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Need to Know: Third-quarter turnovers have been a problem for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Third-quarter turnovers have been a problem for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 6, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night football.

Five numbers you need to know for Redskins vs. Cowboys

8—The number of third-quarter turnovers committed by the Redskins this year. They are the nexus of the third-quarter problems the Redskins have suffered from this year; opponents have scored after all eight of the takeaways (6 TD, 2 FG, 48 points).

7—The number of touchdowns on third down the Redskins have scored through 11 games this year. In 2014 they scored just three third-down touchdowns all year. For comparison, the Redskins scored 14 touchdowns on third down in 2012, the last time they made the playoffs. This year, the Cardinals lead the league in third-down touchdowns with 11.

111.5—Kirk Cousin’s passer rating over the last five games. He has completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 1,367 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.

2.6—Cousins’ interception percentage for the season. That’s 15th best among qualifying quarterbacks in the NFL and just above the league average of 2.4 percent.

1—The number of fumbles recovered by the Cowboys this year, the fewest in the NFL. They have forced only five fumbles this season.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park; no media availability

Days until: Monday night Cowboys @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Bears 7; Bills @ Redskins 14

In case you missed it

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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