After an opening day defeat on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins open the home part of their schedule against their arch rival Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins gave up a big first half lead against the Eagles which makes that loss much more disappointing. Along with the injuries that were incurred to Jonathan Allen, Derrius Guice, and Caleb Brantley, who will all be out against the Cowboys. The Cowboys also get running back Ezekiel Elliot back to go with their elite defense. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 20-17 last season at home and had one of their better wins of the season. Here are the three most important keys to victory for the Redskins.
Contain the Cowboys Running Game
Most people would think that this would mean to focus on Ezekiel Elliot. While Elliot is 1A, containing quarterback Dak Prescott running should be 1B. Last season in their victory over the Cowboys, they limited Elliot to 33 yards on 15 carries and Prescott to 33 yards on 6 carries. In the loss Elliot ran for 121 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown. The Redskins cannot allow Prescott time to scramble and run around to make plays. When Prescott has to stand in the pocket and makes throws is where he is most beatable. Both Prescott’s and Elliot’s running must be contained in order for the Redskins to win.
Create but Don’t Commit Turnovers
Last week was a success for the offense in terms of not turning the ball over. However the defense was not able to create any turnovers against the Eagles. Last season in the games with the Cowboys; the victory the Redskins won the turnover battle 2-0 but in the loss they lost the battle 3-0. To keep the ball in the Redskins offense’s hands and keep the Cowboys offense off the field, winning the turnover battle will be key. I the Redskins can win this battle they can win the game.
Ride the Peterson Express
Even though quarterback Case Keenum had a strong passing game against the Eagles, for the Redskins to win they have to dominate the game on the ground. Coach Gruden received a lot of heat for not making Adrian Peterson active last week. Although the move made sense on paper, that did not mean it was correct move. With Derrius Guice’s injury, Peterson will return to being the feature running back. The more Peterson runs the ball, the better he usually gets. However Coach Gruden cannot become predictable with run plays and always on first down. If Peterson can get 100 yards on the ground, the Redskins have an opportunity to win this game.