The NFC East foes will clash on Thanksgiving at Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas. Dallas is trying to climb within one game of the Giants for the division lead. With a win, Washington could also push closer to division relevancy, so both teams have quite a bit on the line.
Dallas is successful thanks to a strong defense and an explosive, yet inconsistent, defense. The Redskins' success is almost totally co-dependent on their superstar rookie QB, because when he's on, their offense is almost impossible to stop.
Which team takes home the Thanksgiving glory?
Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
When: Thursday, Nov. 22 at 4:15 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL.com
Betting Line: Dallas (-3.5), according to FootballLocks.com
Dallas Injury Report via NFL.com (as of Nov. 19)
|Sean Lissemore||DT||Ankle||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Matt Johnson||S||Hamstring||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Mike Jenkins||CB||Back||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|Dan Connor||LB||Neck||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Phil Costa||C||Ankle||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Lawrence Vickers||RB||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Jay Ratliff||DT||Ankle||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|DeMarco Murray||RB||Foot||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|Ryan Cook||C||Knee||Did Not Participate In Practice||Doubtful|
|John Phillips||TE||Ankle||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
Washington Injury Report via NFL.com (as of Nov. 19)
|Santana Moss||WR||Head||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Trent Williams||T||Ankle||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Nick Sundberg||LS||Forearm||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Saverio Rocca||P||right Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|DeAngelo Hall||CB||Groin||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Pierre Garcon||WR||Foot||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Josh Wilson||CB||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Brandon Meriweather||S||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
What's at Stake?
Not much, just each team's hope at a playoff spot.
Neither team would be mathematically eliminated, but a seventh loss for the Redskins would make it almost impossible for them to sneak into the postseason in a tough NFC landscape. If Dallas were to lose, the team's six losses wouldn't necessarily knock them out of the hunt, but it would be forced to run the table over the final five games to challenge the Giants for the division lead.
This is a must-win game for both, and in a short week it really comes down to which team can execute their strengths the best.
Both have been reasonably inconsistent this season, so whichever team plays more up to their talent level will come away with the win.
Dallas WR Dez Bryant
Bryant is a bit of an enigma for Cowboys fans and fantasy owners alike. He busts out with big games, but then falls back to earth the next week.
Normally, it would be inadvisable to expect big things out of Bryant for back-to-back weeks—he had a huge day with 12 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown against the Browns—but this Thursday he's facing off with a porous Redskins pass D, the third worst in the NFL.
Bryant has transformed into Tony Romo's go-to target over the past two games, so expect a third straight week of huge production.
Washington QB Robert Griffin III
There may not be a better fantasy quarterback than Griffin right now. He's an extraordinarily accurate passer, shifty in the pocket and nets at least 50 rushing yards a game.
He's been a fantasy gem this season and that won't change against a stout Dallas defense.
The Cowboys will do their best to contain him in the pocket, but all that does is allow him precious seconds in the backfield to pick apart the Dallas defense.
Griffin may not produce stratospheric numbers, but he will be more than an adequate play on Thanksgiving.
What They're Saying
Dallas eked out an overtime victory over the 2-8 Browns on Sunday, and while players and fans were just relieved to come away with a win, some aren't so thrilled.
ESPN's Jean-Jacques Taylor called out the win for what it was: a razor-thin win against a bad team. And it seems as if at least one player in the Cowboys locker room agrees with his assessment.
MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) November 19, 2012
"We should've lost," an anonymous starter said after the game . "We ain't [expletive]. We can't beat anybody this way."
Those are harsh words, but true. The Browns are one of the worst teams in the NFL, ranking 19th or worse in every major category. Dallas didn't play its best, but if the Cowboys play like that against the Redskins, they will be smashed.
Key Matchup: Dallas' Front Seven vs. the Redskins' Rushing Attack.
The Redskins feature the second ranked rushing attack in football, thanks to their effective zone-blocking scheme and the fleetness of Griffin.
If Dallas wishes to contain the Redskins, stopping the run is the key.
The Cowboys front seven has been solid, with the linebackers playing great despite the loss of Sean Lee, and the defensive line has been solid against the run.
However, Griffin's running exploits present a bit of a different test. The Cowboys will often be forced to spy, and the defensive ends must stay in their lanes to contain Griffin.
If Dallas manages to hold Washington under 100 yards, it will be in great shape. If not, Washington's game plan will be in full swing.
Both teams are coming off a short week, so there is no advantage is given there. However, Dallas is staying at home for the Thanksgiving game, giving it an added boost. Not to mention the Cowboys' passing attack should be set up for success against a weak Redskins pass defense.
Dallas 27, Washington 21