NFL Week 8 Preview – Cowboys vs Redskins on MNF

By: Rich Bergeron

It’s that time of year once again when the Dallas Cowboys square off against the Washington Redskins, a rivalry spanning 26 games since 2001.

The Redskins have generated more news with their naming situation than they have in their two wins this season, both coming over terrible teams (Jacksonville and Tennessee are a combined 3-11 this season). Both teams beaten by these ‘skins are stuck in the cellar of the AFC South.

Betcris NFL Betting Line: Cowboys vs Redskins

  • Point Spread: Washington +10.0 (-115), Dallas -10.0 (-105)
  • Money Line: Washington +380, Dallas -475
  • Over/Under: 49.5 points -110
    • The Cowboys couldn’t be riding higher going into this Monday Night game. They rank in the top 15 in nearly every category but rushing yards allowed (113.4 yards per game average). They have the league’s best rushing yards per game average at 159.7 and the league’s 14th best passing game with 242.4 passing yards per game on average. They also allow an average of 230.4 passing yards per game, good for 12th in the league in that category.

      Tony Romo (148-214, 1,789 yards, 14 TDs, 6 INTs, 12 sacks) is not headed for an 8-8 season again this year if this torrid pace continues. DeMarco “The Team” Murray has 7 scores on the ground to go with his 913 yards on 187 carries out of 1,118 yards in total rushing for the offense. He also has 159 yards receiving on 22 catches. Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten hold down the receiving fort with 11 combined reception touchdowns on 87 combined catches for 1,194 yards. The Cowboys defense has just six sacks and seven interceptions, but they haven’t been needed since week one. Other than a home loss against San Francisco to open the season, the Cowboys have been able to score enough clutch points to avoid taxing their defense too much.

      The Redskins are still scrambling to replace the injured Robert Griffin III, who could lead a late season charge for the Redskins if he can come back from his fractured ankle. Meanwhile, Backup Colt McCoy (11-12, 128 yards, TD, 2 sacks) took the team by storm last week in relief of Kirk Cousins (126-204, 1,710 yards, 10 TDs, 9 INTs, 8 sacks). He’ll start this week and benefit from a healthy Alfred Morris (115 carries, 440 yards, 3 TDs) in the backfield. Despite their record, the Washington defense is fairly stout. They rank 7th in the NFL against the pass and 12th against the run. The 22nd-ranked running game is the team’s worst feature. Despite the musical chairs at quarterback, the team is ranked 4th in that category.

      DeSean Jackson’s (26 catches, 528 yards, 3 TDs) recent performances help set this team’s passing apart from other squads. He is finally back to full health and setting the pace for Pierre Garcon (35 catches, 396 yards, 3 TDs) at wideout. Jackson has 241 Yards After Catch, leading the team in that category. If he and Garcon click well with Colt McCoy, this one could be a stunner for the Cowboys.

      Prediction: Murray will record his 8th-straight 100+ yard performance on the ground in this game. Romo will throw four touchdowns on his way to over 300 yards with Murray notching two more rushing scores. Colt McCoy will be thrilled to be playing in Texas again, but it won’t be a winning performance he’ll remember after Monday night’s game is over. He’ll still secure his role as the primary backup when Griffin comes back, but the Cowboys will offer far too much razzle-dazzle for the Redskins offense to keep up with. The Redskins defense will also miss the services of Linebacker Brian Orakpo, out for the season with a torn right pectoral muscle. Cowboys win 45-20.