Daily Archives: October 13th, 2013

RIVAL NEWSPAPER HEADLINE: Robert Griffin III and Co. struggle in Dallas, fall to 1-4

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ARLINGTON, Tex. — If the Washington Redskins thought their bye week would cure what ailed them in the season’s early stages, they were mistaken. They emerged from their time off resembling the same struggling team they’d been beforehand. Breakdowns on special teams proved particularly costly and the Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 31-16, here Sunday night.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III had his best running game of the season, rushing for 77 yards. Tailback Alfred Morris had a long third-quarter touchdown run. But the Redskins too often settled for field goals by place kicker Kai Forbath and their record plummeted to 1-4.

The Cowboys gave owner Jerry Jones a victory to celebrate on his 71st birthday and evened their record at 3-3, putting them in a first-place tie with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. Dwayne Harris had a touchdown on an 86-yard punt return in the second quarter, and added a 90-yard kickoff return in the third quarter to set up a touchdown pass from quarterback Tony Romo to wide receiver Terrance Williams.

Tailbacks DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle had rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, with Randle’s one-yard run all but sealing the outcome with just less than nine minutes remaining after Griffin lost a fumble on a sack at his 3-yard line. Griffin threw an interception to end the Redskins’ next drive.

Romo threw an interception and managed a relatively modest 170 passing yards for the Cowboys. But that was enough for a win one week after he passed for 506 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos. Romo threw a late interception in that game that led to the Broncos’ winning field goal and that, to some observers, raised all of the old, familiar questions about his ability to produce in crunch time.

The start was not particularly promising for the Redskins, as their defense had no answers for Romo and the Cowboys on the game’s opening drive. Romo had a key third-down completion to tight end Jason Witten and Murray got the touchdown on a four-yard run.

Griffin was sharp at the outset, with a 19-yard completion to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and a 15-yard run on a scramble on the Redskins’ first two offensive plays of the night. Rookie tight end Jordan Reed had a pair of catches on the Redskins’ opening drive and they moved quickly into scoring position. But Griffin was stopped two yards shy of the end zone on a third-and-goal run on a quarterback draw from the Dallas 9-yard line — a play call from which the team seemed to shy in the season’s first few games as Griffin worked his way back from knee surgery in January — and the Redskins were left with the first of Forbath’s three field goals.

The Redskins generated a second-quarter turnover when blitzing cornerback Josh Wilson batted a pass by Romo into the air and linebacker Rob Jackson, playing in his first game of the season after serving a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, grabbed the ball on the deflection for an interception. But the Redskins failed to convert, punting on each of their next two possessions.

The second of those punts resulted in Harris’s touchdown. The Redskins initially had the Cowboys backed up in their own territory but had to re-punt because of an illegal-motion penalty on their first attempt. This time, Harris caught Sav Rocca’s punt at his 14-yard line, weaved his way through would-be tacklers and sprinted along the sideline to the end zone as the Redskins’ Darryl Tapp and Jerome Murphy collided with one another while in pursuit. The Redskins also received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when special teams coach Keith Burns, standing on the sideline, made inadvertent contact with one of the officials who was running to try to keep up with the play.

The Redskins regrouped and used Griffin’s 29-yard completion to Reed to set up Forbath’s 32-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. Forbath connected again, this time from 33 yards, after Griffin’s 26-yard run on a scramble, plus 15 additional penalty yards for absorbing a late hit out of bounds, early in the third quarter.

No matter. Harris took the kickoff after that field goal and, from five yards deep in his own end zone, sprinted practically the length of the field before being knocked out of bounds by the Redskins’ E.J. Biggers at the 15-yard line. On second down from there, Romo eluded the blitzing Wilson and lofted a pass in the corner of the end zone to Williams, who made the grab and stayed in bounds for the touchdown.

Morris, given little running room to that point, had a swift reply by cutting across the field on his way to a 45-yard touchdown dash. But Forbath missed from 49 yards early in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys got a 30-yard field goal by their kicker, Dan Bailey.

Courtesy: By Mark Maske | The Washington Post

SEVENTY-WON YEARS OLD: Dallas Cowboys wrap up birthday win for Jerry Jones

SEVENTY-WON YEARS OLD - Dallas Cowboys wrap up birthday win for Jerry Jones

ARLINGTON – The Dallas Cowboys did what they were expected to do tonight, defeat a struggling Washington Redskins team at home.

Here are five thoughts on the Cowboys’ 31-16 win over the Redskins on Jerry Jones’ 71st birthday.

1.) It didn’t look like it for the first three quarters, but overall the Cowboys played above the level of their competition. A week after matching arguably the best team in the league, Dallas played around with a sub-par Washington group for three quarters. To their credit, they separated themselves when it mattered.

2.) Give that man the game ball. Dwayne Harris was the game’s MVP. Harris’ 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and his 90-yard kickoff return that set up Terrance Williams’ TD. The 26-year-old continues to makes plays when given the chance. As Jerry Jones would say, Harris’ arrow is pointing up.

3.) The worst news of the night was that DeMarco Murray (ankle) and DeMarcus Ware (quad) spent the entire second half wearing baseball caps and shorts on the sideline. If their injuries keep them out for an extended period of time the Cowboys are obviously in trouble.

4.) Give the defense a little credit. Yes, they didn’t play a great opponent, but they bounced back — and did it without Ware. Jason Hatcher, Sean Lee, Kyle Wilber, Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr all made big plays when needed. Monte Kiffin’s scheme still has holes that make it difficult to believe that they can contain the league’s top offenses.

5.) Even in a poor division, a win over an NFC East opponent is still valuable. If the Cowboys win the games they are supposed to win – like they did tonight – a division crown and home playoff game seem likely. After six weeks, the Cowboys are tied for the division lead at 3-3.

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TEXAS 2 DEFENSE MAKES STAND: Washington DC’s Redskins shutdown by the Dallas Cowboys

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ARLINGTON, Texas — A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-16 victory against the Washington Redskins.

What it means for the Cowboys:

It might be too early in the season to say this was a must-win for the Dallas Cowboys, but coming off the disheartening 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos last week it really was.

Falling to 2-4 would have been devastating with back to back road games upcoming and the team in the midst of the first three-game losing streak of the Jason Garrett era.

This was by no means a masterpiece, but the Cowboys travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles with a 3-3 record and feeling a lot better about their team. The Cowboys are 2-0 in the division for the first time since 2007.

The special teams kick-started the victory with Dwayne Harris‘ punt return for a touchdown and the offense was able to take advantage of two short-fields (set up by a Harris kick return and a Kyle Wilber fumble recovery) for two touchdowns.

The first touchdown was a thing of beauty from Tony Romo, side-stepping a blitzing Josh Wilson and putting a pass to the corner for Terrance Williams. The second score was Joseph Randle‘s from 2 yards with 9:36 to play, but center Travis Frederick should get an assist from helping push the rookie running back across the goal line.

Stock watch:

Rising — Jason Hatcher. He was without DeMarcus Ware for most of the game but he was simply a terror on the interior, giving the Redskins fits throughout. He had two sacks of Robert Griffin III to give him five on the season, which is a career high.

A special returner:

Dwayne Harris was named the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for his three-tackle effort vs. the New York Giants in Week 1. He could win his second honor of the season for his returns against the Redskins.

Harris had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter that gave the Cowboys a 14-3 lead. His 90-yard kickoff return in the third quarter set up Terrence Williams’ 15-yard touchdown that gave the Cowboys a 21-9 lead.

It was the third kickoff return of at least 90 yards in franchise history that did not go for a touchdown.

Defense makes a stand:

It wasn’t perfect, but after allowing 1,023 yard and 81 points in their previous two games it didn’t need to be perfect though they still allowed 416 yards.

The Cowboys allowed a 45-yard touchdown to Alfred Morris, but made him work for his yards. After allowing back-to-back 400-yard passing games, they kept Robert Griffin III in check for most of the game as well, limiting him to 246 yards.

Kyle Wilber came up with a sack/fumble of Griffin to set up the clinching touchdown, and Orlando Scandrick had a pick of Griffin in the end zone to end a fourth-quarter threat

The defense even had three sacks after putting up one in the previous two games.

What’s next:

The Dallas Cowboys travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. For defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin it will be a chance to show he can slow down Chip Kelly’s offense at the NFL. He didn’t do it at Southern Cal. In three games against Oregon, Kiffin’s defense allowed on average 601 yards and 50 points in losing two games. Last November the Trojans gave up 730 yards in a 62-51 loss.

NFL GAMEDAY RESOURCES: 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

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After a crushing loss to Denver in which their offense played spectacularly, the Dallas Cowboys must regroup as they prepare to face division rival Washington tonight. The Redskins beat Dallas twice last season and could win three straight games against the Cowboys first time since the late-1980s. Washington, at 1-3, hasn’t looked nearly as formidable as it did in 2012 after it beat out the Cowboys for the NFC East title. But a bye week before this game could help the Redskins and their quarterback Robert Griffin III as he continues to recover from reconstructive knee surgery. Here is a look at how both teams match up:

When the Cowboys run

Three of the Cowboys’ five games have been decided by a total of nine points. Yet Dallas has run the ball only 33.9 percent of the time. Dallas has repeatedly shown it isn’t willing to make a strong commitment to its ground game. Last Sunday, the Cowboys had only 14 rush attempts and tailback DeMarco Murray has been a non-factor since he gained 175 yards against St. Louis last month. This would be the week to run the ball, however. Washington is allowing 142.3 rushing yards per game – the second-highest average in the NFL.

Edge: Cowboys

When the Cowboys pass

Regardless of how Tony Romo’s performance ended Sunday, he showed he can be one of the best passers in the league with a 506-yard, five-touchdown effort. Dallas’ air attack looked explosive in the 51-48 loss to Denver as Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten each posted impressive stat lines. Romo and Co. should do well again this week against Washington’s defense, which is allowing an average of 298.3 passing yards per game. Only four teams are conceding more.

Edge: Cowboys

When the Redskins run

What happened to Washington’s running game? That’s a question being asked inside the Beltway. The Redskins’ rushing offense, which led the league in 2012, is ranked 17th. The limitations of Robert Griffin III after knee surgery and early deficits have conspired to weaken one of the Redskins’ strengths. A bye week may have given Washington a chance to sort things out against a Cowboys defense that yielded 200 yards to running back Alfred Morris in a December loss last year.

Edge: Redskins

When the Redskins pass

Robert Griffin III remains the centerpiece of Washington’s offense. But the quarterback is much more likely to attack defenses through the air than on the ground. The Redskins are averaging 284.8 passing yards per game, the eighth-highest average in the NFL, despite having only one receiver – Pierre Garcon — among the top 50 in catches. The Cowboys, who allowed at least 400 passing yards in three games this season, will be tested again.

Edge: Redskins

Special teams

Kai Forbath has experienced more disappointment than excitement since he burst on the scene in 2012 and led the NFL in field goal percentage. Because of a groin injury, Forbath hasn’t played since the opener, when he missed a 40-yard attempt. He expects to be back on the field Sunday. He will be matched up against his old teammate, Dan Bailey, who has made 9 of 11 field goal tries this season.

Edge: Cowboys

Intangibles

The two losses to the Redskins the Cowboys suffered were arguably the most gut-wrenching defeats Dallas endured last season. Rookies Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris tore up the Cowboys’ defense, prompting Dallas to make changes in the off-season to stop them. But until they prove they can, Griffin, Morris and the Redskins will have the mental edge in this age-old rivalry.

Edge: Redskins

 


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When: Sunday, October 13th, 2013 at 7:30 (Dallas time)

Where: AT&T Stadium | Arlington, TX

Watch on TV: Local NBC affiliate | DirecTV

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TESTING THE TEXAS-2: Dallas Cowboys defense should expect to see this play again

As we all know, Peyton Manning used his ‘once every five-year” quarterback keeper to score against the Dallas Cowboys last week. Let’s take a look at the play …

Manning TD - 1 - WR will shift right

Denver in I-formation with a wide receiver set left

Manning TD - 2 - WR will shift right - moves defender to weak side

Receiver shifts to right side, Dallas defense adjusts

Manning TD - 3 - Fake handoff to RB in I formation - Ware in pursuit from strong side

Play in motion, Manning fake handoff to running back, Ware in pursuit, secondary set for run defense

Manning TD - 4 - Ware in pursuit from strong side - Bites on fake handoff as Manning rolls away from pocket

Ware and Dallas secondary close, while Manning rolls out. Carter held up by Denver receiverManning TD - 5 - DEN WR 81 blocks and holds Carter - Church also sees play but is out of position - Manning rolls away from pocket toward endzone

Bruce Carter breaks free, heads toward Manning. Church recognizes play, but is out of position.

Manning TD - 6 - Carter and Church in pursuit - Manning rolls closer to endzone

Bruce Carter and Barry Church in pursuit as Peyton Manning approaches goal line

Manning TD - 7 - Carter closes in but delay by WR hold makes stop impossible - Manning crosses into endzone

Manning crosses into end zone, Carter pulls back

Manning TD - 8 - Manning TD bootleg run

Peyton Manning scores touchdown on quarterback keeper.


The play, from the end zone …

Manning TD - 3 - Fake handoff to RB in I formation - Ware in pursuit from strong side - Linebacker view

Carter held up by DEN receiverManning TD - 5 - DEN WR 81 blocks and holds Carter - Church also sees play but is out of position - Manning rolls away from pocket toward endzone - Carter held by Dressden

Carter sees Manning rolling out towards the end zone

Manning TD - 7 - Carter closes in but delay by WR hold makes stop impossible - Manning crosses into endzone - Carter from endzone pursuit

Carter in pursuit as Manning walks in for the scoreManning TD - 9 - Manning TD bootleg run Dressen Carter and Manning in endzone

Manning scores one of the key plays in the game.


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2013-2014 COWBOYS REDSKINS: NFC East rivals clash tonight at AT&T Stadium (Special Feature)

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The Dallas Cowboys look to get back to .500 this week with the Washington Redskins coming to town tonight.

Keys To The Game

Cowboys Redskins Football

Redskins Win If:
Like the Cowboys, the Redskins have had their share of issues, not specifically run or pass, but playing complete team defense. As much as Kyle Shanahan needs to help this defense with his game plan, it is going to be up the Jim Haslett and his troops to apply pressure on Tony Romo and Bill Callahan.

When I study their scheme the one area where I feel like the Redskins should have an advantage is with their pass rush. If Callahan becomes one dimensional and decides he just wants to put the ball in the air, this could present a problem for him.

I understand the numbers say that the Redskins struggle badly against the pass, but they do have players along their front that, if not handled well, will find ways to get to Romo and get their defense off the field. It starts with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan off the edge. There have been times this season where Haslett has brought them both off the same side to try and create problems with the opponent’s blocking scheme. How well Tyron Smith and Doug Free play in this game will be critical because there will be plenty of times where they are just matched up one-on-one with these rushers because of some of the games that Haslett plays inside with his tackles and linebackers.

Last season, where Haslett hurt this Cowboys scheme was with his twist stunts and then later in the season with the linebackers through the “A” gap. Disruptive pressure gives them a chance in this game.


Redskins Cowboys Football

Cowboys Win If:
For the last two weeks, Monte Kiffin and his defense have heard nothing but negative talk about how poorly they have played. This week against the Redskins, it gets no easier.

For the Cowboys to win this game on Sunday, it’s not going to be about their offense scoring 48 points but about how they respond defensively to what the Redskins are doing on offense. Playing against this read-option attack requires discipline and focus, which has not been a consistent trait for this Cowboys defense.

You can talk about ways to slow down this offense but if you are not playing the defensive call correctly, there are going to be problems. I believe Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is going to attempt to strive for balance in this matchup, and if that is the case, DeMarcus Ware, George Selvie, Sean Lee and Bruce Carter had better be in position to handle the situation when the ball is handed to Alfred Morris or when Robert Griffin III takes it out of his belly and circles around the end.

The numbers say that both Morris and Griffin have not been as productive carrying the ball, but with the shape the Redskins defense is in, Shanahan does not want to get in a shoot-out with Tony Romo. This Cowboys defense cannot allow Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris to control this game on the ground and keep their offense off the field. Discipline and focus are absolute musts.

Key Matchups

Cowboys OT Doug Free vs. Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan

Redskins Cowboys Football

In this matchup between the Cowboys and Redskins, there are several ones along the offensive and defensive lines that can shift the direction of this game either way. DeMarcus Ware vs. Trent Williams and Tyron Smith vs. Brian Orakpo are all worthy of our thoughts, but the one that has my attention, deals with Doug Free vs. Ryan Kerrigan.

As much as I have seen Orakpo play, I believe that Kerrigan is just as dangerous. He plays both the run and pass with equal effort and skill. Kerrigan is one of those players that keep coming after you. There is no give-up or quit in his game. Just when you think you have him blocked, he gets you with that burst of extra effort and gets a sack or a tackle for loss. Where Free has to be careful, is not allowing him to finish plays, because that’s his best trait. Kerrigan has good football strength and he will use it to his advantage. Free has been playing at a high level this season and he will need to continue to do so if he is going to be able to counter from what I have seen in Kerrigan.

Free’s technique has improved to the point, where it has allowed him to just play with ease and there has been far less struggle in his game than what we had seen the past two seasons. This is one matchup where Doug Free cannot have an off day or there will be trouble for this Cowboys offense. 


Cowboys LB Sean Lee vs. Redskins RB Alfred Morris

Cowboys Redskins Football

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has been 58 percent pass to 42 percent run through four game this season. As talented as Robert Griffin III is throwing the ball, I believe that is the balance that Shanahan doesn’t want. The Redskins have struggled on defense this season and have been behind in the majority of their games and have to throw to get back in them. If Shanahan can play with a lead or be equal in a game, I can see him trying to use Alfred Morris in a way to control the game like he was able to do against the Cowboys last year.

There is no secret that Monte Kiffin and his defense has struggled with the pass but he needs to worry about Morris running the ball downhill at him. Morris is one of those backs that can wear you down as the game moves along. When you play a read option, you need to have defenders in place to handle all the options. If you don’t, there will be problems. What I have noticed on tape is that you still see the “Pistol” or “Ace”  formations, so the threat is still there to run the ball but it hasn’t been on the legs of Griffin III or even Morris that much.

If Shanahan does strive for that balance, look for Morris to get plenty of opportunities and this is where Sean Lee needs to be at his best to stop Morris before he has a chance to get going.  There will be some serious collisions between these two tonight.

Players to Watch

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Dallas Cowboys

Their Nemesis: Jason Witten

In 20 games played against the Washington Redskins, Jason Witten has caught 94 passes for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. Throughout his long career, Witten has always been a thorn in the side of the Redskins, who have found it very difficult to match his ability to get up the field. In this game on Sunday, Witten should once again get those opportunities to find space in this secondary who will most likely have to use their safeties to help in coverage on Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.

With Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan coming up with schemes that get multiple receivers on the field, as we saw in the Broncos game, it stretches the defense horizontally and it creates space for Witten to work underneath and up the field. It will be interesting to see if the Redskins treat Witten like a receiver and match him that way or does Brandon Merriweather and Bacarri Rambo draw that assignment. I believe that Rambo would be more physical in coverage than Merriweather but because he has more experience than the rookie in these situations that he will most likely get that call. Regardless, I expect a big game, once again from Witten.

Our Weapon: Dan Bailey

It would have been real easy for me to talk about Dez Bryant, DeMarcus Ware or Tony Romo for the weapon here but if you take a closer look at the numbers in the last 10 meetings between the Cowboys and Redskins, five of those games were decided by three points of less and this is where Dan Bailey comes it. Bailey has attempted 12 field goals in his career against the Redskins and he has yet to miss. In 2011, Bailey was even a perfect six-for-six, which accounted for all the points in a victory over the Redskins 18 – 16.

Where Bailey has been automatic, his work as a kickoff man, has been flawless. In 30 kick off opportunities, opponents have only been able to return the ball eight times for an average starting field position of 20.5. Bailey’s kick offs last week against the Broncos was one of the deciding factors that held the dangerous Trindon Holliday in check only allowing him 24 yards a return. Despite what we have seen from both the Cowboys and Redskins through five games, I believe that this will be another tight game and will most likely come down to three points which I would happily put on the toe of Dan Bailey.

Under The Radar: Orlando Scandrick

The Washington Redskins are going to throw the ball 58% of the time on first down. How this Cowboys secondary plays on those downs, will be vital to their success on Sunday night. There has been less running by Robert Griffin III and more of him making throws from the pocket. The last two weeks, pressure from this Cowboys defensive line has struggled to get home and something needs to be done about it.

The most consistent player on this defense has been Orlando Scandrick whether he has played outside in the base or out of the nickel. Where Scandrick can help this defense the most is not only in his coverage but as a slot blitzer to create some problems for Griffin III in the pocket. Monte Kiffin has used Scandrick in that role that he once had for Ronde Barber and he has had some success. Of Scandrick’s 6.5 career sacks, two of them have come against the Redskins. Scandrick has a really nice feel for how to attack the pocket and do it in a way not to draw a penalty on his blitz. I would not be one bit surprised to see Kiffin take advantage of bringing Orlando Scandrick off the edge.


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Washington Redskins

Our Nemesis: Robert Griffin III

There are very few quarterbacks in the National Football League that can say they have never lost to the Dallas Cowboys, but Robert Griffin III is one of those. Though his sample size is only two games, his play against them in my view, was the difference in those games. What is different about Griffin III from what I have seen from last season to this, is more of a willingness to make throws from the pocket. I am not saying that, Griffin III is Peyton Manning back there, because you will see him move and buy a second or two more to get the ball down the field.

The Redskins will still line up in “Ace” formation and go through all the play action reads, which is a strength of Griffin III. For a young quarterback, he is one of the best that I have seen handling the ball on the move. He is extremely smart and it is rare that you see him make a poor or bad read, when running the read option. When throwing the ball, he is going to look down the field first. He looks more comfortable throwing the ball in the middle of the field than anywhere else, which is where the Cowboys have had their troubles.

Their Weapon: Pierre Garcon

If I were on the Cowboys defensive coaching staff, I would be very concerned about how we were planning on how to deal with Pierre Garcon in this game. Offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan has done a really nice job of creating plays to get the ball in Garcon’s hands and allowing him to do the rest. There has become a really nice bond between Garcon and Griffin III, to the point where Griffin III will just throw the ball in the general direction of Garcon with the understanding that he is going to make the play regardless where the ball is.

What has been impressive about Garcon is how much power that he plays with when they get him the ball. You will see him catch a quick screen and he explodes up the field, leaving tacklers in his wake. Garcon likes to also work the middle of the field and not just on simple routes, but those deep crossing routes between the linebackers and the safeties. He is not afraid to catch the ball in traffic and will compete, if he has too. When you play Garcon, you have to be physical with him because if you don’t, he will try and beat you up. Tough matchup.

Under The Radar: Jordan Reed

The Redskins like to use their tight ends on game day and all of them play a role. There was a time where Fred Davis was the lead dog in the sled for the Redskins offense, but Logan Paulsen has taken a lot of his responsibilities when it comes to being the only tight end on the field. Matter of fact, the Redskins most successful passing formation is when Paulson is on the field, with three other wide receivers.

But keep an eye on rookie Jordan Reed, who has had two weeks to recover from a deep thigh bruise that he suffered in the Lions game. What I have seen from Reed is a player that is more of a route runner than he is a blocker. Very good on his run after catch and with 4.71 speed, can be a matchup problem for linebackers and safeties to have to deal with. Has made 13 catches in three games with one touchdown.

The Redskins like to move their tight ends around the formation and line them up in different spots and this is to take advantage of players like Reed to get him in space off play action fakes. Reed can be a mismatch player for a defense that has struggled in coverage with the tight end position the last two weeks.

GARRETTS’ GAMEDAY ROSTER: Five wide receivers activated for Cowboys Redskins showdown in Dallas

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IRVING, Texas — For only the second time this season the Dallas Cowboys will activate five wide receivers with Miles Austin’s return from a two-game absence due to a hamstring strain.

The decision was made somewhat easier by the hamstring injury that will keep running back Lance Dunbar out of tonight’s game against the Washington Redskins, but with the evolution of the offense the Cowboys could figure to go in this direction even if all of the backs are healthy.

As we Ponder the 46 for the Redskins game, the decisions come down to health and reliability. The defensive line needs help if not numbers, but with Justin Durant questionable and Edgar Jones out, Cameron Lawrence, newly added from the practice squad, will be active.

Would the Cowboys rather carry nine defensive linemen (David Carter or Caesar Rayford) or eight offensive linemen (Phil Costa)? They got little from either of the defensive linemen against the Denver Broncos, but with Jason Hatcher battling a stinger and Jones out it might make more sense to keep a defender up over Costa.

So the inactives should be: Jones, Dunbar, Andre Smith, David Arkin, Costa, Darrion Weems and Chris Greenwood.

EXCLUSIVE: The Great Robbini’s predictions for Game #6-2013 Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

Regular readers already know that The Boys Are Back blog features the ALMOST WORLD FAMOUS predictions from The GREAT Robbini. Last week, our “exalted one” wasn’t able to enlighten us. He kept getting mixed signals on the winner … along with what seemed to be out of this world stat vibes from both teams! He thought his ball was shorting out, so he remained silent and gave his ball a week to cool off.

This week, The GREAT Robbini is psyched about the Cowboys – Redskins incoming vibe… and ready to share his prognostications that we all count on from week-to-week. Without further delay, it’s time for The GREAT Robbini’s predictions. OK, here we go …

The GREAT Robbini’s – 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys game #6 predictions:

Kiffins’ Beast from the East awakens…

…the Texas 2 Defense. With an abysmal showing against Denver the Dallas Cowboys defense finally snaps back. What seemed to be the more dominant defense in a dubious NFC East will get back on track against the Redskins. DeMarcus Ware, General Lee, and the ‘boys take a stand against porous Washington. Cowboys shut ‘em down like food stamps.

Predictions for the Texas 2 Defense …

  • 3 takeaways
  • 4 sacks
  • 2 sacks Ware
  • Lee/Carter lead tackles
  • Griffin out at least one drive
  • Hatcher fumble recovery
  • Carr interception

Predictions for the offense …

  • Romo 300 yards
  • Romo 3 TDs
  • Dez TD
  • Austin TD
  • Murray TD
  • Rushing committee 140 yards
  • Dez 100 yard game
  • Williams 60 yards
  • Witten 60 yards
  • Cowboys receive second half kick

The GREAT Robbini

Remember, you read it here! The Great Robbini predictions for game #6. Leave your final score or predictions in the comment section.

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