Redskins vs. Cowboys: A look into how the Washington Redskins defense matches up against the Dallas Cowboys offense.
Redskins rush defense - 31st in the NFL at 142.3 yards per game,
Cowboys rushing offense – 20th in the NFL at 92.2 yards per game
Even though the Cowboys have a good running back in DeMarco Murray, they still tend to lean more towards the pass as their favorite way to attack defenses. However, they can still be a very good team running the ball. Murray is off to perhaps his best season yet, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and he has managed to stay healthy as well.
The Redskins defense has struggled mightily against the run, and one of their strongest run defenders, ILB London Fletcher has been inconsistent in space and has missed tackles. The Redskins get DE Jarvis Jenkins back from suspension, and his return to the lineup could boost the defensive line’s performance some against the run. When combined with NT Barry Cofield, Jenkins size will help plug some of the gaping holes that have been open.
The Cowboys will use Murray to attack the Redskins defense particularly between the tackles. The Redskins will need ILB’s London Fletcher and Perry Riley to make sure tackles and try to keep Murray from making long runs.
Redskins pass defense – 28th in the NFL at 298.3 yards per game
Cowboys passing offense – 7th in the NFL at 285 yards per game
Tony Romo threw for over 500 yards last week against the Denver Broncos, but that outstanding performance was offset by a late interception that helped give the Broncos the win. Despite the setback with the interception, I think the Cowboys will continue to pass the ball aggressively, as they would be smart to considering the Redskins performance so far against the pass.
With Bryant playing at a high level and Jason Witten healthy and playing well, the Redskins will need OLB’s Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan not only rushing the passer, but having an impact in pass coverage too. The return of line backer Rob Jackson will be a boost to the Redskins in coverage too, as he had 4 interceptions last season. If the Redskins can get a few turnovers, this will help the offense a great deal.
Intriguing Individual Matchup
DeAngelo Hall vs. Dez Bryant – With Dez Bryant emerging as a top wide receiver, the Cowboys passing attack has become even more prolific. Even thought the Redskins secondary hasn’t played particularly well this season, CB DeAngelo Hall is still managing to stand out as its top performer, and has covered the opposing teams’ top receiver. Bryant has a clear size advantage over Hall, but Hall is a crafty veteran, and will look to outsmart Bryant and bait Romo into making a mistake.