By: Ryan Cooley
The Redskins will look to bounce back after their week one debacle in Philadelphia. While it is bad enough to be 0-2, it is even worse to be two games behind in your division this early. The Cowboys will be another difficult matchup. Washington is once again outmatched when it comes to talent on the field, but this game is not won solely on talent.
How can they win?
The defense will decide the outcome of this game. If they can play as they did in the first two-quarters last week, they will have a shot. First and foremost, they will need to stop Zeke. The Cowboys offense runs through him. The Redskins drafted Allen and Payne to do just that.
Next, they have to stop Cooper. While I do not have faith the secondary can do this, they will at least have to contain him. Josh Norman will need to have a big game. Landon Collins will also need to make his presence felt.
I believe the offense will do enough, but this game will need the defense to step up. They are going to have to compete for four quarters. One reason the Patriots are so successful is that they play for 60 minutes. The Redskins are notorious for having a lead and then taking their foot off the pedal. If they want to find any success this season, they must play strong from start to finish.
Players to watch on offense
Terry McLaurin: McLaurin impressed in his NFL debut. Five rec for 125 yds and a TD is about as good as it gets. He nearly had another long TD reception, but Keenum overthrew him. Keenum had a 153.3 QB rating when tarting McLaurin. He will need to have another big game if the defense cannot stop the Dallas offense.
Jordan Reed: With the release of Holtz, it seems the Redskins are preparing to have Reed back in this matchup. The passing game looked strong in week one, but with Reed back, hopefully, they can find even more success.
Morgan Moses: Moses struggles last game, especially with run blocking. He has a big matchup against Demarcus Lawrence. He will need to step up if the Redskins want to control the time of possession with the running game.
Players to watch on defense
Josh Norman: Norman has not lived up to expectations since inking his name on a 5-year deal. He will need to contain Cooper for all four quarters. Norman was targeted eight times and gave up six reception for 92 yds and a TD last week.
Cole Holcomb: Holcomb was a tackling machine at North Carolina. He lived up to that, tallying seven tackles in his first NFL action. Being on the field for 50 snaps was much more than I anticipated. He will need to prevent Zeke from breaking big runs while also stopping Witten on third and short.
Prediction: Redskins win 31-27
This is yet another challenging game at the beginning of the season. If the Redskins want to win this game, they will need to play the entire sixty minutes. Jay Gruden also needs to make better adjustments at halftime. I like Gruden, but he is horrendous when it comes to adjustments. It will not be ideal for them to start the season two games behind in the division, so hopefully, they will have some sense of urgency.