Tale Of The Tape: Washington Redskins At Dallas Cowboys
- QuarterbackThe bye week had to be good for RGIII, as it gave him one more week to rest and recover from the ACL injury that was supposed to have been fully healed when he started the season. However, RGIII has not been the same kind of athlete that he was as a rookie and that has been a big problem. While he was better in the Week Four win over the Raiders, he is not close to his best yet.Call him the same error-prone Tony Romo if you want to, but that would be a mistake. Romo’s sensational 506-yard, 5 TD effort is the kind of game that few NFL quarterbacks could have had. He traded punches with Peyton Manning for four quarters and he nearly came out on top. Unless Romo makes the mistake of listening to his critics, he should have a stellar year.
- OffenseThe Redskins still have a solid running game with Alfred Morris even though RGIII is not at his best. He is averaging a productive 5.3 yards per carry. If RGIII gets enough time from his offensive line, he will get the ball to dependable receivers Pierre Garcon and Leonard Hankerson. Garcon is an excellent route runner with fine hands. Santana Moss has the speed to make big plays on occasion.DeMarco Murray did not have a big game against the Broncos – just 43 rushing yards – however he can be an effective between-the-tackles runner. Dez Bryant has become one of the best receivers in the league. He caught 6 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos. Jason Witten will always find a way to get open on third down and he will not drop the ball.
- DefenseThe Redskins are in big trouble on the defensive side of the ball. They go on the road to face their archrivals and the Cowboys' offense is operating at full steam. The Redskins rank 31st in total defense and 25th against the pass. Inside linebacker Perry Riley is one Redskin who is playing solid defense as he leads the team with 38 tackles.The Cowboys are also struggling on defense – 27th in total yards allowed and 28th in passing yards. While Peyton Manning did a lot of damage in Week Five, they have had problems in other games as well. Middle linebacker Sean Lee has been one of their best defenders as he leads the Cowboys with 50 tackles and he also has a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown.
- Special TeamsThe Redskins have been soft in their punt and kickoff coverage this season, and their own return game has not been productive. The Redskins expect to get placekicker Kai Forbath back this week. He has missed the last three games with a groin injury. Sav Rocca has dropped 9 of his 20 punts inside the 20.The Cowboys are slightly better than average in their punt and kickoff coverage. Dwayne Harris has the quick moves to give the Cowboys a boost in their punt return game. Dan Bailey has made 9-of-11 FG attempts, including 2-of-3 from 50 yards and beyond.
This is a critical game for the Cowboys. They played their best game and nearly beat the Broncos. While some will say they are chokers, they are also talented and if they come back with a similar game they should overpower the Redskins. Head coach Jason Garrett can’t allow a loss of confidence. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor