Redskins vs. Cowboys NFL Week 12 Preview

By Greg Bradshaw

The Washington Redskins will travel to suburban Dallas to face the Dallas Cowboys as part of the Cowboys’ traditional Thanksgiving Day game. Kickoff is set for Thursday, November 22 at 4:15pm from Cowboys Stadium.

Washington is coming off their best game of the season, a 31-6 Week Eleven home victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III was efficient, throwing only one incompletion while tossing four touchdown passes to four different receivers. In addition, Griffin III was Washington’s leading rusher, recording 84 yards on only 12 carries.

Much of the credit for the victory has to go to the much criticized Washington defense. Against Philadelphia, the defense seemed to grasp the concept of playing fundamental defense. Concepts like covering opposing receivers, in addition to tackling opposing ball carriers, were foreign to the Redskins’ defense all season. Not on this day, where the unit forced three turnovers, and limited the Eagles to 257 yards of total offense.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Cowboys are coming off an uninspiring 23-20 Week Eleven overtime home victory over the Cleveland Browns. Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo was solid, throwing for 315 yards and one touchdown. Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant was Romo’s main target, hauling in 12 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. Despite trailing most of the day to a bad Browns’ team, the often criticized Romo and Bryant made enought plays to win the game.

Dallas is a team that many experts feel has the talent for a deep playoff run. However, the Cowboys are riddled with underachievement, evidenced by their 5-5 record. Although the Cowboys have had recent success against Washington, they shouldn’t overlook the current Redskins’ incarnation of talent. Quarterback Griffin III is as talented as any quarterback in the league, capable of making big plays. However, he will be facing a Dallas defense ranked seventh in the NFL in total defense. The unit is led by perennial Pro Bowl outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who ranks fourth in the NFL in sacks with 10.

While Washington turned in their best defensive performance of the season against Philadelphia, they will be hard pressed to stop Romo and the Cowboys. Wide receiver Miles Austin is a proven playmaker that the Redskins must account for. However, Dallas’ most potent offensive weapon is tight end Jason Witten, who is Romo’s favorite target in a pinch. Witten always seems to make catches that produce first downs for Dallas. That doesn’t bode well for the Washington defense, despite their recent effort against the Eagles.

Prediction: The Redskins needed some positive momentum going into their Thanksgiving Day showdown with Dallas. However, Romo and the Cowboys will be prepared to play against their biggest rivals. While Griffin III should shine on the national television stage, the key to the game is Witten. If the Cowboys’ tight end continues to keep the chains moving, it’ll be a long day for the Washington defense. While the game will be close, expect a Dallas victory based on better talent, as well as having their home crowd behind them.

Final score: Cowboys 30, Redskins 24.

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