Posted on October 20, 2018, by Travis Pulver
The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins are both off to pretty decent years. They aren’t having good years; at least, not yet. Dallas is 3-3 after an epic beatdown of the Jaguars last week. At 3-2, the Redskins are the current division leaders. A win over the other this week, will not make their respective season become good.
But it sure would be a step in the right direction.
How Dallas plans on beating opponents is not exactly a state secret. They intend on running the ball down your throat until they score. After they do, they are going to turn around and do it again. But it only really works against lesser teams that can’t stop or even slow down Ezekiel Elliot.
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But some teams can, and those teams force the Cowboys to do something other than run Elliot—which they are not very good at. Since they decided not to find another No. 1-caliber receiver after cutting Dez Bryant, the passing game has suffered this season.
However, against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, they may have come up with a solution; a weapon that teams will have to game plan for other than Elliot—Dak Prescott, the runner.
Against the Jaguars, when Prescott started running a few more run-pass options, the Jags didn’t appear to know how to respond. So, Dallas kept doing it since it kept working. As it did, the running lane became a little wider making life easier on Elliot as well.
Washington, of course, will have time to watch film of the Jags game and prepare. With the No. 2 defense (total yards; fourth against the run and pass), an argument could be made that they should be able to defend whatever the Cowboys come up with.
Then again, they haven’t exactly faced many of the NFL’s best. They did have an impressive win over the Green Bay Packers in Week Three. But then, following the bye week, they were completely destroyed by the New Orleans Saints in Week Five.
They were able to ride a fast start to a win last week against the Carolina Panthers. But they really didn’t look good on offense for three of the four quarters in the game.
While their defense is tough, so is the Dallas defense.
Offense is going to be hard to come by in this game. But defenses are pretty good at stopping the run and will certainly throttle the efforts of the other team in the first half. However, in the second half, it would not be surprising to see Elliot and Prescott start breaking a few.
Washington has a good run defense, but they haven’t faced a run game of Dallas’ caliber. They will be able to slow it down, but eventually, the Cowboys will start to break through.
But what will hurt will be their own struggles on offense. Alex Smith is going to be thin on skill position guys. Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson are nursing injuries. His receiver corps has been decimated by injuries as well.
Jamison Crowder is out, and it sounds like there is a good chance Paul Richardson could be as well. Smith is already struggling this year. The guy that refused to let a rookie take his job last season is now playing more like a guy who should have lost his job to a rookie first rounder.
Even though Washington is favored by one, take the Cowboys to win.