As the Dallas Cowboys (5-6) get set to host division rival Washington Redskins (5-6) on Thursday Night Football, both team’s seasons are on the line.
Gametime: 8:25 PM @ AT&T Stadium
TV: NFL Network
Line: Washington (-1.5) – Dallas (59.7%)
— fishsports (@fishsports) November 29, 2017
As the divisions begin to take shape on who could possibly find themselves in the playoffs, the Cowboys and Redskins both hang on by a thread for any chance on entering the conversation. During their week eight meeting the Cowboys decimated the Redskins upfront. Ezekiel Elliott was able to carry the ball 33 times, a season high, for 150 yards and two touchdowns. A tipped ball at the line of scrimmage would lead to a Byron Jones pick six on the Redskins final drive. That interception would seal the deal for the Cowboys fourth win of the season.
Obviously the Cowboys, do not have the luxury of handing the ball to Elliott 33 times this go around. They will have to find another way to win. With news of Zack Martin being cleared from concussion protocol, a relief among the front 5 was found as La’El Collins and Tyron Smith both remain questionable. If for some reason they do not see the field, expect Byron Bell and Chaz Green to take the positions of left tackle and right tackle as they square off against a healthy Redskins front seven.
Since their last game, while the Cowboys coaching staff aimlessly attempts to discover what has lead to a 1-3 record, Washington is coming off a win against the Giants, pushing them to 2-2 in the same span. Despite having caught the injury bug worse than anyone in the league, the Redskins have found ways to win, or make games close. Case and point, they went up to a hostile environment and beat the Seattle Seahawks, just a week after their loss to Dallas.
In big D it has been a circus for the coaches, players, and media, in regards of who to blame for the recent struggles. Dak Prescott and company must hit a complete 180 if they want any chance to win this game. Though they have been struggling to find any hope on offense, the running game has to remain what it has been, but Prescott must show up. As vague as it may sound, his anticipation of routes, and vision across the field, has dropped into a state that we are not accustomed to seeing from him. This game falls into his hands, win or lose, and Garrett/Linehan must be the first ones to help him to achieve this.
On the other side of the ball, the Dallas defense may face their toughest test yet. With reports of linebackers Sean Lee & Justin Durant out for the game, and Anthony Hitchens remaining questionable, the unit will have their hands full containing a wounded but dangerous Redskin rushing attack. This defense will look a little different tonight as Adam Schefter reported Sunday that they are demoting corner Anthony Brown and acquiring pass rusher Datone Jones. Also look for rookie corner Chidobe Awuzie to see his first extended action since very early on in the season.
A game that will send the loser to their draft boards, it is difficult to see the Cowboys leaving this one victorious, considering the display they have put out in their current 3-game losing streak. Though fans remain confident in what seems like a final hope, the players must do the same with each other, and with their coaches, to find some momentum that they can build off of.