Prescott has to improve

Cowboys To Get Back On Track Against Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins are entering the last-chance saloon in their bid to reach the playoffs.

Both teams have won five matches this season, but are well off the pace of the Philadelphia Eagles at the top of the NFC East. A victory for the Eagles in their next outing will wrap up the division, forcing the Cowboys and the Redskins to battle for a wildcard spot.

Dallas have entered a downward spiral since the loss of Ezekiel Elliott through suspension. The club have lost all three matches since the running back began his ban, knocking them out of contention for a playoff spot.

Jason Garrett’s men now face a desperate battle to get back on track, with the Cowboys currently siting in the 10th seed – two games behind the Atlanta Falcons. As a result, they cannot afford to lose any further matches, beginning with their match on home soil against Washington.

The Redskins have been up and this term. This is highlighted in their 5-6 record, but Jay Gruden’s side have the chance to end the season with a surge to the playoffs. The club do not face a team on their schedule with a winning record, giving them the opportunity to force their way into the picture.

Kirk Cousins has performed extremely well this season, sitting behind only Tom Brady in passing yards. The 29-year-old has been the driving force keeping Washington in contention without a great deal of help from his defense. Injuries have also played a role in limiting the Redskins’ success, but with Cousins operating at the peak of their powers they have an opening to sneak their way in.

We’ll now break down the contest using the latest betting odds.

Dallas Cowboys

Prescott has to improve

The Cowboys’ season is in danger of falling apart. Their campaign appeared to be trending in the right direction after bye week, winning three matches on the bounce, including a win over the Redskins on the road. Garrett’s men put forward a fine performance to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs on home soil, with Elliott and Dak Prescott inspiring the victory. However, Elliott lost his battle with the NFL regarding his suspension, ruling out him of action for six games.

Dallas missed his presence against the Atlanta Falcons as the club were crushed by Matt Ryan and company. The Cowboys’ depth was exposed with Chaz Green allowing six sacks to Adrian Clayborn, which limited the production of Prescott and the passing game. Sean Lee’s injury on the defensive side of the ball allowed Ryan to cut open Garrett’s men with ease. Matters only got worse against the Eagles in their next outing, suffering a heavy defeat at AT&T Stadium. The loss proved how far the club have fallen since their 13-3 run of the 2016 campaign.

The offense stuttered again on Thanksgiving against the Los Angeles Chargers. The AFC West outfit had struggled before the contest, but their defense dominated Prescott. In the process of the defeat Dallas broke their club record for the longest run without a touchdown, reaching 10 straight-quarters without finding the endzone.

Prescott enjoyed an outstanding rookie campaign, but without Elliott – he has been appalling. The offense has failed to surpass 10 points in their three-match losing run, putting the pressure on the 24-year-old against the Redskins. Dallas also need to find their form defensively as their efforts in the past three weeks have been nowhere near the standard expected from a Rod Marinelli unit. That has to change on Thursday night.

Washington Redskins

Doctson has started to emerge

Credit: Getty Images

The Redskins have endured a disappointing campaign, although they’ve played a number of quality outfits this season. Their six defeats have all come to teams currently sitting in the playoff positions in their respective conference, with the exception of the Cowboys.

Gruden’s men have had a tough stretch of fixtures since their bye week. They performed well to defeat the Seattle Seahawks on the road after losing to the Cowboys. Washington lost out by eight points to the Minnesota Vikings on home soil in a hard-fought fixture, and held the lead against the New Orleans Saints on the road, only to be stunned by a comeback in the fourth quarter.

The club were solid enough in their win over the New York Giants to get back to winning ways. There’s quality on the roster, but it has not been enough to get them over the line against the top teams in the NFC Conference. Cousins has thrown for 19 touchdowns to just six interceptions this season and has propped up the fortunes of the Redskins.

Injuries are starting to take their hold of the team on the offensive line and at running back, with Chris Thompson out for the campaign. Washington cannot afford to lose any more players on offense as their backfield and line are looking threadbare to say the least. Josh Doctson has begun to emerge in the passing game and Cousins will need a lot more from him down the stretch to reach the playoffs.

Defensively, Washington have been reliant on Ryan Kerrigan to rise to the occasion. He has notched nine sacks this term to lead the way. Zach Brown has been solid in the middle of the defense, but both players need support from their team-mates to reach the 10-win mark.

Betting Options

Dallas’ slide has to stop otherwise the coaching staff could be in jeopardy. Owner Jerry Jones has insisted that he has faith in Garrett, reminding the media that he was named Coach of the Year last season. However, the Cowboys cannot afford to lose four matches on the bounce, which would almost certainly end their push for the post-season.

Prescott has endured the worst stretch of his career that has coincided with when his side needed him to perform. The 24-year-old has to carry the burden this week – otherwise there could be question marks about whether he is the man to lead the offense.

Cousins will test the Cowboys’ defense, especially with the threat of Doctson and Jamison Crowder along with tight end Jordan Reed. Lee will not be available – therefore the linebacking corps will have to step up in his absence.

Expect Dallas to see out the win on home soil, although it will not be straightforward. Take them at -115   with ComeOn to notch their sixth victory, but take the Redskins on the +1.5 spread at -109   with 888Sport. The Cowboys have been held under 10 points in all three of their defeats in the current run. That will end this week at -111   with BetVictor to score over 23 points.

Tips Summary

Dallas Cowboys To Beat Washington Redskins
Thursday 30th November 2017 20:30 ET (Friday December 1st 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: -115

Take +1.5 Washington Redskins
Thursday 30th November 2017 20:30 ET (Friday December 1st 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: -109

Dallas Cowboys To Score Over 23 Points
Thursday 30th November 2017 20:30 ET (Friday December 1st 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: -111

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