The last time the Dallas Cowboys took the field, they came up three points short at the Redskins, dropping to 3-4 as the Redskins improved to 4-2. Returning home on Sunday with a three game winning streak, the Redskins suffered their first loss since week two, outmatched by the Atlanta Falcons 38-14.
The Cowboys last-second loss two weeks ago inspired plenty of change during the team’s bye week. Sensing the division within reach still, the team acquired Wide Receiver Amari Cooper and replaced first-year Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander with his assistant and former Cowboy Marc Colombo.
When the Cowboys return to AT&T Stadium tomorrow for Monday Night Football against the Titans, they’ll have a chance to prove these moves were the right thing to do, playing to draw within one game of the Redskins.
The Cowboys will still likely need to manage their first win on the road next week at the Eagles before hosting the Redskins on Thanksgiving to make any real noise in the NFC East.
Controlling only what they can ahead of them, there were plenty of encouraging signs at FedEx Field for this hopeful Cowboys team. Being afforded a miraculously long leash to figure themselves out while remaining relevant, the Redskins were exposed in areas that were previous strengths.
The Falcons’ 491 yards of offense was the most the Redskins allowed all year, with the same going for their 154 rush yards allowed. Committing only one turnover, the Redskins stayed true to their identity as an experienced team that doesn’t beat themselves, yet simply had no answer for a Falcons team that needed this win to get back to .500 after a 1-4 start.
Redskins Running Back Adrian Peterson was taken out of this game completely, carrying only nine times for 17 yards. Forced to throw 38 times, Alex Smith put up an empty 306 yards on 30 completions, taking three sacks in the loss.
There should be little question as to which roster has more overall talent between the Cowboys and Redskins, which Dallas most prove emphatically tomorrow night on a big stage.
For the first time in a long time, the Redskins looked vulnerable on Sunday. It comes at a time that the Cowboys are thin on excuses for not playing their best football and fighting to reclaim first place in the division, an elusive spot that was up for grabs two weeks ago at this 5-3 Washington team.