Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys Preview and Pick

Washington Redskins (5-4) +10.5, 47 O/U at Dallas Cowboys (8-1) -10.5, Texas Stadium, Dallas, 4.15pm EST Sunday
by The Crazy Snake of Predictem.com

This is the most one-sided game of cowboys and indians I can remember in a while, but then perhaps I have a short memory. One of the most traditional of all rivalries, a game between the Redskins and the Cowboys, always stirs up plenty of emotion.

Dallas has really developed an all purpose game these days. There doesn’t appear to be any obvious weakness. Whilst everyone talks about the prolific offense and the weekly feats of Romo and Owens and Co. it has really been the defense which has set up many of their wins with relentless pressure and take-aways in critical situations. Romo has had quite a few short field situations in which to work, and to his credit and that of the offense, they have made the most of many of those opportunities. That is not to say they have not built some highly credible long offensive drives. On the contrary, it seems they have met every challenge but one, but they are not alone in having failed to defeat the Patriots.

It’s pretty hard to see how the Redskins can curtail the Cowboys’ free scoring attack. Free safety, Sean Taylor will miss and it’s likely that the Skins will need to drop extra players into coverage on passing downs, forgoing a pass rush that will pressurize Romo. Thus, Romo will have more than enough time to find Owens, Crayton and Witten. Second down will be where the Dallas offense is likely to benefit most, where the play calling is evenly split between pass and run in normal situations. With the strength of the Dallas running game, in addition to their prolific aerial attack the biggest problem for Dallas is going to be which play to call to best exploit their obvious advantage.

Washington is going to run at Dallas. That’s a no-brainer. Portis has shouldered the responsibility for “carrying” the offense, a call that may irk the improving Jason Campbell. It has to be remembered how green Campbell is when looking to his performances. He still has plenty of improvement left in him for a guy who has done a decent job to now. Washington has the offensive weapons. They just haven’t really found their best form to date. They will need to find it against Dallas or they will be chasing tail most of the night. Dallas is the best second half team in the competition. If Washington expects to win they will probably need a half time lead.

But they probably don’t expect to win, do they? The sportsbooks certainly don’t and have installed them 10.5 point dogs. If you assessed this game in straight handicapping the Cowboys should probably win this by the proverbial country mile. But these contests have a way of being tight because of the long standing rivalry. I don’t know that we can expect this one to be equally as tight. It just seems that Dallas has a general advantage on both sides of the ball, but more recently a situational advantage due to the absence of some key Redskins players.

The Snakes Bite: I am reluctant to give up such a large mark at 10.5 points to back Dallas, but it’s the only logical result given the current circumstances. Back Dallas at -10.5 to go on their merry winning way.