Cowboys-Redskins: The basics

Cowboys-Redskins: The basics
November 20, 2011, 1:09 am
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A look at the Cowboys-Redskins game on Sunday:

When: 1 p.m., Sunday.

Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Md.

TV: FOX (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa). Pre-game coverage on Comcast SportsNet begins at 11:30 a.m.

Radio: ESPN 980 AM, WWXX 94.3 FM, WWXT 92.7 FM (Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff).

Records: Cowboys 5-4, Redskins 3-6.

Last week: Dallas beat Buffalo 44-7, the Redskins lost at Miami 20-9.

Line: Cowboys by 7.5.

Injuries: Cowboys Out: WR Miles Austin (hamstring), FB Tony Fiammetta (illness), CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring). Doubtful: QB Jon Kitna (back). Questionable: RB Felix Jones (ankle), G Kyle Kosier (foot). Probable: LB Sean Lee (wrist), P Mat McBriar (foot). Redskins Out: WR Santana Moss (hand), WR Niles Paul (toe), LB Keyaron Fox (infection). Questionable: RT Jammal Brown (groin), LG Maurice Hurt (knee), RT Sean Locklear (ankle), S LaRon Landry (Achilles). Probable: S O.J. Atogwe (kneetoe), S Reed Doughty (chest), RB Tashard Choice (hamstring), LB London Fletcher (ankle), TE Logan Paulsen (shoulder).
The literal snap of the fingers has become common around Redskin Park these days when talking about big plays. They just arent happening during the five-game losing streak and the Redskins offense isnt equipped to string together first downs for a long drive.

During the skid, the Redskins have only one play longer than 32 yards and their touchdown drives have needed 11, 10, 7 and 10 plays to reach the end zone.

Weve hit a lull not getting some of those big plays, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. Rex takes it when its there and I thought he did a good job of it last week.

When the Redskins faced Dallas in Week 3, they contended with Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. Much has changed since then. Jones has missed the last month and is questionable Sunday with a hamstring injury and Choice is now with the Redskins.

Enter third-round rookie DeMarco Murray, who has three 100-yard games and looking like one of the mid-round steals of the draft.

I think hes given them a spark, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. Hes a really big guy whos fast. He has a great stiff arm and hes hard to bring down in open space so you have to bottle him up and keep him around the line of scrimmage.

Dallas linebacker DeMarcus Ware is second in the NFL with 13 sacks and he has feasted on the Redskins throughout his career (10 sacks in 11 career games). In the teams first meeting, he beat RT Jammal Brown for a sack and was involved in another Grossman take-down by forcing opposite side pressure.

Ware has 75 tackles, 19 pressures and 10 sacks in 13 career games against the Redskins.

An every-down player, expect Dallas to test Ware against projected left guard Tyler Polumbus and especially rookie right tackle Willie Smith if Jammal Brown cant play.

They can get to the quarterback with four guys and when you can get there with four guys, the coverage behind it is a lot tougher, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said.

The Redskins running game in their three wins: Averages of 33.7 carries for 147.3 yards.

And during the current five-game losing streak: Averages of 15.8 carries for 54.5 yards.

The result besides the 3-6 record is a woeful 31st-place ranking in rushing offense.

First and foremost, the Redskins have to get their first lead in more than a month so they can feed the running game and win the time of possession battle (3-0 when they do, 0-6 when they dont).

PICK: Cowboys 20-14.

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