What will the Redskins have to do to beat the Cowboys? Here are a few gameplan elements that will help them:
Rex Grossman’s longest pass this year has covered 40 yards. He has had some receivers open deep and has misfired. The Dallas secondary is injured and is not very good when healthy. A good pass rush by DeMarcus Ware and the rest of the front seven can cover that up. Look for Grossman to take a seven-step drop and look deep several times during the game. He might get sacked a time or two but he will have Anthony Armstrong or Santana Moss open a couple of times. If Rex can put the ball on the money, the crowd at Jerry World will get very quiet very quickly.
Second and nine on defense
The Cowboys have had a hard time running the ball this year as they average just 2.3 yards per carry. They did face a top defense in the opener against the Jets and a pretty good one last week in San Francisco. If the Redskins fancy themselves to be in the upper echelon of NFL defenses, they will need to continue to keep the Cowboys running game bottled up. If Washington can both outsmart and physically beat Dallas’ inexperienced offensive line and see the Cowboys lining up with second and nine whenever they try to run, the pass rush will be able to focus on Tony Romo’s ribs.
Second and six on offense
It is difficult to run against the Cowboys’ active front seven. They are giving up an average of three yards a carry. The Redskins will need to find a way to get four or five yards on first down whether it is by running the ball or with quick, high percentage passes. If they consistently are operating from second and six situations they will have options on second down. But if they find themselves in second and ten or worse too often, the pass rush will get to them. Being in second and short also will help the offense’s ability to throw deep as noted in the first item here.
What do you think the Redskins have to do to beat the Cowboys? Let us know in the comments!