Dallas Cowboys must bounce back in Week Two against Washington

Oct 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the line of scrimmage with the Washington Redskins playing against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the line of scrimmage with the Washington Redskins playing against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

We look ahead at the Dallas Cowboys Week Two matchup, when they take on the Washington Redskins on the road at FedEx Field.

The Dallas Cowboys will take the field for their second game of the season this Sunday when they travel to our nation’s capital to take on the Washington Redskins. This is obviously not only a big rivalry game but also a key division game for the Cowboys, as starting the season 0-2 against the NFC East would be a tough hole to dig out of.

Both teams are coming off of losses in their respective home openers, the Cowboys falling to the New York Giants by one point, and the Redskins took a 22-point loss last Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There is never a shortage of storylines when these two teams square off against one another. And Sunday afternoon will be no different. There are questions surrounding key players on each team, as both squads saw their running game struggle to meet expectations. And the quarterback play for both teams was not up to par.

Both clubs came into the season expected to be the class of the NFC East division, as each team took home the division crown in the last two seasons. While it’s still possible the division championship will come down to these two squads, they both have some kinks to work out if they want to be in the playoff hunt. We will see if any of them are worked out this Sunday at FedEx Field.

Wide receiver Dez Bryant had a very quiet opening game last week, being held to one catch for eight yards, on only five targets. Questions arose whether that was part of the plan or whether rookie quarterback Dak Prescott felt the first start jitters and didn’t want to look downfield toward his star receiver.

When Prescott was asked about it, he told the Star-Telegram: “I’m going to run the offense, if Dez is the read, Dez is the read.”

Speaking of Bryant, something to watch this weekend will be whether or not the Redskins’ new $75-million cornerback Josh Norman will follow the star receiver around the field, or will he stay on one side.

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Norman was criticized by fans and players alike for watching from his side of the field while Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown torched the Washington defense for 126 yards and two scores. If Norman doesn’t follow Bryant around the field, we may see Dez get back into rhythm after his rough go last week.

Sticking with Washington, quarterback Kirk Cousins had a spectacular 2015 season, but had a rocky start to his 2016 campaign. To say the Cowboys defense lacks talent would be a massive understatement, so if ever there was a time for the Redskins’ signal-caller to get back on track, this week seems like his best chance.

Under center for the Cowboys are their own fourth-round pick quarterback, Prescott. The young quarterback showed some promise in his first start, but as noted earlier he seemed hesitant to take shots downfield. These are all lessons that are learned in time, but the Cowboys are hoping that Prescott can learn on the fly and put the team in a position to reclaim the division championship.

The Cowboys rushing attack had sky-high hopes heading into the season, but the Giants seemed determined to slow the ground game down and make the rookie quarterback beat them through the air.

Last week, the Redskins saw 33-year old Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams rack up 143 yards and two scores on them. Hopefully the Washington defense will be nice and soft for Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott to get in space and for veteran runner Alfred Morris to make his homecoming.

Next: Dallas Cowboys run game will punish the Redskins front seven

Most of all, this is a rivalry game. Which means these two teams have studied each other extensively. It’ll be important for the Cowboys to bounce back from a tough home loss to take game one against Washington on the road before these two square off on Thanksgiving Day. If they can’t, these two teams may be heading in totally different directions by the time the calendar flips to November.