Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins: What to watch for

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Wide receiver Dez Bryant
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Wide receiver Dez Bryant /

After a road win last week, the Dallas Cowboys go back on the road against a divisional foe looking for two straight wins. Here’s what to watch for …

Sometimes the schedule works against you and other times, it can work in your favor.

After facing two straight teams with extra time to prepare for the Cowboys, Dallas has been provided some help recently too.

Last week, the Dallas Cowboys, coming off of a bye, got to play a team without a win.  This week, they get a team coming off a Monday night game who may have serious injury issues.

For the better part of the entire work week, the Washington Redskins put 17 players on their injury report.  Things are so perilous, they chose to skip practice on Wednesday due to the health of their team.

Two offensive lineman have already been ruled out for the game.  Another three, all starters, are questionable.  That means while it’s likely they will play, their level of effectiveness will certainly be in question.

Sometimes games come down to a war of attrition.  This is clearly a hidden advantage for the Dallas Cowboys.  That’s especially true when you factor in they are coming off a game in which they posted five sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

Can the Dallas Cowboys use this to their advantage and win a second straight game for the first time all year?  Here’s what to watch for as the Dallas Cowboys go to Washington looking for their second divisional win 2017.

  • Not only will health be a factor, but weather also will be an issue.  According to the National Weather Service, there may be significant tropical moisture and winds due to a coastal storm.

This could bode well for the Dallas Cowboys as they are a team that relies heavily on their run game.  Thankfully, it appears that their rushing attack has become what we thought it would over the last five quarters of football.

Going back to the fourth quarter against Green Bay, Ezekiel Elliott has 227 yards on 38 carries and two touchdowns.  The weather may increase his workload once again as I would not expect a great passing day from either team.

  • On that note, the weather may also nullify Washington’s best strength which is the play of quarterback Kirk Cousins.  In his last four games, Cousins is completing 71% of his passes for over 1,200 yards with 8 touchdowns and just one interception.

In the last two games, he has thrown for over 350 yards both times.  Thankfully both were losses but if the weather limits his effectiveness, that will be another huge advantage to the Cowboys.  With the weather and the injuries along the offensive line, Washington’s passing game should be extremely limited.

  • Sticking with the weather, expect turnovers to be an issue.  Both teams would be what you would consider average when it comes to protecting the ball.  They also are average when it comes to forcing turnovers.

Super wet conditions and a notoriously sloppy field could easily create a recipe for disaster, however.  Whichever team does a better job at limiting turnovers in these not so ideal conditions will likely be victorious today.

Next: Dez Bryant is still elite at what matters most in the NFL

The Dallas Cowboys have lost just one time in the Nation’s capital since 2010.  They have lost just one time in the Jay Gruden era to Washington.  In that particular game, neither Tony Romo, nor Dak Prescott was quarterback for the Cowboys.  For whatever reason, Dallas has this team’s number and I don’t expect that to change today.

The prediction: Cowboys 24, Redskins 10