We want Dallas, we want Dallas! Welcome back to The B&G Report. Those are the chants heard across Redksins Nation all week! The key word tonight should be Aggressive”. Blood is in the water and the Cowboys ship has been sinking fast, since the Ezekiel Elliott suspension. The Cowboys have lost three strait games by 20 + points. Dak Prescott seems confused and so does the entire offense. The defense also looks a step slow and will be without their defensive leader in MLB Sean Lee. The loss of Lee hasn’t been talked about much, mainly due to his injury history. Lee’s field IQ is what the Cowboys will miss tonight on defense though. The Cowboys seem to be dealing with a major moral issue lately and a leader hasn’t stepped up to the plate. This is a big opportunity for Washington to make a statement, while keeping their playoff hopes alive. I’ll go through some keys to the game, but more importantly the match ups to watch. Let’s do this!
Cousins vs Dallas Pass Rush
Kirk Cousins seems to be getting better and better when facing the pass rush. In fact his completion percentage ranks in the top five in the NFL, when dealing with pressure in his face. Cousins currently has 11 fourth quarter comebacks, out of 43 games played dating back to 2015. The Cowboys haven’t registered a sack in their last 27 drives, but even more eye popping they haven’t taken the ball away in their last 29 drives. The Cowboys have been outscored 92-22 in their last three games. Although being balanced and getting the run game going is paramount, Kirk also needs to take advantage of the Cowboys lackluster defensive backfield. He also needs to continue to scramble when plays/protections breakdown. I’d love to see more zone reads form Kirk. He runs that formation well and it keeps the defense guessing. Trent Willams vows he’ll play tonight and tackle Ty Nsekhe will make his first start at LG. I for one am extremely excited to see what this duo will do! The new lineup will surely benefit Kirk’s time in the pocket. He needs to continue to take what the defense gives him, but at the same time he needs to keep taking shots down field. Cousins will finish with at least 250 yards in the air and 2 TD’s.
Samaje Perine vs Cowboys Defense
Running back Samaje Perine has registered 100 yards or more in his last two games. I agree the Giants are a bad team this year, but the Skins offensive line paved the way without Trent and other key lineman vs their stingy defense. Dallas likes to play a lot of zone coverage against the Skins, so this will be a great opportunity for Perine to contribute in the passing game. As I previously mentioned Trent will play and Ty will start at LG. This is a huge opportunity for Perine to have his breakout game. If “The Oklahoma Kid” continues to hit holes, hold onto the ball and fight for extra yards. A big night is in store for the rookie! Perine will go over 150 yards rushing and finish with 2 TD’s (1 being a 50 + yard run).
Zach Brown vs Dak Prescott
Inside Linebacker Zach Brown has frequently been used as a Spy, when facing dual threat passers. I expect nothing different tonight. Brown does have a tendency to be out of place in pass coverage, which is why keeping him glued to Dak is key. The Dallas O-Line is also dealing with injuries, even though they all seem be active per reports. I expect to see Greg Manusky dial up Linebacker and DB blitzes blitzes/stunts often. Dallas has given up 14 sacks the last three weeks, but Prescott has also thrown 5 ints the last few games. This an opportunity for Brown and company to dictate the game early. I’m actually hoping that Dallas gets the ball first, so Manusky can set tone from the start. I expect another 10+ tackle day from Brown, but I also believe he’ll register a sack and an interception.
Skins OLB vs Cowboys Tackles
As I previously mentioned the supposed “Best O-Line” in football, has given up over a dozen sacks in three weeks. Both Cowboys Offensive Tackles will play, but both have been nursing multiple injuries for weeks. Most notably Cowboys LT Tyron Smith, has been dealing with groin and back issues most of the year. He’s already missed multiple games as well. The outside of the Cowboys line seems to be a real weakness tonight and can be exposed. Look for Manusky to use stunts and overload the outside, in an effort to get his linebackers some lanes to get to Prescott. I envision 4 sacks to come from our OLB’s, with Ryan Kerrigan registering two.
Keys to Victory
Keeping Dak from making big plays with his feet is the #1 key to victory. Although Alfred Morris can get five yards a carry or so, he doesn’t scare anybody at this point in his career. If the Dallas signal caller is forced to stay in the pocket or run for minimal gains, he’ll turn into a one dimensional threat. The Cowboys tackles are hurting and the Skins should be able to get a good push on the outside tonight. I know Manusky smells blood, based on Dak’s recent production and I’m expecting an attack approach. The second key will be for Cousins and Perine to limit their mistakes. If they can avoid turnovers, this could be a route by Washington. Lastly I believe special teams needs to make a play tonight. I really like the potential that new Redskins running back Byron Marshall displayed as a kick returner. I’m looking for Marshall to also contribute in the pass game, but I believe he’ll have a bigger impact in the kick return game.
This is a must win game tonight for the Redskins. The season isn’t mathematically over with a loss, but it would most likely end any chance at getting the last wildcard playoff spot. So I’m expecting the Skins to come out firing on all cylinders and make a statement early. The constant theme has been the Redskins not finishing out games and blowing leads late. This is a huge problem for this injury riddled squad, so Gruden will finally realize that being aggressive needs to continue until the final whistle!
FINAL SCORE 30-16 Skins
Thanks for visiting The B&G Report and hope to be posting a “Victory Friday” analysis, this time tomorrow! HTTR!🏹🏈