Home » NFL Picks » Will Cowboys Seize Initiative Against Redskins?

Will Cowboys Seize Initiative Against Redskins?

November 21, 2018

Opportunity knocks for the Dallas Cowboys to capitalise on the woes of the Washington Redskins in the battle for the NFC East crown on Thanksgiving Day.

The Redskins were seemingly well placed, only to suffer a spate of injuries on their offensive line. Those problems were to loom large against the Houston Texans as a free-rusher broke through at quarterback Alex Smith, sending him to the deck.

Smith suffered a compound fracture to his tibia, ruling him out for the rest of the campaign. Colt McCoy led a spirited effort for Jay Gruden’s men, but the Texans held on to cling a narrow 23-21 at FedEx Field, leaving Washington in a perilous position at the top of the division at 6-5.

Dallas are in position to strike to take command of the NFC East. The Cowboys pulled off an important win on the road to overcome the Atlanta Falcons after previously beating the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jason Garrett was seemingly under pressure in his position three weeks ago, but now has his team on the verge of the lead in the division and the possibility of a home playoff game. They cannot afford to let the opportunity slip through their grasp with the Redskins exposed without Smith.

Will Elliott continue his good form?

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys were seemingly out of contention for the post-season three weeks ago after suffering a humbling 28-14 defeat to the Tennessee Titans on home soil. Their offense was stagnant, while their defense failed to make the plays to keep Marcus Mariota and company in check.

Garrett was under huge pressure in his position, with media speculation mounting that his tenure at the club was nearing an end. However, his team have responded with two brilliant displays on the road to dig themselves out of trouble. Dallas’ problems are far from solved as their offense has surpassed the 30-point mark just once this term. In a season where offensive firepower is more important than ever, they will need to click into gear to have a chance of competing down the stretch.

Dak Prescott has been better in his last two outings, but has still not taken his game to the heights that he displayed in his rookie season in 2016. The presence of Amari Cooper has opened up the passing game, while the quarterback was robbed of a touchdown when Cole Beasley dropped a simple pass in the endzone against the Falcons.

Prescott is limited his mistakes, which is allowing Ezekiel Elliott to carry the offense. The running back has rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back matches. When the Cowboys are at their best Elliott is controlling the game by running the ball. He has found his form and will be looking for another stellar performance.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins have suffered blow after blow in recent weeks to derail their push for the playoffs. Smith’s injury has the potential to be a season-ender for the club, with their quarterback sidelined for the rest of the term and perhaps even longer given the nature of his ailment. The 34-year-old was a steady option and is not irreplaceable to the Redskins’ offense. Smith’s strength was limiting his mistakes, while taking the easiest option possible downfield.

McCoy has experience and showed the ability to make decisive throws, although it was not enough to lead his team to victory over the Texans. The success or failure of the team will rest on the running ability of Adrian Peterson. He has been solid in his role at the age of 33, rushing for 723 yards and six touchdowns. Washington’s offensive line had created holes for him earlier in the campaign, but with the injuries there it’s hard to see the Redskins putting the points required on the board.

Gruden’s men have been impressive on defense this season. They’re going to have to take their level of performance to an elite level to keep themselves in contention for the post-season.

The Redskins are middle of the pack in yards allowed, but in terms of points they’re the fifth-best unit in the NFL. Matthew Ioannidis is enjoying a breakout season, while Ryan Kerrigan remains a consistent force. The secondary has a mix of good young players and savvy veterans, who will need to be flawless for the rest of the campaign.

Head To Head

Games Played: 117 Dallas Cowboys 70 Washington Redskins 45 Tied: 2

The Cowboys and the Redskins have one of the most long-standing rivalries in NFL history. They first faced off in 1960 when Washington defeated Dallas 26-14 at Griffith Stadium. Their last encounter was a close one as Gruden’s men emerged with the victory at FedEx Field in October.

Brett Maher’s missed field goal in the dying seconds of the contest handed Washington the win to give them the edge in the tie-breaker. The Redskins’ last victory over the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium came in January 2016 in a 34-23 triumph, although neither Prescott nor Elliott had arrived in Dallas at the point.

Betting Options

The Cowboys have a huge opportunity that they cannot pass up. Washington are vulnerable without their starting quarterback on the road on a short week. Dallas have the momentum and are playing their best football of the campaign. Garrett’s men are playing complementary football, with their defense matching the improved performances of their offense.

Therefore take Dallas to get the win at odds of -310  with BetOnline. The Redskins are a tough team and the Cowboys are not at the stage where they are capable of blowing out a rival. Therefore take Washington on the +5.5 spread at 13/10  with 888Sport, while take the under on 41 points to be score at -110  with TopBet.

Beasley dropped a sure touchdown in the endzone against the Falcons at the weekend. Back to him to rebound from his mistake on Thanksgiving at odds of 12/5  with 888Sport. Chris Thompson is a player to watch as he could be very effective in the screen game catching short passes from McCoy. One of those could go for a touchdown at odds of 13/4 .

McCoy threw a touchdown against the Texans, but against the Cowboys’ defense he will find life tougher. Back him to throw under 220 yards at 3/4  and for no touchdowns at 19/10  with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Dallas Cowboys To Beat Washington Redskins
Thursday 22nd November 2018 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)
Odds: -310

Washington Redskins +5.5 Spread
Thursday 22nd November 2018 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)
Odds: 13/10

Under 41 Total Points To Be Scored
Thursday 22nd November 2018 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)
Odds: -110

Cole Beasley To Score Touchdown Anytime
Thursday 22nd November 2018 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)
Odds: 12/5

Chris Thompson To Score Touchdown Anytime
Thursday 22nd November 2018 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)
Odds: 13/4

Colt McCoy To Throw Under Passing 220.5 Yards
Thursday 22nd November 2018 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)
Odds: 3/4

Colt McCoy To Throw No Touchdowns
Thursday 22nd November 2018 16:30 ET (21:30 GMT)
Odds: 19/10

  • Adrian Peterson
  • Dak Prescott
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • NFL
  • Washington Redskins

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.