By: Ryan Cooley
The Redskins close out their season against the Cowboys in Jerry World. This season has been nothing short of a disaster. Most fans have been looking toward the offseason since week five. This game does not hold much purpose for the Redskins, but the Cowboys are still fighting for the division.
How can they win?
The Cowboys are loaded across the board on offense. This is one of the reasons why they have been so frustrated this season. They have too much talent to have this poor of a record. Even with them underperforming, they are still dangerous.
There is a trend with the Cowboys offense. When Zeke has a bad game, the entire offense does too. He only managed 84 total yards on 20 touches last week, which resulted in the Cowboys failing to score even one TD. If the Redskins want to win this game, they will need to contain Zeke. This also means the defensive line will actually have to show up, which they have yet to do all season.
Players to watch for Washington
Steven Sims: Terry McLaurin has been ruled out due to a concussion. For most of the season, McLaurin was the only WR that stood out. This was until Sims began to earn more opportunities. He has been contributing more and more each week. Since McLaurin is unable to suit up, I expect Sims to see a lot of targets.
Cole Holcomb: This game is going to be a lot about the young players. Holcomb has played exceptionally well for a fifth-round rookie. He has 70 solo tackles and 99 total tackles. Most players drafted in the fifth round try to make an impact on special teams, but Holcomb has been making plays on defense all season. He will need to have a good game if they want to slow Zeke down.
Defensive line: This unit may have been the most disappointing group of the season. Coming into the year, many thought this could be a dominant group that could give opposing offenses nightmares. Instead, they are consistently run over by RBs and cannot create constant pressure on QBs. It has been frustrating to watch, but the blame can also be put on defensive coordinator Greg Manusky who should have been fired after last season.
Players to watch for Dallas
Ezekiel Elliot: Even with a dip in his stats this season, Zeke is still one of the best RBs in the league. He has some of the best vision in the game and will find any hole, no matter the size. The defensive line will need to contain Zeke from bouncing runs outside, which is where he is most dangerous.
Amari Cooper: Cooper has struggled since week 11. Pro Football Focus has given him an average grade of 63.3 in the last six games, opposed to his 74.5 average in his first nine games. However, he is still a dangerous WR with exceptional route-running ability. Most of the secondary is out, so Cooper will need to be doubled for most of the game.
Demarcus Lawrence: Lawrence signed a five-year $105 million contract last offseason. He has not performed as the Cowboys had hoped. He had 25 sacks the past two seasons but has only mustered five sacks this season. He has not packed the stat sheet this year but has not played poorly; Pro Football Focus has given him a grade of 86.
Prediction: Cowboys win 28-10
This game will be very difficult for Washington to win. Haskins, McLaurin, Dunbar, Moreau, Nicolson, Collins, and Kerrigan are all out for Sunday’s game. Morgan Moses is also questionable. This game would be hard to win even without the injuries. The Cowboys are fighting for a playoff spot, and the Redskins are not. All of this is a recipe for a blowout in Dallas. Most Redskins fans are more focused on the press conference on Monday at 3 PM to hopefully hear about major changes that will be made in the offseason.