NFC EAST SHOWDOWN FOR COWBOYS

By Jay Betsill – @THEFAMOUSJAY

The Dallas Cowboys visit the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field this Sunday in what is essentially a playoff game with the winner taking the NFC East title and a spot in the playoffs. For the second straight year, NBC has ‘flexed’ the Cowboys final game and moved it to Sunday Night Football. In 2011, the Cowboys were on the road to face the New York Giants in Week 17 with the NFC East on the line. New York won that game and went on to win the Super Bowl. Don’t forget the 2008 trip to Philadelphia with a playoff spot at stake that ended with a 44-6 loss.

While the Cowboys are hoping to avoid the same fate as a season ago, but the Redskins are among the hottest teams in the league and did have an easy time with a 38-31 victory over Dallas at Cowboys Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. On the bright side for the Cowboys, they were without five offensive starters in that game including left tackle Tyron Smith, center Ryan Cook and wide receiver Miles Austin (hip injury in the first quarter). Running back DeMarco Murray missed his fifth straight game that afternoon. All will be back for Dallas when they take the field Sunday night.

If Dallas is to have any chance, look for Romo to feed Dez Bryant and go after cornerback DeAngelo Hall. While Dez was passed over for the Pro Bowl, the prolific Romo-Bryant connection of late is the reason Dallas is even in this position to sneak into the postseason.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is coming off a week in which he was named to the Pro Bowl and a season that is meriting consideration for both Offensive Rookie of the Year and league MVP. However, he is coming off a game where he was slowed with a knee injury he suffered in the final minutes of regulation in the Redskins’ 31-28 overtime win over the Ravens. Griffin, however, did compile a 102.4 passer rating on 16-24-189 with two TDs, including a perfectly thrown ball to Santana Moss for a 22-yard TD.

The Cowboys’ defense has been ravaged with injuries up the middle and is vulnerable to a strong attack between the tackles, so look for Washington’s “other” rookie, running back Alfred Morris to have a big impact on the game. Morris has averaged 4.7 yards per carry and had 113 yards on 24 carries on Thanksgiving Day against Dallas.

Prediction: The Redskins glory days are back as they defeat the Cowboys 31-24

 

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