By Zach Walker
Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys
Sunday – January 3 – 12:00 pm CT
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas
Records Before the Game
Washington Redskins (8-7, 2-5 away)
Dallas Cowboys (4-11, 1-6 home)
Who do the Cowboys need to shut down?
QB Kirk Cousins – Like it or not, respect it or not, Kirk Cousins is now a playoff bound quarterback. He’ll have the wind under his sails, having a home game to start his playoff career. He’s played so much better at home, than on the road, it’s almost as if there are two different quarterbacks. Depending on the way that the game is going to go, with Washington having already secured a playoff spot, we might not even see Cousins for that long especially, if we start to knock him around early.
Who on the Cowboys, needs to step up?
CB/S Byron Jones – Of course, I don’t have tape of the X’s and O’s, nor hard facts behind it, but what I see from Byron Jones is definitely all positive. He’s been burned a couple times this season but as a rookie that shouldn’t exactly be discouraging, because even the best get beat. Revis, Sherman, Haden, all of them get beat. He doesn’t necessarily need to step up because I do believe he’s actually playing at one of the higher levels on the defense. The thing I’d like to see him do is finish the season off with a game with an interception. That would be unbelievable in terms of his progress and in boosting his confidence going into next season.
Which group will give the Cowboys fits?
Washington Wide Receivers – Just like Kirk Cousins, if the game starts to skew in any way Dallas’ way, I think that the wide receivers will probably be among the first to get pulled in the game. Keeping DeSean Jackson fresh for their playoff matchup is probably going to be the smartest option and if I were Jay Gruden, I wouldn’t even play him. They can get on very well with Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon being the primary pass targets.
Which group will give Washington fits?
Dallas Offensive line – In the final game of pushing people around for a while for these big guys up front, they know that they have a chance to do something special for their running back. Darren McFadden is so close to a thousand yards that it’s almost not worth mentioning how close, but he is only THREE yards away. That’s one play. That’s a broken play. That’s nothing to worry about, but at the same time it’s the thing that these guys have to go into this game looking forward to doing and that’s getting Darren McFadden that three yards and beyond, so he can cash in on a $300,000 bonus for reaching 1,000 yards.
What will it take for the Cowboys to win?
As much as I know that a win would hurt this team in the draft, I want Dallas to beat Washington because I believe that’s what should happen. They probably won’t roll in and roll out the full complement of the team for Washington, knowing they have a playoff game next week, and this team has already lost to the Cowboys and then handcuffing themselves, it should be a win.
Prediction: Dallas 24 – Washington 17