Game 5: Redskins @ Cowboys
Date: Sunday @ 830pm
Location: A T & T Stadium- Irving, Texas
Betting: Dallas -6/ 52
History: Dallas leads 62-42-2
Radio: ESPN Sports Talk 980
TV: NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Does anyone want to win the NFC East? At 2-3, Dallas may enter the game in sole possession of first place, if the Philadelphia Eagles lose to the Bucs in Tampa Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys opened a four point favorite, but that number has moved up to six as the early money is going on Dallas. A win by Washington would move them right into the thick of the race, despite a horrendous start.
The Redskins are looking for their third straight win over Dallas and in the process, handing the Cowboys their third straight loss of the 2013 season. Washington will be looking to take advantage of a Dallas defense that has surrendered more than 500 yards each of the past two weeks and ranks 28th in total defense. Running back Alfred Morris has been banged up with bruised ribs, but has been a full participant in practice and is ready to go. Morris rushed for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in the two wins over Dallas last season and could be a key to a Redskins victory. All eyes will also be on quarterback Robert Griffin III who says he feels much better after the bye week.
Defensively, the Redskins get defensive end Jarvis Jenkins and linebacker Rob Jackson back from suspension week and that figures to greatly aid the front seven depth. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall has been talking of a great matchup he expects with Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, but Bryant says he has no worries. The Redskins rank dead last in the NFL in total defense and pass defense and next to last against the run.
The Cowboys are coming off a 51-48 home loss to the unbeaten Denver Broncos, arguably quarterback Tony Romo’s finest performance, but one that ended with an interception with the game on the line. Romo passed for more than 500 yards and a career high five touchdowns, but the game will be remembered by the late turnover that ultimately cost the Cowboys a signature win. Romo will get another of his targets back on Sunday night, as receiver Miles Austin has recovered from the hamstring injury suffered three weeks ago. Like Washington, the key to victory for Dallas may be to stick with the running game. The Cowboys have failed to give Demarco Murray enough carries with a tendency to go all pass at times. The Dallas defense has transitioned to a 4-3 scheme, with pass rushing specialist Demarcus Ware now rushing from a three point stance. The Cowboys have suffered a number of injuries up front, so many that you may not recognize many of the names along the front four. The secondary is led by cornerback Morris Claiborne, who the Cowboys selected in the first round of the 2012 draft with the pick originally owned by the Redskins. Dallas acquired the selection in a trade with the St. Louis Rams.
Passing: Griffin III – 106-170, 1202 yds, 6 tds
Rushing: Morris – 56 car, 296 yds, 2 tds
Receiving: Garcon – 29 rec, 339 yds, 2 tds
Passing: Romo – 135-188, 1523 yds, 13 tds
Rushing: Murray – 84 car, 399 yds, 2 tds
Receiving: Bryant – 29 rec, 423 yds, 6 tds
Kai Forbath K – Full Participation in Practice
Logan Paulsen TE – Limited Participation in Practice
Chris Neild DT – Did Not Participate In Practice
Alfred Morris RB – Full Participation in Practice
Jordan Reed TE – Full Participation in Practice
Brandon Jenkins LB – Limited Participation in Practice
Fred Davis TE – Full Participation in Practice
Edgar Jones DE – Did Not Participate In Practice
Miles Austin WR – Full Participation in Practice
Barry Church S – Full Participation in Practice
Justin Durant LB – Did Not Participate In Practice
Jason Hatcher DT – Limited Participation in Practice
Lance Dunbar RB – Did Not Participate In Practice
Dwayne Harris WR – Limited Participation in Practice
REDSKINS: QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III is 2-0 vs. Dal. & has 111.7 rating. In last game at Dal., passed for 304 yards & 4 TDs for 131.8 rating…RB ALFRED MORRIS has 313 rush yards (156.5 per game) & 4 TDs in 2 career meetings. In last game vs. Dal., rushed for 200 yards & 3 TDs, both career highs. Since Week 12 of 2012, has rushed for 1,040 yards (104 per game) & 10 TDs. His 10 TDs tie for most in NFL & his 1,040 yards rank 3rd…WR PIERRE GARÇON has TD in 2 of past 3 vs. Dal. Had 59-yard TD in last game at Dal. WR SANTANA MOSS needs 113 yards to reach 10,000 career rec. yards…LB RYAN KERRIGAN has 7 sacks & 3 FFs in past 6. Since entering NFL in 2011, is only player in NFL with 20+ sacks (21) & 2+ INT-TDs (2). LB BRIAN ORAKPO has 3 sacks in past 3. LB LONDON FLETCHER has played 244 consecutive games. Had 2 sacks in last meeting…COWBOYS: Lead NFC with 152 points scored…QB TONY ROMO threw for franchise-record 506 yards & 5 TDs last week. Has completed 156 of 221 (70.6 pct.) for 2,039 yards with 19 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 124.2 rating in past 6 at home…In career, when RB DE MARCO MURRAY has 18+ att., Cowboys are 11-0. Has 1,253 rush yards (113.9 per game) in those 11…WR DEZ BRYANT has 6 TDs in past 4 & aims for 5th in row with TD. Has 11 TDs in past 8 at home. In past 13, has 79 catches for 1,302 yards (100.2 per game) & 16 TDs. TE JASON WITTEN (834) ranks 2nd all-time in receptions by TE. Since 2007, has 582 catches, most by NFL TE. Has TD in 2 of past 3 meetings. Rookie WR TERRANCE WILLIAMS had 4 catches for career-high 151 yards & TD (82 yards) last week…DE DE MARCUS WARE has 115 sacks since entering league in 2005, most in NFL. Has 11 sacks in past 14 meetings. Since 2010, LB SEAN LEE ties for 1st among NFL LBs with 8 INTs & 2 INT-TDs. His 183 INT yards are most by LB.
Finally, we wrap up Dallas week with a preview of Sunday Night Football from CBS Sports.
Tom Blaz is a co-owner of the DC Sports Report and The Recruiting Eagle, which focuses on Athletics at Auburn University. You may follow Tom on twitter at #RecruitingEagle