Connect with us

Game Notes

Cowboys @ Redskins Game Preview and Predictions

Published

on

Al Bello/Getty Images

We’ve waited nearly half the season and finally we get another NFC East division matchup. The Dallas Cowboys play the Washington Redskins on their turf this Sunday and both teams are fighting for a chance at the division this year. Both teams are tied at 3-3, currently good enough for second in the division.

The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t making things any easier for the Cowboys, what with one total loss, but the Cowboys still have their sights set on the 2017 NFC East Title and rightfully so. It’s been a tumultuous year for Dallas between suspensions, “oh wait, he’s not suspended yet”, and various lackluster performances from week to week, but all the ingredients are there. The Cowboys can be successful this season.

This week, the Cowboys face a team dealing with a major injury list. At one point this week as much as a third of the Redskins’ active roster was on the injury report. That includes most of the offensive line, which is bound to be without more than one starter come Sunday. With the way DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving are playing, I’m expecting big things from our pass rush.

The Redskins have 10 players listed as questionable on the final injury report, and three out. The Cowboys have three players marked as questionable (Maliek Collins, Kyle Wilber, Justin Durant) with only two players out.

Dallas will be without kicker Dan “Automatic” Bailey this week and for several more to come, but you won’t be stuck with Jeff Heath’s terrible, albeit surprisingly not as terrible as expected efforts. The Cowboys signed free agent K Mike Nugent this week to fill in for Bailey.

Since his rookie season in 2005, Nugent has a career average of 80.8% on field goals and 96.9% on PATs. His long field goal record is 55 yards, which isn’t bad. He’s had season longs over 50 yards six times in his career, spanning from 2006 to 2016, so he’s got some leg strength.

Is he Dan Bailey good? No, of course not. Is he good enough? Probably. When you have a guy like Bailey, nobody is going to measure up in his absence. The same reasons we all love Bailey are also why most will hate Nugent.

You just have to take what you get on this one and pray for Bailey’s speedy recovery.

Chidobe Awuzie is out, again. Keep holding out hope, guys, he’ll see the field eventually. Sean Lee is healthy, Anthony Hitchens too, and Jaylon Smith is still absorbing the game. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are 100%, and it looks like the whole offensive line will be a go on game day as well.

We’re in good shape. It could be even better if we get the rain forecast for the game because the Redskins have a decent passing game. Rain favors the ground game and Dallas is definitely the stronger running team.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, this round of the Josh Norman vs. Dez Bryant drama is nearly concluded. Break out the beers cause that’s reason enough to celebrate right there! But seriously, looks like Norman is good to go. They say he’ll play.

As always, I encourage you to add your own predictions for the game in our comments section below.

✭ ✭ ✭

Redskins injuries underscore failed comeback attempt

Dallas got right in Santa Clara and despite a few bumps stays on the winning path. With the lead late, Dallas’ rushmen seal the game – shining a bright light on the Redskins offensive line woes. A huge division win, but a little too close for comfort. Christopher Waetjen – @SingForTheDay

Cowboys 31 – Redskins 24

✭ ✭ ✭

Running Right

This feels like a must win game for the 3-3 Cowboys, and one I expect them to get against a very good Redskins team. Washington will not be at full strength this week, particularly on the offensive line. When Dallas can control both lines of scrimmage, they win. I have this being the case on the road as Ezekiel Elliott scores twice on the ground. Sean Martin – @SeanMartinNFL

Cowboys 31 – Redskins 21

✭ ✭ ✭

Battle For the Fourth Win

Both teams will take that field with a 3-3 record. This game is quite important. Being at home, Washington will find a way to keep it close. However, they won’t be able to win with a beaten-up roster. Not against this Cowboys team. Dallas is improving after an ugly start to the season, and with the offense hitting on all cylinders, they may become as unstoppable as they were during the 2016 regular season. Mauricio Rodriguez – @PepoR99

Cowboys 28 – Redskins 20

✭ ✭ ✭

Dak and Dallas Dominant yet again

With Dallas as healthy as they’ve been all season, they come out strong against Washington and get a big lead early behind Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Cole Beasley. With Washington missing so many players in the OL this week, DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving make a victim of Kirk Cousins. John Williams – @john9williams

Cowboys 28 – Redskins 13

✭ ✭ ✭

Finally, Back-to-Back Wins

Even with the game in Washington, the Cowboys have a much healthier team. If the “heavy rainfall” that is currently projected happens, it will enhance Dallas’ advantage in the trenches and hurt Washington’s finesse offense. Rivalry games are usually a slog and the rain will make it even more sloggy, which is good for the Cowboys. Jess Haynie – @CowboysAddicts

Cowboys 24 – Redskins 20

✭ ✭ ✭

Hail to the Cowboys

The Cowboys have scored 30 or more points the last three weeks, and they are going to have to continue that stretch if they plan on winning this key divisional game. With the way Philadelphia is playing, neither Dallas or Washington can afford a loss this week, but I have faith Dak Prescott & Co. can pull it out. I think this game looks similar to last year’s Thanksgiving Day shootout. Kevin Brady – @KevinBrady88

Cowboys 34 – Redskins 28

✭ ✭ ✭

Cowboys Weather the Storm in Washington

The weather in Washington is going to be a huge factor in this game, but fortunately it favors the Cowboys. It’s supposed to rain and be really windy, so I expect we see a lot of quick passes and a heavy dose of Ezekiel Elliott. This will likely be a sloppy game due to the weather conditions, but the Cowboys are built better to withstand the storm. Brian Martin – @BrianMartinNFL

Cowboys 24 – Redskins 13

✭ ✭ ✭

Losses are Bigger When Starting at .500

With how the Redskins are playing this season and the woes of a typical division game, I don’t expect the Cowboys will have this easily in hand. The weather helps, but our defense will have to step up against the run, which they haven’t been able to do very well. I believe the Cowboys dominate early and just hold Washington off in the second half. Bryson Treece – @BrysonTreece

Cowboys 20 – Redskins 17

✭ ✭ ✭

We’re all predicting the Cowboys to win this game. With any luck, we see this team come out and build on what they did in California last week.

Share your game picks below and, as always, Go Cowboys!

ADVERTISEMENT

This is the General Staff account for Inside The Star, a blog for Dallas Cowboys news, scores, schedule, rumors, and analysis. We are the official home for @CowboysNation on Twitter. Follow us today for new content updates straight from our timeline. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Staff listing.

Advertisement
2 Comments
  • Russ_Te

    How Garrett prepares this week is big IMO, as it was last week. If he is to salvage 2017, he has to be able to task this team & bring a pit bull to the stadium, every week until he has 10 or 11 wins. I think it’s his biggest challenge yet as a head coach, and I put his ability for it at about 60/40.

    My mid-season offensive strategy was completely off-base last week, so it must be coming up this week… ;^)

    Meaning this OL is not the OL of last year, and I do not want predictable runs into 8 fronts that are geared to keep Elliott from beating them. Not on the road at least. I want to put Butler in, strike downfield and make defenses pay for that approach early in the game. I want better passing game with fewer hits on Dak – so let him throw on first down when there is any overload on Zeke.

    This doesn’t have to go all year, but Garrett cannot hesitate right now to smack defenses that want to make it all about Elliott.

    Dallas 27-24

  • Fatfan

    It seems to me that every time another is full of injuries, and has nearly no chance at winning, they find a way to win it…even if for only one week. Dallas will need to ignore everything written about this game, and determine to win. Dallas’ D can expect some screen passes to Chris, which they can do quite well, and some mid passing routs to the deadskins TEs. Those work in rainy weather too, not just running the ball.

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys headed to New York a couple of days ago with a mission: survive a potential trap game versus a 2-10 New York Giants team. Despite not getting most of the help they needed from other teams around the league, at least Dallas was able to do the job they could control.

Through three quarters, the Cowboys struggled a lot. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when they decided to have a touchdown party, outscoring the Giants 20-0 in the final eight minutes of the game.

What did we learn from the Cowboys’ seventh win of the season? Here is this week’s edition of Takeaway Tuesday! 

Dak Prescott Bounced Back

Although the Cowboys are a team that’s barely breathing in the playoff race, the truth is there’re a lot of ways that Dak has improved as a QB. It’s easy to look at a team lose football games and blame the QB without hesitating. That’s been the case most of the season.

It’s fair to say that Prescott hadn’t had an awesome game in a long time, though. But this time, he did just that.

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

Dak Prescott needed a performance like this one. He threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday. He made some key throws and key reads during the game and managed to beat the Giants’ blitz with ease. Glad to see you hush the haters, 4.

Certainly a good thing to see when you need to go 3-0 in order to stay in the postseason conversation.

Concerns Around Dez Bryant Continue to Increase

Listen, I love Dez Bryant. He’s been one of my favorite players to ever watch. But at some point, you have to start admitting there is a problem. Yes, Dez Bryant has been struggling this season. Whether you want to blame Dak or Dez about it, it’s fair. I think they both are to blame.

The thing about Dez is that he can have quite a few bad plays and makes you forget about it when he  does something awesome. A perfect example of this is his 50-yard TD against the Giants last Sunday. It came at a perfect moment, but he had dropped some easy balls earlier in the game.

Dez – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Dez is getting paid like an elite WR, and despite some great moments on the field, he’s been having a lot of bad ones lately. If you have a $70M contract, you can’t frequently drop passes like that.

It may be about chemistry with his new QB, it may be about age, or it may be just about a couple of bad years for the guy. Whatever it is, as much as we hate to say it, Dez isn’t anywhere close to the “top receivers” conversation this year.

Sean Lee Proved to be Invaluable Once Again

Less Is More For Sean Lee And Cowboys' LBs?I’m constantly amazed by the difference the Cowboys’ veteran linebacker makes when he’s on the field. In his heroic return against the Giants, he finished the day with 18 total tackles, 10 of which were solo. With Sean Lee on the field, this defense has been able to be a headache for opposing offenses.

Sean Lee could easily be this team’s MVP. For Cowboys Nation, it’s been a season of constantly missing football players in Dallas. Out of everyone, I think Sean Lee is the player we missed the most. Including Ezekiel Elliott.

This defense transforms into a very capable one with Lee around. The Cowboys need Zeke back if they want to have success in their hunt for the playoffs, but without Lee, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis Are Still Killing It

Coming into this game, one of the biggest question marks was the cornerback position for Dallas. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis were going to get the start, and there’s always uncertainty around rookies going up against a QB like Eli Manning.

lewis – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Look at that coverage by Jourdan Lewis. Look at him turn his head around when the ball’s coming. The way this secondary will grow is exciting to think about. The Cowboys have something special in these two guys. They’ll make for an amazing CB duo for years to come, and I’m excited about what they bring to the table.

Chidobe Awuzie has played the last two games, and he’s been very impressive. Throughout the entire game, his converge was pretty impressive. Eli only targeted him 5 times in the ballgame and was able to complete just two passes against him.

Sean Lee ended up with the interception late in the fourth quarter, but it was perfectly set up by Chidobe Awuzie.

Awuzie – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

It was a very fun fourth quarter for the Dallas Cowboys, and even though it looks difficult… this football team’s playoff hopes are still alive. Jason Garrett must keep this team focused in the Oakland Raiders for now, though.

Hope dies last, Cowboys Nation. Keep your head up.

Tell me what you think about “Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Game Notes

Forget Elliott For Now, Cowboys Must Focus On Raiders

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Despite looking dead to rights just two weeks ago, back to back wins have put the Dallas Cowboys into the playoff hunt with just three games remaining.

In order to even have a chance at sneaking in as the sixth seed, Dallas will need to win each of its remaining games to finish 10-6. In some ways, the playoffs started two weeks ago when Dallas took on the Washington Redskins. But even though this Sunday’s contest is another must-win, elimination game for the Cowboys, it’s also a classic “trap” or “look ahead” game as well.

Before the season started, most expected the Oakland Raiders to be competing for AFC supremacy. Like the Cowboys, Oakland bursted onto the scene in 2016 with a young quarterback, a dynamic offense, and an exciting roster. But, like the Cowboys, they have faltered a bit this season due to underperforming stars, injuries, and a somewhat undermanned defensive unit.

The Raiders are now 6-7, and while still alive in the AFC West race, saw their best shot at overtaking the division go up in a smoke last Sunday as they were demolished by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Simply put, the Raiders are not a very good football team right now. And though this will be a road game for the Cowboys, it is one they should win if they are truly a playoff team. In fact, it’s one they have to win if they want to keep their slim playoff chances alive.

The reason why this could potentially be a “trap” game of sorts is who the Cowboys are scheduled to play after traveling to Oakland. A team who has been a perennial playoff contender in the NFC, and a team directly in front of the Cowboys in the current NFC standings – the Seattle Seahawks.

Not only will that Seattle game be massively important to the Cowboys if they can sneak out of Oakland with a victory, it will also feature the return of star running back Ezekiel Elliott from his six game suspension.

December 24th will be a huge day in Dallas if the Cowboys can get to 8-6 this week, but they can ill-afford to look ahead to that potentially important showdown with the Seahawks. Because if they do and the Raiders upset them at the home in primetime, the Cowboys season will end before Elliott even gets the chance to come back.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Game Notes

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants’ Blitz

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Film Room: How Dak Prescott Beat The Giants' Blitz

While much of Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants featured some ugly football from the Dallas Cowboys, the team continued to fight until completing a 20 point route of their division rivals.

Of course, stars emerged on both the offense and the defense throughout the game. Rod Smith had a breakout day, Dez Bryant made a couple of “vintage” plays, and Sean Lee returned to health and led the defense to a fantastic performance.

But as we all know, quarterbacks make the world go ’round. And no matter how great the other pieces play, it’s hard to win football games unless you can maintain high level quarterback play.

Dak Prescott returned to that high level against the Giants on Sunday.

Even if Prescott is missing throws or having accuracy issues, he had never lost his composure or made the wrong reads until that Atlanta Falcons debacle. I really believe that Dak lost faith in his protection, began abandoning clean pockets, and ended up having a few bad games in a row.

All seems right with Prescott now, as he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns during the Cowboys’ big win. The area he was most impressive, was with those reads – specifically against the blitz.

dalvsnyg dak to dez td – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

On his first touchdown pass of the game, Dak Prescott beats the blitz perfectly. Just before snapping the ball, Prescott notices the safety roll down into the box. You can see him subtly move his arm to point out the safety, while calling it out to his linemen as well.

As soon as he gets the snap, Dak knows exactly where to go. The Giants tried to beat him with a delayed safety blitz, but once that safety comes, Prescott knows he has Dez Bryant in man coverage on the perimeter.

His eyes immediately snap that way, and his throw replaces the blitzer quickly. This allows Bryant to do the rest, and the Cowboys to tie the game.

dalvsnyg 17 cole beasley – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Later in the game we see more of the same from Dak Prescott. With the game tied at 10 the Cowboys faced a critical third down backed up in their own territory. The Giants once again show blitz, bring the  blitz, and Dak burns them for it.

The Giants show man coverage across the board pre-snap, with safety Landon Collins on the near hash. Cole Beasley is in the near-slot, and while he technically has a man over him directly, the Giants show 2-over-1 in the slot pre-snap. This usually tips off a blitz, as the Giants plan to bring their slot defender off the edge, and allow Landon Collins to cover Beasley one on one.

Prescott notices this pre-snap once again, and makes the defense pay. He quickly replaces the blitzer with his throw, allowing Beasley to make the easy catch underneath and then do the rest after the catch.

This may not seem all the difficult to do to those analyzing the game the next morning, but these reads indicate high level quarterback-ing from the Cowboys’ franchise leader, Dak Prescott.

Last season against the Giants, their defense was able to bring more than the Cowboys could block on key third downs a few times. Too often, Prescott and the passing offense could not beat those blitzes.

That was not the case this week at all.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Advertisement
Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending