Redskins vs Cowboys: players & positions to watch

WASHINGTON (WUSA) - What do the Washington Redskins need to do to beat the Dallas Cowboys?

In the words of Redskins Hall of Famer Darrell Green, “They have to run the ball, and they need to stop the run.”

It’s simple straight forward but it’s exactly what the burgundy and gold need to do to avoid a 0-2 start to the season. In truth, all facets of the game needs to improve.

 

STOP THE RUN

               On Monday Night Football the Pittsburgh Steelers ran all over Washington. They finished with 147 yards on the ground, 143 of those came from DeAngelo Williams alone. We all know the Dallas Cowboys like to run the football, hence drafting Ezekiel Elliot 4th overall in this year’s draft. Elliot’s debut against the Giants was rather underwhelming, 20 carries for just 51 yards, however, he was backed up by former Redskins Alfred Morris, who averaged 5 yards a carry. The cowboys will hit the Redskins defense with the run early and often, waiting for that breakout moment from Elliot.

 

RUN THE FOOTBALL

            The Redskins offense was completely unbalanced against Pittsburgh because they abandoned the run. Washington finished with just 12 carries for 55 yards, putting more pressure on Kirk Cousins, who struggled in his season debut. The Redskins must do something to revive the run game. Matt Jones and Chris Thompson are another week healed from injury, but keep an eye out for rookie Robert Kelley to possibly see more action against Dallas.

 

KIRK COUSINS IMPROVEMENTS

            Well paid quarterback Kirk Cousins struggled in his season debut against Pittsburgh. He threw for over 300 yards but was constantly forced into several 3rd and longs, had to play from behind and missed key throws. The offense was simply out of sync. Coach Jay Gruden said his quarterback is still learning to be a starter. He has just one season under his belt. Look for Cousins to make smarter decisions in crunch time and hopefully get some help from the run game.

 

WATCH OUT, ROOKIE

               Washington’s linebacker are probably licking their chops at the idea of facing a rookie quarterback. Dak Prescott showed us last week that not all is lost for the Cowboys without Tony Romo but it will be key for the Washington defense to pressure Prescott early and often, especially with Norman, Hall and Breeland waiting in the wings for him to make a mistake.

 

NORMAN’S SECOND ACT

               Much has been made this week of the play of Washington’s cornerbacks. The defense gave up 126 yards and 2 touchdowns to Antonio Brown. While the enticing match-up leading into the game was that of Josh Norman and Brown, he was mostly covered by Bashaud Breeland. Well, the secondary has a new challenge this week in Dez Bryant, who says he wants the challenge of matching up against Norman, the highest paid corner in the league. Whether it’s Norman or Breeland the Redskins secondary needs tohighest paid corner in the league. Whether it’s Norman or Breeland the Redskins secondary needs to shut down that Cowboys passing game.


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