The Washington Redskins (3-11) face the Dallas Cowboys (7-7) today with an opportunity to knock them out of the playoffs by beating them at home at the FedEx Field in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys have failed to make the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, but they’re actually in good position if they can win this game against the last place Redskins, as the Eagles are playing the always tough Chicago Bears today at the Lincoln Financial Field, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
That’s a game that the Eagles very well could lose. Let’s put it this way: The Eagles have a better chance at losing to the Bears than the Cowboys do in losing to the Redskins.
The Redskins have lost 6 straight games, and they’re coming into this game using their backup quarterback Kirk Cousins as the starter due to the decision of Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan to rest QB Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season to keep him from suffering a potential injury.
For the Cowboys, this is their 3rd straight game in facing a backup quarterback. However, they’ve failed to establish that it makes a difference whether it’s a backup or a starter when it comes to the quarterback position because they’ve still lost their last two games to the Bears and Green Bay Packers under those conditions.
The Redskins aren’t as good a team as the Packers and Bears, so this is a game that the Cowboys are in a much better position to win as long as their defense doesn’t fall apart like they’ve done in the last two games. They’re going to need to stop Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins somehow because he’s going to likely be the main focus of the team’s offense like he was last week.
Shanahan wants to see what he can do, and he’s giving him a lot of chances to throw the ball, as we saw last Sunday in the Redskins 27-26 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Cousins completed 29 of 45 passes for 381 yards with 3 touchdowns. That was against a weak Falcons defense, to be sure, but Cousins looked solid in the pocket. He didn’t have the look of a player who wasn’t capable of tearing up the secondary of a good team or especially a team with a weak defense like the Cowboys.
The Cowboys can expect to see Cousins throw the football between 40-50 times in this game, and if you Cousins that many attempts to throw the ball, he’s going to throw for more than 300 yards. This means that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is going to need to be on his job in this game by matching whatever Cousins does. It also means that Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is going to need to stay on the field if and when things don’t go well for the Cowboys. You can’t have Bryant running into the locker room when things start to look bleak for the Cowboys. They need maturity from him, and strong play from Romo for them to win this game.