By Zach Walker
Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys
Thursday – November 22 – 3:30 p.m.
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
Records Before the Game
Washington Redskins (6-4, 3-1 Away)
Dallas Cowboys (5-5, 3-1 Home)
Following the loss to this Washington team four weeks ago, it appeared like a pair of teams going in two totally different directions, Washington pulling away and Dallas searching for answers. The days leading into the Thursday tradition, it appears to be that same situation, but the teams flipped. The Dallas Cowboys have looked like a strong team in the last two weeks, a pair of solid road wins against a pair of last season’s playoff teams, now they stand home to welcome a Washington team that’s in scramble mode following their Sunday matchup against the Texans. Alex Smith is out, for now, and in comes someone who made waves of rapid emotion change when I learned that Smith went down. In comes Colt McCoy, and first I felt a wash of excitement that Alex Smith wasn’t going to bring his mobility and veteran savvy to Thanksgiving dinner. Then felt this rain of potential of how strongly the Cowboys could take out their frustration from the loss a month ago. Then a sort of nervous concern about this Thursday. I know that Colt McCoy is going to get eye rolls from everyone out in the land, but this isn’t an incapable quarterback that’s been fished off a golf course, a wrecking yard, or high school sideline. Colt McCoy has been with Jay Gruden for a few seasons, he doesn’t have a rifle but it’s an arm attached to an eye’s up heady Colt McCoy. I’m not scared by any stretch, but I do not believe that Colt McCoy hangs the team out to dry.
The Dallas Cowboys played a great road game against the Falcons. Matt Ryan is almost guaranteed a 300-yard game and three touchdowns when he’s on home turf. Ryan finished almost at his usual, but factually didn’t hit three bills and had only a single touchdown, a late great pass to Julio Jones to tie the game. Ezekiel Elliott is a different creature, a totally different beast. Even though the help to push the secondary back to respectable distance from the line, he’s still facing eight man fronts and getting his job done. I believe that replacing Paul Alexander with Marc Colombo has made a serious difference in the way that the offensive line has gone about their business. Things appear to be buttoned up and the addition of Xavier Su’a-Filo at left guard looks like an underrated addition.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to have to keep that front buttoned, because the Washington defense knows that if they are going to pull a road win, it’s going to be them that makes the magic happen. That front for Washington is great. Led by veteran Ryan Kerrigan, they have blue-chip silverbacks in Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne, a sledgehammer in Preston Smith and Mason Foster is their Jaylon Smith. They have a trio of safeties that could have Zeke Elliott looking for a breather more often, with DJ Swearinger, Deshazor Everett, and newly acquired Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix (I was SOOO pissed that Washington made this trade, the Cowboys NEEDED THIS GUY, and still do).
The Cowboys are going to make the ground around McCoy shake, and have the game operate through the Cowboys offense. The Cowboys owe this Washington team a serious striking beatdown.