A look at the Cowboys schedule shows that Dallas can amazingly keep their NFL Playoffs hopes alive by beating the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, according to DallasCowboys.com.
Dallas can stay alive by beating Washington
It has been a rough season for the Dallas Cowboys. They played much of the year without Dez Bryant, and they have lost Tony Romo twice because of a collarbone injury. The Cowboys suffered through a horrific seven-game losing streak, which caused a lot of their fan base to fall back into the shadows. Many started checking out mock drafts for the upcoming NFL Draft. Others started yearning for Johnny Manziel, the talented but troubled quarterback that has been causing headaches for the Cleveland Browns and their long suffering fan base.
Despite holding a 3-8 record, however, the Dallas Cowboys still find themselves in a position to make the NFL Playoffs, thanks largely in part to a very weak NFC East division. By beating the Washington Redskins, the Cowboys would move up to 4-8 while knocking down the first place Redskins to 5-7. Since the New York Jets already defeated the New York Giants today, that would put Dallas at just one game behind first place. A win against the struggling Green Bay Packers would move the Cowboys even closer to first place in the division.
The Washington Redskins are at their best when they rely heavily on the running game. That means that Kirk Cousins will have to make every throw count so that the Dallas Cowboys defense cannot key in on Alfred Morris. DeSean Jackson is more than capable of beating Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne on deep routes. If Byron Jones is paired up against Jackson, then the veteran Redskins wide receiver should have more than a few moves that the Cowboys rookie corner back has not seen thus far in his career.
Jason Hatcher would love to have a great game against his former team, but he and Terrance Knighton will need to bring their best efforts because they are up against the dominating trio of Travis Frederick, La’el Collins and Zack Martin. The Dallas Cowboys love to run Darren McFadden behind that trio, so Hatcher and Knighton will need to stop that if the Washington Redskins hope to have a chance. Bashaud Breeland and Will Blackmon will need to shut down a hobbled Dez Bryant.
Matt Cassel loves to take risks at the quarterback position so Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is going to need to allow him some opportunities to do that. The former Kansas City Chiefs star also needs to establish confidence in his teammates, who have more faith in Tony Romo. Dez Bryant is not at 100 percent this week, but he can still be a decoy so that Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten can make easier catches. Darren McFadden and the Cowboys superb offensive line will need to churn out yardage and eat up the clock.
On the defensive side, the Dallas Cowboys will have to lean heavily on Sean Lee and Rolando McClain. The linebacker tandem is starting to find some chemistry with one another, and that will be needed to slow down Alfred Morris. Lee and McClain will also need to keep their eyes on Jordan Reed, the tight end that is leading the Washington Redskins in receptions and touchdowns. When pressured, Kirk Cousins can be forced into a lot of turnovers, so Greg Hardy, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory need to bring the heat.
Can the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Washington Redskins and keep their NFL playoffs hopes alive?
[ Featured Photo by Ronald Martinez / Getty Images ]