After the Cowboys uncorked a whole lot of offense on the New York Giants last week, can we expect similar in a week two road trip to Washington? The BTB staff weigh in on what to expect in this week two NFC East showdown.
When Washington has the ball
Tackle in the open-field
Case Keenum actually started off week one red hot with two huge splash plays that resulted in touchdowns. The wily veteran, Vernon Davis, took one 48-yards to the house and rookie Terry McLaurin had a 69-yard catch-and-run to start the second quarter. The Cowboys defense will need to tighten up their run defense as they don’t want a 34-year-old Adrian Peterson gashing them all day.
However, the most important aspect of a Rod Marinelli defense has been putting a lid on the big plays by keeping all the action in front of them. The Cowboys defense must be more disciplined than we saw in week one and not allow Washington to hit huge plays and take control of the tempo in this game.
When Dallas has the ball
Protect Dak Prescott
The Cowboys quarterback was a big reason the offense was firing on all cylinders last week. For Dak Prescott to have success against a vastly tougher defensive matchup, he needs the offensive line to keep him clean once again. Dallas didn’t allow a single sack last week and that’s going to be a harder to task in week two with Ryan Kerrigan screaming off the edge. Dak Prescott has a lot of weapons at his disposal but it will not matter if he’s running for his life like he was in last year’s contest at FedEx Field.
If the Cowboys can neutralize the Washington pass rush and handle the blitzing linebackers, it’s going to be tough for anyone to cover the ample receiving threats on this Cowboys roster.
Now onto the predictions from your BTB writers...
This won’t be an easy one for the Cowboys as the Redskins will bring a lot of fight on their home turf. Some missed opportunities will keep the offense from having a repeat performance but they show up in the second half to get it done. The Cowboys defense comes through with a few big plays, and Brett Maher exercises the demons from his goalpost doink a year ago at FedEx Field. Cowboys win a close one 27-24.
Adrian Peterson will rack up some yards and Vernon Davis will find the endzone once again but the Cowboys defense will get a few takeaways that seal it. After a slow start, Kellen Moore’s offense takes flight late and finishes with a 24-14 win.
My game prediction is Dallas 20 Washington 17. Tony Pollard will have his first NFL touchdown, the Dallas defense keeps Case Keenum in check all day, and the Cowboys win it at the buzzer on a Brett Maher field goal.
Last week I called for 300-yards and three touchdown passes from Dak Prescott, and I was 75% right. Washington is a better defense than the Giants, so I’ll just roll that part over. I think Ezekiel Elliott gets another rushing score while, as a team, Dallas rushes for 150+ yards on the ground. The defense did a bit less than I expected, but Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard will have them fired up for redemption in this one. Figure it’s another big win, 31-17 Cowboys.
I thought last week would be a much tougher matchup than it was for the Cowboys but they cruised to a 35-17 win. This week, I’m still not ready to crown the Cowboys as easy winners, especially in hostile Washington territory. It’s hard to win these divisional games on the road and Washington cannot afford to go 0-2 in the division. Still, the Cowboys are too talented to drop this game. The Cowboys offense doesn’t have the prolific day but do enough to win and DeMarcus Lawrence seals a 21-17 with a sack-strip of Case Keenum late in the fourth quarter.