3-and-Out: Is Sunday a must-win game vs. Dallas?

3-and-Out: Is Sunday a must-win game vs. Dallas?
October 9, 2013, 7:30 pm
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RGIII: "We've just got to win the division. Period."

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Sunday’s game against the Cowboys isn’t necessarily a ‘must-win’ for the Redskins, but at 1-3, it’s about as close as it gets. Coming off a bye, the Robert Griffin III and Co. simply must find a way to get a big ‘W’ against their bitter rival in Big D.

Here are three story lines to keep an eye on this weekend:

1st down—Is this really a must-win? Of course it isn’t. The Redskins can’t be eliminated Sunday. They won’t be cleaning out their lockers if they lose. But it would be hard to imagine any team rallying from a 1-4 deficit, particularly when two of those losses are against teams in the woeful NFC East. “Everybody sees that regardless of what your record us, you do have a chance,” Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday.

2nd down—Alfred Morris said he expects to be on the field at AT&T Stadium after suffering a rib injury in Oakland. And a healthy Morris could be the key to a Redskins’ victory. In two games against the Cowboys last season, Morris rushed for a total of 313 yards, including a 200-yard effort in the NFC East clinching win last December. Morris also scored four touchdowns in those games. “There was no setback, no limits on his carries in practice,” Shanahan said. “He should be ready to go.”

3rd down—Can DeAngelo Hall shut down Dez Bryant, again? The Redskins’ hopes might depend on it. Bryant, of course, is off to a strong start this season. He ranks second in receiving touchdowns with six and is sixth in yards after the catch with 183, according to ProFootballFocus.com.  When the teams met last December, Hall was assigned to cover Bryant and limited the Cowboys’ star to four catches, 71 yards and no touchdowns. D-Hall will need another strong effort if the Redskins are going to have a chance Sunday night – and he knows it. “It’s going to be a battle,” Hall said.

Extra point: If the Redskins win Sunday, it will be their first three-game winning streak against the Cowboys since they won four in a row from 1986-88.

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