Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Do or die this Sunday night. Cowboys and Redskins tangle for the NFC East and the playoffs.
We all know who the opponent is on Sunday and what's at stake. To get a read on the enemy, I asked 5 Questions of Hogs Haven.
Blogging The Boys: What is the status on RG3's knee? Last week he played but was limited in mobility and was kept mainly to pocket-passer. Will that change this week? Will he become the pass-run threat he's been much of the year?
Hogs Haven: I think I'd have an easier time getting the location of Jimmy Hoffa's body then I would the true status of RGIII's knee. He was cleared for full activity last week, but Kyle Shanahan eased the game plan vs PHI to ensure his knee is fully recovered. If I were Rob Ryan, I would expect the same RGIII that he saw Thanksgiving Day. He is wearing that bulky ACL knee brace, which keeps him from getting to that 3rd gear speed, so that is a hindrance, but I expect the Pistol to return.
HH: Polumbus was only cleared for walk-throughs. We'll see what the Friday injury report says. The Redskins will be fine either way. Maurice Hurt allowed zero QB pressures last week and Polumbus was never that great to begin with.
BTB: The Cowboys passing offense has exploded recently, especially since DeMarco Murray has added a run game that defenses have to respect. How is the Redskins secondary holding up, and is safety as big a problem as we've read about?
HH: The Safety problems are as bad as it has been all year. The much bigger concern is SS Dejon Gomes has a sprained MCL and likely won't be able to go. With a horrible set of safeties to begin with, that is major trouble. This mean Reed Doughty, who is a great run defender but horrible pass defender will likely go. Jordan Pugh and DJ Johnson have been seeing action as well. It's going to be nerve-racking if Romo has all day. Dallas WRs are much more athletic and quicker than the Redskins secondary. Losing slot CB Cedric Griffin was also a blow.
BTB: Can the Redskins generate enough of a pass rush to disrupt Romo? Who should Cowboys fans keep an eye on in the Redskins defensive front seven?
HH: The answer is no. Even when Rak (Orakpo) was healthy the Redskins have had problems getting to Romo. The key for this game is the Redskins need to be precision tacklers. Romo is going to have big numbers this Sunday, but if Redskins defenders whiff or miss on a tackle when the ball first gets to the WRs, then it's going the house. The Redskins D has been solid in the redzone, so by any means necessary, don't allow Cowboys WRs to get behind them. Barry Cofield and Stephen Bown have been unsung heroes all year. Kerrigan has stepped up his game as well recently.
BTB: Give us the skinny on the Redskins receivers. How much has that unit progressed and where are they most effective?
HH: The scheme has really been the progression. Redskins WRs running down field with literally no defenders anywhere around them. Kudos to Kyle Shanahan there. This off-season, Mike Shanahan made a huge effort to bring in WRs with yards after the catch ability. A healthier Pierre Garcon has done wonders in that department. Simply throw it over the middle and let him do his thing. Josh Morgan has also flashed in that department. The Pistol really is the heart of everything. LBs bite in on the fake and speedy WRs like Aldrick Robinson, Garcon, Hankerson go over the top for a quick pass.