Redskins vs. Cowboys: Preview, matchups to watch, score prediction for NFL Week 2
Redskins defense vs. Cowboys offense
On the defensive side of the ball, things may be a bit more difficult for the Redskins. We saw them struggled against the Eagles in the second half, particularly in coverage. And this year, the Cowboys offense may be even better than that of the Eagles.
The Cowboys are coming off a massive game in which they torched the Giants defense. It’s important not to read into that too much, as the Giants have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, but the Redskins still need to be wary of the weapons the Cowboys have.
In particular, the team’s receiving corps is much improved. Amari Cooper was strong for them last year, but second-year man Michael Gallup looks like a true deep threat while Randall Cobb is proving to be a nice slot replacement for Cole Beasley. The Redskins are going to have a tough time matching up with all three of those players.
Last week, Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar both had their issues on the outside while rookie Jimmy Moreland had some coverage problems as well (which is to be expected of a seventh-round rookie). This trio will need to step up against the Cowboys receivers. Otherwise, they could have a huge day. Moreland vs. Cobb will be a particularly interesting battle to watch though, as the veteran could get the best of the young talent from James Madison University.
Against the run, the Redskins will be a little bit shorthanded with Jonathan Allen dealing with an MCL issue. He is listed as week-to-week but it seems like he’s a longshot to play in Week 2. As a result, Ezekiel Elliott may find more running room against the Redskins despite the fact that Tim Settle is a solid run-stuffing reserve. The Cowboys have a strong offensive line, so if they can control the line of scrimmage, Elliott could have a huge day.
Perhaps the biggest area of importance for the Redskins will be their pass rush. After barely pressuring the Eagles last week and only notching one sack (Cassanova McKinzy), the team will need to get some heat on Dak Prescott to try to rattle him and get the Cowboys out of rhythm. Ryan Kerrigan will need to particularly step up despite a difficult matchup with right tackle La’el Collins. If he can pressure Prescott and notch a sack, that would at least make the ‘Skins more competitive.
Overall though, the advantage on this side of the ball still belongs to the Cowboys. They simply have a lot of weapons and it will be difficult for the Redskins to contain them all.