TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At Washington Redskins

Dallas Cowboys
Washington Redskins
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The Cowboys were in a position to register an impressive victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 15, but they gave it away in the second half after dominating in the first 30 minutes. Tony Romo threw two fourth-quarter interceptions that allowed the Packers to complete their comeback. Cowboy supporters have become somewhat numbed by Romo’s inability to close out games.
The Redskins have endured a disastrous season that could result in the firing of head coach Mike Shanahan at the end of the season. Shanahan decided to sit No. 1 quarterback Robert Griffin III in favor of Kirk Cousins, and while the backup played well in the Week 15 loss to Atlanta, the Redskins are in disarray.
Offense
Winner The Cowboys have a plethora of offensive weapons. Running back DeMarco Murray has run for 977 yards and he is averaging 5.5 yards per carry, but apparently the Cowboys didn’t trust him to run out the clock vs. Green Bay. Dez Bryant is talented yet petulant as a wide receiver, while Jason Witten will catch anything he can reach.
The Redskins have the running attack to exploit the Cowboys’ ineffective defense. Alfred Morris has run for 1,125 yards and has 10 carries of 20 yards or more. While the Redskins don’t have superstars at the wide receiver position, Pierre Garcon leads the team with 96 receptions. Santana Moss is no longer a game-breaking receiver. The Redskins want to get TE Jordan Reed (concussion) back in the lineup.
Defense
The Cowboys have been atrocious on the defensive side of the ball, ranking dead last (32nd) in yards allowed and passing yards allowed. The loss of middle linebacker Sean Lee (neck) hurts, but the big problem may be DeMarcus Ware, who no longer makes big plays at key moments. A week after the Bears pushed the Cowboys around in Week 14, the Packers did the same in the second half of Week 15.
Winner The Redskins have plenty of problems on defense that they are going to have to address in the offseason, but they are in much better shape than the Cowboys. Washington ranks 20th overall on defense and the personnel lacks speed. ILBs Perry Riley and London Fletcher have combined for 201 tackles, while OLB Brian Orakpo leads the team with 10.0 sacks.
Special Teams
Winner The Cowboys generally do a solid job on special teams because they cover punts and kickoffs well while Dwayne Harris (hamstring) is a threat if he is healthy. PK Dan Bailey has had an impressive year, making 6-of-7 FG attempts of 50 yards or more.
The Redskins have the worst coverage teams in the NFL by a wide margin. They gave up two return touchdowns vs. the Chiefs in Week 14 and they have given up four on the season. Placekicker Kai Forbath is just ordinary, having made 13-of-17 FG attempts.

The Winner Is

(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Winner Dallas Cowboys
3 out of 4

The Cowboys’ inability to close out games has cost them terribly in losses to Detroit and Green Bay this year, and it could impact them again vs. the Redskins. Mike Shanahan may be nearing the end of his term as the Redskins’ head coach.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo Credit: Mike McGinnis, Getty Images) Kaleb Tarczewski #35 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Elite Eight Tale: #1 Wisconsin Vs. #2 Arizona

    It is rematch time. Last year, the Wisconsin Badgers and Arizona Wildcats met in the Elite Eight and Wisconsin walked away with a 64-63 overtime win.

  2. Devin Booker #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Zach Auguste #30 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Elite Eight Tale: #1 Kentucky Vs. #3 Notre Dame

    Coming into the Sweet 16, West Virginia showed confidence that they could be the team that finally knocked off the Kentucky Wildcats.

  3. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson, Getty Images) (Photo Credit: Gene Sweeney Jr., Getty Images)
    Sweet 16: #1 Duke Vs. #5 Utah

    So much for the weak Pac-12 this year: The Utah Utes are one of three teams from the beleaguered conference to make the Sweet 16 this year, and they’ll face the best ACC team left in the tournament: Duke.

See All Tales of the Tape