Washington Redskins (8-7 SU, 8-7 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (4-11 SU, 4-10-1 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: Sunday January 3rd, 1:00PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium Arlington, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WAS +3.5/DAL -3.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
The Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys will collide this Sunday inside AT&T Stadium for a week 17 NFC East finale. The Redskins locked up the division title last week with a Thursday night victory over the Eagles 38-24. Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw 4 touchdowns for a season high 365 yards to secure the Redskins playoffs spot. Now with the 4th seed in the playoffs wrapped up, the Redskins will have one final tune-up this Sunday with the Cowboys before postseason activity kicks into action.
One of the main questions heading into this weeks meeting with the Cowboys is how will Washington approach this game? The Redskins are locked into the #4 spot in the NFC regardless of the outcome of this Sundays game. Therefore Washington will play host to either Seattle, Green Bay, or Minnesota in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. So what is the advantages of this weekends game at Dallas? Unfortunately, there are not many. In actuality, there are probably more disadvantages with risk of injuries for the Redskins than anything this weekend. Therefore it will be interesting to see exactly how long the starters will play this Sunday for Washington.
For those reasons, Dallas actually enters this Sundays matchup as 3.5 point favorites despite the fact they have only won 2 games since the 2nd week of the season. Dallas has lost 3 straight and 4 of their last 5 games. However, the Cowboys last victory come against this same Washington team when they beat the Redskins 19-16 at FedEx Field back on December 7th. Ironically, that was the last game the Redskins lost as they have won each of their last 3 games since. This Sunday either the Redskins will get a little revenge on that last loss or the Cowboys could potentially sweep their biggest rival which could be one of the only bright spots to their 2015 season.
Cowboys quarterback Kellen Moore will make his 2nd straight start behind center this week. As most are aware, the Cowboys have not been able to find any suitable backup since losing Tony Romo for the season with a collarbone injury. The Cowboys have had 3 different quarterbacks start in that backup role this season with little success. Moore made his first start last week in what became a rather rough outing against the Bills. Moore completed just 13 of 31 passing for 186 yards with 1 interception in the 16-6 loss.
Obviously it does not look like the quarterback issues will self-resolve until Romo returns in 2016 but Moore will be the option this Sunday. The positives for Dallas is that the defense has played pretty well and running back Darren McFadden continues to impress. McFadden come up just 1 yard shy of his 3rd straight 100 yard performance last week after carrying the ball 19 times against a solid Buffalo defense. McFaddens ability to make things happen behind one of the best offensive lines in football gives Dallas a strong chance to win this football game especially if they are lined up against backup talent.
Of course if Washington plays on their weapons, they have an offense that is really starting to click. Cousins is throwing the ball well. Desean Jackson is back fully healthy along with his big play potential. Not to mention, tight end Jordan Reed has emerged as a big threat in the passing game. In fact, Reed caught 9 passes for 129 yards with two touchdowns in last Thursdays victory over Philadelphia and currently leads all Washington receivers with 907 yards. Obviously, Washingtons passing attack will present some challenges for a decent Cowboys secondary and it will be interesting to see how that matchup unfolds on Sunday.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I hate these week 17 games where it is unclear how much the starters will play. Even if Washington does not rest their starters, I like the Cowboys in this spot for collective reasons. This has not been a great year for Dallas but they will close it out with a victory. Take Dallas -3.5!
Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 50% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500! (Example: Deposit $500 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.