October 19, 2019

Washington Redskins Week 13 Preview: vs. Dallas Cowboys

Folks, this is the one we look forward to every year. The division-leading Washington Redskins host the rival Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field on Monday Night Football. The Redskins somehow find themselves leading the NFC East over the Giants and Eagles, who both sit at 5-7 after their week 13 games. The Dallas Cowboys have endured a tough season, sitting at 3-8 amid serious injury and off-the-field distractions.

For Redskin fans, this game is THE game, whether the division is on the line or not. FedEx will be loud and the atmosphere will be electric. The Redskins have not fared well on primetime in recent memory, with a 4-18 clip in their last 22 games under the lights. However, they hold a 5-1 record at home in 2015 and defeated the Cowboys on Monday Night Football last year in Dallas. Anything is possible when these rivals come together.

Dallas may be depleted by injuy at the quarterback position with the loss of QB Tony Romo for the season, but they still have weapons capable of beating anyone. WR Dez Bryant is one of the most athletic receivers in the game who has created problems for the Washington secondary in the past, Darren McFadden is a versatile athletic back, and Jason Witten remains one of the most reliable TEs in the game.

Dallas has had about 10 days to rest themselves after a blowout loss to Carolina on Thanksgiving, so they will be extra fresh and prepared. In their history, Washington and Dallas have played each other 16 times on Monday Night Football, and each has won 8 times. Something has to give, but rest assured that this game will be close to the end and provide plenty of drama and fireworks.

Key Matchups

QB Matt Cassel vs. Washington Pass Rush

The Redskins were able to handle Eli Manning a week ago thanks to some great performances in the secondary, but also because of the pass rush. Manning was not comfortable in the pocket, rushed some throws, and took unmitigated risks that resulted in 3 costly interceptions. Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, and Chris Baker, among others, have to keep the penetration throughout the entire game this week just as they did vs. New York.

This week, the opponent is Matt Cassel. While it is easy to laugh at his 0-4 record this year and the way the team has struggled under him, Cassel is still an experienced quarterback. The Redskins must take him seriously because he is the man who can get Bryant and McFadden the rock. The key will be making him uncomfortable from the first whistle.

WR DeSean Jackson vs. Cowboys’ Secondary

The Washington offense is most certainly improved with the famed field-stretcher Jackson on the field. Jackson is a familiar foe to the Cowboys from his time in D.C and in Philadelphia. Last week vs. the Giants, Jackson and Cousins connected on a 62-yard TD that broke open the game and brought extra attention to D-Jax for the rest of the game.

With DeSean on the field, the Redskins have much more space to work with on underneath routes by Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, and Pierre Garcon. The Cowboys have a pretty stellar secondary which allows about 225 yards a contest. Kirk may have to exceed that average for Washington to stay in the game, and that would involve at least one game-breaking play from Jackson.

 

Redskins’ “Stud” of the Game

RB Alfred Morris

Morris has averaged 99 yards per game in his career against Dallas (7 games). He has been finding his holes and running with more confidence recently, and Jay Gruden knows he has to get him going. Morris needs to run for his first score of the season and average at least 5 yards per carry to truly re-establish himself as the main guy like he was from ’12-’14.

Prediction

Redskins 19, Cowboys 17

Rivalry games are downright impossible to predict. This game is a true coin flip, and anyone who disagrees does not know this rivalry. The Redskins will hold Bryant as in check as they can a la Odell Beckham, and Kirk will find a way to orchestrate a drive at the end that wins the ball game after a long, physical game.

About Seamus Kane

Seamus Kane is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Wizards. A native of Silver Spring, MD, Seamus grew up in the area all his life rooting for the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, Caps, and Terps. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014 with a degree in American History and now lives in Washington, DC. His favorite DC sports legend is Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, and his favorite DC sports moment was Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off in the first-ever game at Nationals Park, a game which he attended. You can follow Seamus on Twitter @ShamelessKane

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