Redskins vs. Cowboys preview: Matchups to watch, score prediction

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Case Keenum #8 of the Washington Redskins signals at the line of scrimmage during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 24, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Redskins offense vs. Cowboys defense

The Redskins are going to have a different look on offense this week. Case Keenum is going to be starting at quarterback as Dwayne Haskins is sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Though Haskins wanted to return to the game against the Giants after suffering the injury, the Redskins had no incentive to rush back their first-round pick in a lost season, especially considering that injury usually takes at least a couple of weeks to heal.

Keenum has played well when called upon this season. And ahead of free agency, he’ll surely be motivated to showcase his skill set and prove to quarterback-needy teams that he deserves a chance to start in 2020. If he can build off the positive momentum he showed last week against the Giants (158 yards and a passing TD, a 99-yard drive that resulted in a game-tying rushing TD), that should help him to make a strong case.

Last time the Redskins played the Cowboys in Week 2, Keenum threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He generally looked solid and should have a chance to find success once again. That said, it’s possible that Terry McLaurin (concussion) could be out of this game. If that happens, the team will have to get by with their other receiver options.

Steven Sims has played very well out of the slot lately and he could end up being Keenum’s top target if McLaurin is out. He will be guarded by Jourdan Lewis, a solid slot man, in a matchup that will be key to the Redskins moving the ball on offense.

Elsewhere, Byron Jones will be guarding the top outside receiver for the Redskins, whether that’s McLaurin or Kelvin Harmon. Jones would likely be able to largely erase Harmon while McLaurin would give the free-agent-to-be more trouble.

As for the running game, the Redskins were unable to move the ball much on the ground the last time they faced the Cowboys. They only totaled 47 yards on 17 carries, though they did find the end zone. With Leighton Vander Esch out in the linebacker corps, the Redskins may be able to find some more room, but a lot of their potential success will depend on how the Redskins block up front. Their interior line of Ereck Flowers, Chase Roullier, and Wes Martin has played well in recent weeks, so that should work out just fine.

The tackle play will also be key for the Redskins, as Demarcus Lawrence is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, but Donald Penn and Morgan Moses are banged up. If Moses can’t play and Geron Christian has to suit up, the Cowboys could get a lot of pressure on Keenum.

Overall, this side of the ball looks like an advantage for the Cowboys. They simply are more healthy and are playing for more, so that should help them to slow down the Redskins offense, or at least eliminate the running game.

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