Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys: Preview and Prediction

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

Sep 26, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett meets with Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan at the end of the game at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Redskins 18-16.  Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Redskins are 1-6 all time on Thanksgiving and 0-5 against the Dallas Cowboys specifically. Dallas, meanwhile, is 5-0 with Tony Romo under center on Turkey Day.

Take that with a grain of salt if you'd like, because Robert Griffin III changes everything and the 'Skins haven't played the 'Boys in one of these games since 2002. Just giving you the facts.

Now, time for a final preview and some speculation.


What Washington Must Do to Win, Offensive Edition

Maintain balance in order to shorten the game while avoiding turnovers. Run the clock, man.


What Washington Must Do to Win, Defensive Edition

Force turnovers, period. Washington has to take a lot of chances. 


What Dallas Must Do to Win, Offensive Edition

Avoid turnovers, period. The Cowboys have to help out that offensive line so that Tony Romo doesn't cough it up. 


What Dallas Must Do to Win, Defensive Edition

Prevent Robert Griffin III from making big plays with his arm and his legs by employing a spy and staying home. 


Five Most Important Non-Quarterbacks, Redskins Edition 

Alfred Morris, Ryan Kerrigan, Perry Riley, DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson

Morris has to get back on track after a few off-weeks, providing better support for the passing game so Washington can establish that balance. Kerrigan and Riley will lead the pass rush against the Cowboys' ragged offensive line, while Hall and Griffin will be responsible for Dez Bryant and Miles Austin.


Five Most Important Non-Quarterbacks, Cowboys Edition 

Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, Bruce Carter

That three-headed receiving monster has to come through for Romo against a very bad secondary, while Ware will be counted upon to get pressure without help from the blitz and Carter will be responsible for containing RG3.


Injury Analysis, Redskins Edition

London Fletcher is questionable, as is Pierre Garcon, but the 'Skins have been successful without getting much from those guys this season. Josh Wilson and Trent Williams are OK, though, which is key. 


Injury Analysis, Cowboys Edition

No Kevin Ogletree for the Cowboys, but they shouldn't be using him much anyway because of the help they'll have to give the offensive line in pass protection with Tyron Smith unlikely to play.

It doesn't look good for DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones, either, so I'm not expecting much from the running game. A lot of check-downs and short passes had better be on the menu. 


B/R NFC East Blog Prediction

I do believe the 'Skins will make this very close, especially when you consider that Washington is decent on the road and the Cowboys have struggled at home. But I'm also not reading too much into what happened last week against a joke of an Eagles team. Dallas wins a close one.

Cowboys 24, Redskins 21