Week 12: Dallas Cowboys Vs. Washington Redskins

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts v Washington Redskins
Winner Tony Romo is probably the key to the Cowboys’ chances of winning a playoff spot. When he is on, he gives the Cowboys’ offense a dangerous quality. He knows how to escape pressure in the pocket and then throw one of the most catchable passes in the NFL. However, when he makes an early mistake or two, he doesn’t know how to get out of the vortex and they tend to pile up.
Robert Griffin III is starting to learn how tough and physical life is in the NFL. He has had an excellent rookie season where he has shown off his athleticism, arm strength and intelligence, but he has also been hit hard. Griffin will continue to sell out in his rookie season, but he has to realize quickly that taking hard shots is not going to be good for his long-term future.
Winner The Cowboys can be explosive and score points in bunches, but they are not consistent. The biggest issue may be the lack of a dependable ground game. DeMarco Murray has been injured through much of the season and that’s the primary reason. Tight end Jason Witten is the team’s most dependable receiver. Athletic Dez Bryant turns as many games against the Cowboys as he does for them because he regularly makes undisciplined mistakes.
The Redskins try to help out RGIII with a complementary running game. Rookie Alfred Morris is not going to win too many 100-yard sprints, but he is a powerful runner who will punish opposing tacklers because he packs a hard punch. Leonard Hankerson is becoming a dependable option for RGIII at the wide receiver position but Santana Moss remains the team’s best big-play threat.
Winner The Cowboys are going to get after RGIII with a speedy pass rush. Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware is among the best pass rushers in the league and he plays best when challenged by an outstanding athlete like RGIII. Anthony Spencer can also get after the quarterback while inside linebacker Sean Lee is a sure tackler.
The Redskins play with effort on the defensive end, but they make foolish mistakes and are often out of position. They are near the bottom because they struggle in coverage and they don’t put enough pressure on opposing passers. London Fletcher is a hard working tackler who will lead the team in tackles most games. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is athletic and talented, but he does not always perform to his ability level.
Special Teams
Winner The Cowboys have been sensational at punt coverage this season, but that advantage has not carried over to their kickoff coverage. Jason Garrett is waiting for Bryant to make an explosive punt return. Placekicker Dan Bailey struggles on field goal attempts of 50 yards or longer, but is dependable on his shorter attempts.
The Redskins have struggled with their coverage teams throughout the season. Opponents have the edge on them in kickoff and punt returns. Cutting Billy Cundiff after the first four games has turned out to be the right move since Kai Forbath has not missed a FG attempt this season.

The Winner Is

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants
Winner Cowboys
4 out of 4

The Cowboys have all the edges but they are not big advantages. While the Redskins are playing for respectability, the Cowboys still have reasonable hopes of playing in the postseason. If they don’t push hard out of the gate, they will give the Redskins reasonable hope that they can steal this game.


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  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
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    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

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