears to favor the men with the stars on their helmets.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.