It’s a historic match-up Monday night as one of the best rivalries in football unveils its latest chapter as the Redskins take on the red-hot Dallas Cowboys. Nobody could’ve anticipated a start like this from the Cowboys, but there still are many questioning their legitimacy in spite of an impressive record. While on the surface they should easily dispose of this weakened Washington squad, the ‘Skins still possess many solid pieces and it can be argued that they’re better than their 2-5 record would indicate. Add in the fact that the Cowboys still have the tendency for sluggish play on their homefield, and don’t be surprised if a motivated Redskins squad keeps it close on Monday night. No team wants to get embarrassed on national television, regardless of their current record. Expect two motivated squads in this Monday night version of one of the game’s top rivalries. We’ll be looking to end the week on a positive note, so read on below for a game breakdown and tonight’s official wager.
Redskins vs. Cowboys Betting Odds:
Washington Redskins +10.5 (-115)
@ Dallas Cowboys (-105)
Over 49.5 (-110)
Under 49.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Redskins vs. Cowboys Pick:
The Cowboys have had some pretty successful games in terms of offensive production, but I’m banking on an inspired Redskins’ pass rush being the story tonight. Despite losing Brian Orakpo to an injury, Washington still has Jason Hatcher and Ryan Kerrigan to rush Tony Romo. Romo has had great results when he’shad time and space, but Washington should be able to get to him frequently and disrupt that rhythm. The Dallas offensive line is littered with backups at the moment, and there are some vulnerable holes that can definitely be exploited by the right teams. Also of note is just how effective Washington has been at stuffing the run this year. Through the first eight weeks, they currently sit 5th in the NFL, conceding only 3.43 yards per carry. Even though DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant are immensely talented, the Redskins defense does possess the ability to slow them down tonight.
For the ‘Skins offense, it’s been a carousel at the quarterback position of late. RG3 was thought to have had a chance at returning for tonight, but they’re being extra cautious with him. And with Kirk Cousins struggling so much, they’ll again turn to Colt McCoy to lead the offense. McCoy was great last week against Tennessee and will be able to test a Cowboys defense that has wildly surpassed expectations. Many pundits predicted this unit to be one of the worst in recent memory, but it’s been anything but that. Despite their successes, it’s still early and it remains to be seen if this type of performance can be continued throughout the entire year. This was a collection of career cast-offs and back-ups, and dealing with some of Washington’s talented offensive players (Garcon, Jackson, Reed, Morris) may give a comfortable Cowboys squad a bit of a scare. Add in the fact that this defense is brutal against the run, and the ‘Skins should have a decent chance of moving the ball and getting their offense going. Alfred Morris hasn’t had as great of a year as usual, but that should change tonight. Dallas currently concedes 5.28 yards per carry, second-last in the NFL. Washington will get the run going, allowing McCoy to have an easier time of getting the aerial game working.
10-plus points in any NFL game is a lot, especially when you’ve got two rivals squaring off on a Monday night. I’m expecting a tight affair throughout tonight. The Redskins defense has the personnel to slow down the Cowboys attack, while Dallas’ defense still concedes 344 yards per game and has glaring holes just waiting to be exploited. Sure Dallas is clearly the better team with the better record, but they’re closer than you might think. During Washington’s 13-loss season in 2013, they kept this match-up to a one-point game without Griffin at the helm. Their run defense has allowed just one back to amass more than 72 yards this season, and if they can limit Murray’s effectiveness, this is a game that should be kept far away from that double-digit spread differential.
PICK = Redskins +10.5 (-115)