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Cowboys @ Redskins Expert Picks: Can Washington Do Anything Against Ezekiel Elliott?

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A sampling of picks made for Sunday's Cowboys @ Redskins game suggests the Cowboys have a chance as road underdogs in Washington - if they get Ezekiell Elliott going.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys travel to Washington on Sunday and go into the game as 2.5-point underdogs. The Vegas oddsmakers generally start with a base 3-point advantage for home teams in the NFL, so the current odds would suggest that on a neutral field, the Cowboys would be favored by the slimmest of margins. And that's exactly how our panel of experts see it, as they are split pretty evenly between the Cowboys and Redskins.

Whether or not those experts have any idea what they are talking about remains to be seen, but here's what our panel of prominent pigskin pundits predicts for the game:

Name
Pick Score Comment
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com
Dal_medium 24-21 It didn't work out for me last week, but I'm gonna trust in Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott once again. Cole Beasley needs to hold on to a few more footballs. Jason Witten can't lose any more in the sun. Dez Bryant just needs to be targeted. On that note, will Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry move Josh Norman around with Bryant after all the criticism over Bashaud Breeland being left alone against Antonio Brown in Washington's loss to the Steelers? He might be forced to, as surely coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will try to create big-play opportunities for their No. 1 receiver. What could make all of this football Stratego moot is the play of Ezekiel Elliott and a highly motivated Alfred Morris running the ball for Dallas. Seeing how DeAngelo Williams ran wild on Washington's front seven, what should we expect from Elliott and Morris behind their road graders?
Peter Schrager, Foxsports
Was_medium 28-20 I’m not jumping off the Kirk Cousins Train just yet. I predicted he’d lead the league in passing this season and after a sub-par Week 1, the Twitter Mob got me good. I believe he gets things right this weekend. Short week for the Skins, but I’m not sure I see Dallas – with a rookie quarterback – going on the road and beating the defending division champions in their building.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald
Dal_medium 27-23 Cowboys and Indians is one of King Sport’s better rivalries but, the way Washers looked last week and with Dallas minus Tony Romo, it feels shrunken. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are ’Boys’ first rookie QB/RB to start season since Roger Staubach and Calvin Hill in 1969. Josh Norman on Dez Bryant might make it a thorny day for Prescott, but I like Elliott for a breakout game. Upset!

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/greg-cote/article102105877.html#storylink=cpy
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Was_medium 21-17 The Redskins looked bad in losing to the Steelers at home Monday night. They get their rivals with a chance to turn things around. This will be Dak Prescott’s first road start at quarterback for the Cowboys. That matters. Redskins take it.
Sam Farmer, LA Times Dal_medium 28-24 The Redskins weren’t impressive against Pittsburgh’s running attack, so go with the Cowboys on the strength of rookie QB Dak Prescott and the ground game. Dallas offensive line looms large.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Was_medium 20-17 Washington is reeling after a home loss to the Steelers on a big stage. They now get a crack at a team they need to beat in order to have a realistic chance to win the division.
David Steele, Sporting News
Dal_medium 26-17 The first road test for Dak Prescott, who could have used some help from his teammates against the Giants, especially at the end. He should get help from Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris, who face a surprisingly weak Washington run defense that got shoved around by the Steelers. For the heck of it, Jay Gruden may let Josh Norman cover, you know, Dez Bryant.
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk
Was_medium 17-14 The loser of this game is in a world of hurt in the NFC East race. I think that loser will be the Cowboys, who simply can’t find a way to win without Tony Romo: In their last 37 games they’re 17-5 with Romo and 1-14 without him.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report Dal_medium - - Dallas will cram the ball between the tackles after a lackluster Week 1. Ezekiel Elliott is in line for 25-plus touches, and Washington won't do anything about it. If it could, DeAngelo Williams might've been held in check a little better on a national stage.

Then the Redskins will throw a counterpunch. From what I see on film, they'll spread the Cowboys out with three- or four-wide sets and look for the best mismatch. There'll be plenty of them if defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli uses single-high safety looks as much as he normally does.

Last team standing gets to limp home a winner. I expect Zeke to be the difference in this one.

Matt Youmans, Las Vegas Journal Review Dal_medium - - With their franchise quarterback crippled, their franchise clown — wide receiver Dez Bryant — is about to go berserk if he’s not getting the football. Jason Garrett is about to be put back on the coaching hot seat. Jones is about to give Garrett another vote of confidence.

But there is some good news for the Cowboys. The Redskins might be even more of a mess, if their sad showing Monday night is any kind of indication of what’s to come. There are countless clueless people in high positions in Washington, D.C., and not all of them are politicians.

55% of the 138 predictions tallied by NFLPickwatch.com favor the Redskins over the Cowboys, the lowest total in any Week 2 contest. What's your expectation for the game?