Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 27, three days before the Redskins and Cowboys clash for the NFC East title at FedEx Field.
Ice Bowl II for the Cowboys?
From the talk about the Dallas locker room, you’d think that the Cowboys are about to face some sort of a frozen tundra situation when they play in Washington on Sunday night.
We talked about the cold here a little bit earlier this week. Sunday’s weather, however, was not a major story line while the media was in open locker room and Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III were not asked about it during their news conferences.
But it looks like Sunday’s temperature, which is forecast to be in the 30’s during the game, is a topic of conversation in the Dallas locker room. Jason Garrett first broached the subject in his Monday presser. Ex-Packer Charlie Peprah said that he is fine with the cold and that his teammates “will get used to it.” Former Patriot Sterling Moore is from California and he doesn’t like it when it’s cold. Defensive end Sean Lissemore said, “I like the cold weather.”
But the mere fact that they are talking about the weather means that it is in their heads. And maybe it should be. In the last 20 years the Cowboys are 4-11 when it is 40 degrees or colder at kickoff.
Their last win in the cold was at FedEx Field, 14-0 in December of 2009 over lame duck Jim Zorn’s team. But the Cowboys will have a whole lot more to worry about than the cold this time around.
Will RG3 do more?
The message is out—RG3 will do more in this week’s game than he did against the Eagles.
“The knee is fine,” Griffin said Wednesday at Redskins Park. “Whatever I feel like I can do on that day, I will. [But] I’ll be able to do more against the Cowboys than I was against Philly.”
Shanahan said that Griffin could have done more running against the Eagles but they chose to play it safe. He said that won’t necessarily be the case on Sunday.
“I think as every day goes [by], and you see somebody get more comfortable, more comfortable, you have a gut feel [for] when he can do everything,” Shanahan said.
Maybe RG3 really will run more. Or maybe he and Shanahan are just saying that he will run an offense closer to what we say before Griffin’s knee injury.
The Redskins have scored 65 points in their last two games. They had Kirk Cousins under center in one of them and Griffin doing a Cousins impersonation in the other. If they don’t have to have Griffin use his legs as much, if they can shield him from that risk for another week, and still put up enough points to beat Dallas, that will be a huge plus going into the playoffs.
They got along fine without Griffin being very productive on the ground the first time they met. He ran seven times for 29 yards.
We will see. But just because Shanahan and Griffin say we’ll see more of the “old”, dual-threat RG3 on Sunday doesn’t mean that we will.
11:30—Practice (closed to media after first 20 minutes)
After practice (approx. 2:00)—News conferences by Kyle Shanahan, Jim Haslett, Mike Shanahan; open locker room.
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Days until: Cowboys vs. Redskins @ FedEx Field 3; 1st round of NFL playoffs 9; Divisional round of NFL playoffs 16; Super Bowl XLVII 38