After the complete offensive performance, the Dallas Cowboys showed against the New York Giants, they get another division foe in week two. The Cowboys travel to Washington to face the Redskins. In their last six contests, the Cowboys have gone 5-1, the only loss coming in week seven last year, a day before the Amari Cooper trade was made.
Though this matchup looks to heavily favor the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins showed a lot in their week one loss to the Philadelphia Eagles 32-27. The Redskins jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the first half before the Eagles stormed back in the second half with 25 unanswered points. The Redskins were only able to bring it to a more respectable margin with 12 seconds to play when Case Keenum found Trey Quinn for what would make the final margin five points.
It was a tale of two halves for Washington and which Redskins team shows up today will determine how this week 2 game will go. While the Dallas Cowboys look to be the more talented team, the Redskins have some talent that will make life difficult for the Dallas Cowboys.
Here are three players to keep your eye on in Today's matchup.
There are few pass rushers in the NFL that are as underrated as the Washington Redskins' Ryan Kerrigan. RJ Ochoa from Blogging the Boys threw out this statistic yesterday listing the NFL's sack leaders over the last two seasons. Only Aaron Donald and Chandler Jones have more sacks than Kerrigan over the last two years.
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 14, 2019
Ryan Kerrigan has never had fewer than 7.5 sacks in a season. His lowest sack total in the last five years is 9.5. He's had 13 sacks in three of the last five years. He's a really good player and will make things difficult on La'el Collins and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line.
Per Pro Football Reference, Kerrigan has had at least a half a sack in five of the last six games.
Collins has been better since the last half of the 2018 season
With Jonathan Allen sitting out this week with an MCL sprain, the focus of the offensive line turns to Da'Ron Payne. In 2018, Payne had five sacks and 34 stops per Pro Football Focus and had the highest run defense grade from the interior defensive line.
One player who I think has the potential to be the BEST player on this #Redskins defense? NT Da'Ron Payne. Strong, powerful, athletic, disruptive, urgent, violent … all words I'd use to describe No. 94. He is in line for a big jump this season in his second year #HTTR. pic.twitter.com/A1ifRj23za
— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) September 5, 2019
Though Allen may not be playing, the Cowboys interior offensive line of Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Connor Williams will have their hands full with Payne. He possesses good strength and size at 6-3 320 pounds.
The Dallas Cowboys may have to offer some help on the edge for La'el Collins in his matchup with Ryan Kerrigan, so it will be imperative for the interior offensive line to hold up against Payne. If they want to get anything going on the ground, controlling the Alabama Crimson Tide product will be a huge key.
Coming into the 2019 season, the Washington Redskins wide receiver group looked like one of the worst in the NFL. With Paul Richardson the most seasoned player of the group, there wasn't a whole lot to like about the Redskins pass catchers. However, Terry McLaurin, who had probably the best training camp of any rookie wide receiver, stood out on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles and made people take notice.
In week one against the Philadelphia Eagles, Terry McLaurin caught five of seven targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. Similarly to Michael Gallup, McLaurin has the speed and some route-running savvy to win deep.
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) September 8, 2019
In the clip above you can see that the defensive back is in a decent position to keep up with McLaurin, but the rookie continues to drive the player back and then just runs by him on the skinny post into wide-open space. All Case Keenum had to was put the football out in the vast expanse that was the deep middle of the field and McLaurin just had to run under the football.
On another play down the middle of the field, McLaurin easily got behind the defense and had room to run, but Keenum put the ball a few yards out in front of his receiver. Had the ball been catchable, McLaurin would have had another long touchdown reception.
McLaurin, a third-round pick out of Ohio State is one of the more explosive, yet relatively unknown players for the Washington Redskins. he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the 2019 scouting combine, but amazed Redskins camp observers with his route running ability. He has the size to win in all areas of the field, but the Cowboys will have to be most concerned with him beating them deep.
The Dallas Cowboys secondary is going to have to be very aware of Terry McLaurin this week, otherwise, he could blow by them in a heartbeat.
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Even after a tremendous week one performance, the Dallas Cowboys still have a lot to prove against a tough divisional opponent. If they're able to have a similar impact from the offensive side of the football in week 2 against an superior defensive team in the Washington Redskins, it should make everyone in the NFL take notice. For the Cowboys to win this game, they'll have to prevent these players from hurting them.
This game lines up very well for the Cowboys, all they have to do is go out there and win it.