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Enemy Intel around the NFL, Week 6—Can the Cowboys pass another tough test?

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Enemy Intel around the NFL, Week 6—Can the Cowboys pass another tough test?

Here is my weekly Redskins-centric look around the NFL:

—The Giants hope to avoid a fourth straight loss as they host the Ravens, who have lost two straight. Both teams are in varying states of turmoil. Baltimore fired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman on Monday and he will be replaced by Marty Mornhinweg. The new OC has a good offensive mind but I’m not sure what he can do with an offensive line that is reeling with injuries. If WR Steve Smith Sr. (ankle) is out I'm not sure what he's going to be able to do. Meanwhile, just as the Odell Beckham antics have faded to the background (but haven’t disappeared entirely), Giants left tackle Ereck Flowers shoved a member of the media in the locker room after New York’s latest loss. You go back to the game against the Redskins, where their losing skid started, and you have Beckham’s kicking net punching back and center Weston Richburg getting booted out of the game for multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. It points to a lack of discipline. Discipline was the calling card of for former coach Tom Coughlin. It does not appear to be a strong point of his replacement, Ben McAdoo.

—Last week the Cowboys handled what appeared to be their sternest test to date with ease as they ran out to a 28-0 lead over the Bengals. This week things could be significantly tougher as they go to Lambeau Field. It’s not just Aaron Rodgers, who is playing well but not All World well. It’s that Green Bay defense. They have averaged giving up just 2.0 yards per rush, the best in the NFL by a full yard. It is a little easier to pass against them but the Cowboys need to run to set up Dak Prescott’s passing. It should be noted, however, that the Cowboys have the best offensive line that the Packers have faced so we will have to see who controls the line.

Related: Doctson out, two starters questionable for Redskins vs. Eagles

—The Redskins visit Detroit after playing the Eagles. The Lions did the Redskins a favor by knocking off Philly last week, overcoming a number of injuries in order to do it. They could still be banged up next week. RB Theo Riddick (hip), DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), and TE Eric Ebron (ankle, knee) are all out against the Rams this week and we will see if they are ready for the Redskins on the 23rd.

—After coming home from Detroit the Redskins will return to Ashburn and assume their normal preparations through practice on Thursday. After that, they get on a plane and head to London for practice on Friday, a Saturday walkthrough, and a game against the Bengals at Wembley Stadium. Cincinnati has lost three of its last four and they play at the Patriots tomorrow. Fortunately for Marvin Lewis’ crew they get the NFL equivalent of an extra bye week, a home game against the Browns, before they leave for the UK.

Related: Crowder letting instincts take over on punt returns

—I had a true winning week last week, going 2-1 with wins with the Vikings over the Texans and the Cardinals over the 49ers. I lost with the Bengals giving one (!) to the Cowboys. I’m going to say that the Cowboys won’t pull off a second straight upset, going with the Packers over them giving 4.5, and the Steelers -7.5 over the Dolphins and the Seahawks -6.5 over the Falcons.

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Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

Updating Redskins' injury list after loss to Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.

Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.

Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.

In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]

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Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

Josh Norman on his crucial fourth-quarter penalty vs. Larry Fitzgerald

GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins had a couple of chances to stop what would eventually turn into the Cardinals’ game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. The first one came when they went for it on fourth and one at their own 34. It was a gutsy call by Arizona coach Bruce Arians and David Johnson make him look smart by popping off a 14-yard run.

The Cards earned that one. But it looked as though they got something of a gift a few plays later when Josh Norman was flagged holding receiver Larry Fitzgerald. It was a borderline call, granting Arizona a gift third and five conversion. Two plays later Carson Palmer went in for the kill, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.

On the field, Norman seemed to be none too pleased with the penalty flag. He said after the game that he thinks that Fitzgerald may have stolen a flag.

“He [Fitzgerald] was within five yards. Larry is a wily vet,” said Norman. “I'd been doing it all game, kind of . . . He breaks out and I go for the ball and the flag got thrown. We'd like to see that not happen in that situation because there was some good position, some good leverage. And a flag came out.

“It is what it is. You can't blame a call on that, blame a call on this. It's whatever, man.”

Norman is right. The Redskins blew plenty of chances to take control of the game and the blame can be spread around on both sides of the ball. But the flag will loom large as the Redskins try to shake off this loss and get ready for the Eagles next week.

[MORE: ANGRY JAY GRUDEN SAYS REDSKINS 'NOT EVEN CLOSE' TO THINKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS]