The fact that the Washington Redskins will be playing the Dallas Cowboys in Texas this Sunday has to have even some long times fans of both teams scratching their heads at what the impact of the games outcome could mean. Mainly because the timing of the game is so important for Dallas.
This may as well be a playoff game for Dallas. With the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles floundering right now, the NFC East is there for Dallas to take complete control of it. A loss to a struggling Redskins team could have a harsh impact on their hopes for a divisional crown at some point later this season.
Tony Romo appears to be playing well at quarterback despite a receiving crop that has been very unsettled and inconsistent. What remains to be seen is if the Cowboys will block well for Romo, or if Felix Jones will finally get an increased role in the offensive scheme. Dallas is excellent at running the ball, but their linemen are big and slow. This has lead to several issues on passing plays.
The Cowboys still have a few issues in their secondary because of injuries, but the talent is more than good enough to do the job. Consistency is the key for this group. Romo's abilities should increase the workload of wide receiver Roy Williams. If this happens, as expected, then opponents will truly have their hands full. Factor in tight end Jason Witten, and even tight end Martellus Bennett, and you can see a plethora of options available at Romo's disposal. That passing threat should open holes for running backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones, as well as the underneath passes to them. Jones is especially dangerous in these situations.
The Redskins have a very few good things going for them. Their offensive line has been an injury filled mess, as usual, and are amongst the worst in the NFL. Jason Campbell has been gritty and resilient at quarterback, despite having a coaching staff in shambles calling plays that has caused him to struggle at times. These are problems that bode very well for Dallas.
Running back Clinton Portis is not playing, due to a concussion. Ladell Betts is Portis' excellent reserve, but he has a long list of injury issues himself. If Betts goes out, then the Redskins will be down to just Rock Cartwright and a journeyman named Omar Gaither. The Redskins need the run to set up the pass.
Tight End Chris Cooley was the Redskins best option in passing situations, but he won't be back for weeks due to a broken ankle. Fred Davis has assumed Cooley's role, but he has had a mostly disappointing career with the Redskins thus far. The wide receivers are an unimpressive set that has had issues consistently getting open and producing. The Redskins defense has played mostly excellent so far this year, which will be crucial against the Cowboys big play offense. Whomever controls the line of scrimmage could be the victor in this battle.
This is another game that may find a place in the legendary series between these two teams. Each desperately needs a win, so it is succinct that they are facing each other right now. Both teams have a habit of killing each others dreams.
Such examples include Redskins Hall Of Fame safety Ken Houston stopping Cowboys running back Walt Garrison inches from the end zone in 1973, which put the Redskins into a first place tie with the Cowboys. Then there was the win-less Cowboys defeating the undefeated Redskins, one of the greatest teams in the last 20 years with their record setting offense and second overall ranked defense, in 1991.There are countless other examples implanted in the minds of each Redskins and Cowboys fan as to why this may be the greatest rivalry in football.
The road has a habit of running these two franchises head on at the most crucial of junctions. Any real fan of either franchise wouldn't want it any other way.