Ron Glover’s Thanksgiving Day Pick #2: Washington Redskins (4-6) vs. Dallas Cowboys (5-5): RG3 is out to foil the Cowboys mastery of the Redskins
The Cowboys might need Dez Bryant to make an impact on special teams today.
The Dallas Cowboys have won seven of their last eight meetings against the Washington Redskins including the last three. A win will not be as easy to come by today like in seasons past. The inconsistencies of the Cowboys have continued to plague them, placing Tony Romo and Jason Garrett in an uncomfortable position.
It’s been an uphill climb for Washington this season, but the emergence of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has given the residents of Chocolate City hope for their Redskins. The Cowboys are 6-0 against the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day.
Fans of the Dallas Cowboys are hanging their hats on Tony Romo’s remarkable record in the month of November. The Cowboys are trying to get back into the NFC East race, they now trail the division-leading Giants by one game. None of this will matter if the Cowboys offensive line can’t protect Romo. Last week against the Browns, Romo was sacked seven times and narrowly escaped half a dozen more. The O-Line isn’t in the greatest of health — which will be a problem.
Romo threw 13 picks in his first seven games, but has not thrown any in his last three.
The Redskins are licking their chops at the potential of getting to Romo by pressuring the edges and blitzing. The Redskins secondary is opportunistic, but gives up yards in bunches (290 ypg.). The Redskins have suffered devastating injuries to the defensive unit with the losses of Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker. This week the team learned that they will be without safety Brandon Merriweather (ACL) for the remainder of the season. A sprained ankle has put London Fletcher’s 234-game streak in jeopardy.
The Redskins might be able to focus solely on the Cowboys passing game. Running backs DeMarco Murray (foot) and Felix Jones (knee) are both nursing injuries. Dez Bryant was a big target for Romo last week, pulling in 12 passes for a career-high 145 yards.
The Cowboys have to figure out a way to slow down Robert Griffin III. The problem is no team has been able to put a finger on him. If Griffin is allowed to extend plays, the results could be disastrous. Jay Ratliff in the middle and DeMarcus Ware at end could make Griffin uncomfortable with the necessary push.
The Redskins are second in the NFL in total rushing yards per game (165), Griffin is responsible for some of it, but the emergence of Alfred Morris as a downhill runner gives the Redskins a physical presence in the backfield that could potentially change the outlook of the game. No matter how well Morris runs today, it will all be for naught if the Redskins receivers are ineffective. The Cowboys 6th-ranked pass defense is out to throw a blanket over Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson and Anthony Armstrong. I believe Griffin can expose safety Gerald Sensabaugh with Moss on deep patterns. Griffin will have to pick his spots with the gifted Morris Claiborne lurking at corner.
Prediction: RG3 is playing in his home state of Texas for the first time as a pro. The lack of a running game hurts the Cowboys due to their inabilty to control the clock. The Redskins will play small ball and pick their spots. The Dallas defenders may be a little too eager to get after Griffin — which could prove costly.
Redskins 23 – Cowboys 21