The Cowboys made a roster move on Saturday to replenish some depth at wide receiver.
With Tavon Austin missing practice all week with a head injury, Wilson is being called up from the practice squad to be the Cowboys’ fifth receiver in Washington. Linebacker Chris Covington is being released to make room on the roster.
It’s been a long time coming for Wilson, who was a sixth-round draft pick in 2018 before spending last season on injured reserve. The Boise State product didn’t make the initial roster coming out of training camp, but he’ll now have a chance to show his stuff. With Austin sidelined, Wilson figures to back up Randall Cobb as the Cowboys’ punt returner, in addition to special teams and possible slot receiver duties.
Here is the team’s final practice report:
It’s nice to see Cowboys safeties Darian Thompson and Donovan Wilson back as full participants in practice. Will they both be ready to go for the game? If so, it could make Kavon Frazier a healthy scratch for Sunday. Speaking of healthy scratches, has the Taco Charlton era ended in Dallas? If the Cowboys have a trade partner in mind, then holding him out of the game could preserve his health. Robert Quinn is coming back next week so there’s just not much a role for Charlton on this team anymore. Second-round pick Trysten Hill should start to see some action soon. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him and fellow rookie Joe Jackson rotate back and forth on the active roster to get some reps in this year, but Jackson may get the nod this week again with Quinn gone.
My prediction for the Cowboys inactives for Week 2 against the Redskins are:— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) September 14, 2019
LB Luke Gifford (ankle)
WR Tavon Austin (concussion)
OL Brandon Knight
OL Adam Redmond
DE Taco Charlton
DT Trysten Hill
S Kavon Frazier
Who you got?
If you are one of the unlucky ones who live in the Pacific Northwest (like me) or any spot not in red, then you’ll have to find some other means of watching the game as it won’t be broadcast locally. Here is this week’s TV coverage map courtesy of 506 Sports.
A game preview, including a hot and cold tale of too halves for Washington last week.
Finding consistency -- After a dominating the first 30 minutes, which included Keenum throwing for 257 passing yards -- a personal best for a half -- and a defense that held a dangerous Eagles offense to just seven points, Washington headed to the locker room up 20-7. From that point on, though, Philadelphia flipped the script, forcing the Redskins into back-to-back-to-back three-and- outs while putting together two time-killing, methodical drives. Avoiding lulls like these on both sides of the ball will be crucial for Washington in Week 2.
Another game preview, including how the Cowboys offense matches up against the Redskins defense.
The Cowboys are coming off a massive game in which they torched the Giants defense. It’s important not to read into that too much, as the Giants have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, but the Redskins still need to be wary of the weapons the Cowboys have. In particular, the team’s receiving corps is much improved. Amari Cooper was strong for them last year, but second-year man Michael Gallup looks like a true deep threat while Randall Cobb is proving to be a nice slot replacement for Cole Beasley. The Redskins are going to have a tough time matching up with all three of those players.
Last week, Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar both had their issues on the outside while rookie Jimmy Moreland had some coverage problems as well (which is to be expected of a seventh-round rookie). This trio will need to step up against the Cowboys receivers. Otherwise, they could have a huge day. Moreland vs. Cobb will be a particularly interesting battle to watch though, as the veteran could get the best of the young talent from James Madison University.
An explanation of how the team’s young OC could attempt to confuse the Redskins secondary.
I expect we will continue to see Kellen Moore utilize the bunch formations that were so successful against the Giants. Putting Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb together presents problems for the secondary to deal with when it comes to sorting out coverage. When the receivers come off the line, it creates natural picks due to the exchange of routes and defenders will struggle to get through the trash. Jimmy Moreland is a rookie and the Redskins’ nickel corner. Covering Randall Cobb will be a tall task, and making him fight to do so would only put more stress on the defense. This is an area Moore could choose to attack.
Weekly roundup: 10 Cowboys nuggets to know heading into Sunday’s game at Washington - Jon Machota, The Athletic
Machota provides his weekly roundup, including how a particular Redskins cornerback was not that impressed with Dak Prescott’s big game last week.
5.) Josh Norman wasn’t as complimentary of Dak Prescott. Although he said the Cowboys quarterback has grown in Dallas’ system, he was quick to point out that Prescott had a clean pocket throughout the season opener. Norman isn’t expecting that to be the case Sunday. “I don’t think he was getting much rush up the field on him,” Norman said. “You stand back there in the pocket all day and go through your first, second and third reads and come back to your first one, OK, cool. Anybody can do that. You (reporter) could throw the ball if that’s the case. At the end of the day, he’s been playing well. As you can see, he’s evolved, he’s grown in the system.”
Norman should spend less time talking and more time tackling.
Take a moment to appreciate this $75 million investment by the Washington Redskins. pic.twitter.com/PNE43dUG1b— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) August 16, 2019
It may have seemed like Dak Prescott had all day in the pocket, but he certainly didn’t need it.
5 Statistics that Could Determine the Outcome for Cowboys vs Redskins - John Williams, Inside the Star
Five stats that could come up big in the game, including the fast-releasing Dak Prescott?
Time to Throw
Dak Prescott: 2.53 per Next Gen Stats, 2.25 per Pro Football Focus
Case Keenum: 2.85 per Next Gen Stats, 2.68 per Pro Football Focus
By whichever advance stat company you choose to subscribe to, Dak Prescott is getting the ball out significantly faster in 2019 than he was in 2018. In 2018, Prescott averaged 2.82 seconds to attempt according to Next Gen Stats and 2.98 seconds to attempt per Pro Football Focus. He’s sliced nearly 3/4 of a second off his time to attempt year over year per PFF through one game. That’s a lifetime in the NFL. Prescott was decisive on Sunday against the Giants and made his reads quickly and got rid of the football. Rarely did you see Prescott hold onto the football and have to scramble to make a play with his arm.
With Kellen Moore calling the plays, there use of play-action and RPOs allowed Dak to make quick reads and quick throws. Though Keenum was under more pressure against the Eagles than Dak was against the Giants, he still held onto the football longer and was only sacked one time. That’s a surprising testament to the Redskins offensive line and to Keenum, who despite missing a couple of starters on the offensive line was willing to hang in the pocket under duress.
The Cowboys aren’t the only offense that can hit the defense for big passing plays and that’s one of the three concerns heading into this game.
The explosive passing game In losing to the Eagles, the Redskins showed they can be explosive in the passing game. QB Case Keenum won’t remind anyone of Drew Brees, but he did throw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores were over 45 yards and Keenum overthrew an opportunity for a third explosive passing TD. In total, the Redskins’ offense managed four passing plays of over 20 yards and put up 27 points.
Keenum to rookie WR Terry McLaurin has already shown to be a dangerous combination. McLaurin scored on a 69-yard touchdown and was the receiver streaking free on the big miss from Keenum in the third quarter. Two of McLaurin’s five catches went for over 20 yards, he’s someone the Cowboys’ secondary needs to be wary of.
Rising from the ashes: How the Cowboys salvaged their 2018 season after melting down in Maryland - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
The last time these teams squared off in Washington, things didn’t go so well on the field, but it ended up being the beginning of a nice run for the Boys in blue.
The Cowboys began to turn their season after that loss. With the bye week ahead of them, the Cowboys elected to stay in Washington an extra day to visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. It was an emotional experience for several players who wanted to know more about the history of the country. The team also ventured to the National Mall and visited the Lincoln Memorial.
It was during this trip that Stephen Jones, the Cowboys’ executive vice president, got the call that would change everything. The previous week, Jones was rebuffed by then-Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie in trade discussions for receiver Amari Cooper. Mark Davis, the Raiders owner, said he wanted a 2019 first-round pick for Cooper. Teams were only willing to give up a first-round pick in 2020. But the desperation in the Cowboys was apparent. Dallas relented and offered its first-round pick in 2019, knowing that Cooper would have a star on his helmet for at least 25 regular-season games -- the remainder of the 2018 season plus 2019, because his fifth-year option had been picked up by the Raiders.
Before the Cowboys got back on the plane for Dallas, the trade was complete and the season was reborn.
And you know what happened next...
In case you missed it...
Cowboys vs. Redskins: Three predictions for how Week 2 will play out - Matt Holleran, Blogging The Boys
Our own Matt Holleran makes some bold predictions for the game and he’s got an unsuspecting hero in this one.
3. Maher’s redemption
Dallas wins the game on a Maher 49-yard field goal Last season when the Dallas Cowboys traveled to Washington in Week 7, the game came down to a field goal try to send it to overtime. After a snap infraction penalty, the kick was moved five yards back, and Dallas kicker Brett Maher hit the left upright and missed. Dallas fell to 3-4 on the season and things looked bleak, but we all know how that turned out.
On Sunday, Maher will get his chance at redemption, and this time he will not miss. Last season the Cowboys’ kicker registered his first two game-winning kicks against the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons, and on Sunday afternoon he will get his third. In the large scheme of things, Dallas is a much better team than the Redskins, but after losing Week 1 Washington will come into this game desperate for a victory and play the Cowboys tough. Whenever these two teams match up, the games are always physical, close games, especially at FedEx Field.
The Dallas offense will play good football, not great football, but will do just enough to get them in position for a game-winning field goal at the buzzer. The defense has a great day, holding the Redskins’ passing offense in check, allowing Brett Maher to walk it off with a final score of 20-17.
BTB’s David Howman provides some last minute fantasy football advice, but you might want to look away for this one.
TE Vernon Davis vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Redskins’ top tight end, Jordan Reed, has been ruled out this week with a concussion, meaning Vernon Davis will get the start again. He was a favorite target for Case Keenum last week, catching four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Add in that he’s going up against a defense that couldn’t stop Giants tight end Evan Engram, and Davis could be a sleeper start this week.