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Reply To: NFL Week 13 • "Monday Night Football" • 12/7/15

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Redskins host Cassel’s Cowboys Monday night
By Zach Cohen

Kickoff: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Line: Washington -4.5, Total: 41.5

The Redskins will be looking to keep themselves atop the NFC East standings when they host the Cowboys on Monday night.

Dallas has had a miserable season and things will not be getting much better either. The Cowboys started the year off 2-0 and have since lost eight of their past nine games. Matt Cassel is entrenched as the team’s starting quarterback for the remainder of the season and the Cowboys have not won a single game with a quarterback other than Tony Romo under center this year. The Redskins, meanwhile, have won three of their past five games SU and two of their past three ATS. Washington is currently in first place in the NFC East and will be looking forward to this extremely winnable meeting with Dallas. The Cowboys have, however, won three of the four meetings between these teams over the past three seasons SU and that includes wins in both games in Washington. Dallas enters this contest 15-3 ATS in road games after trailing in its previous game by 14 or more points at the half since 1992. That bodes well for the team, as it is also up against a Washington squad that is 4-13 ATS in home games when playing on Monday night in that span. As mentioned earlier, QB Tony Romo (Collarbone) is out for the season for Dallas. For Washington, CB Chris Culliver (ACL) is out for the season and LBs Perry Riley (Foot) and Keenan Robinson (Shoulder) are questionable.

The Cowboys are not completely dysfunctional on both sides of the ball. They have a middle of the pack defense, allowing 23.7 PPG (18th in NFL) on the season. The problem for Dallas is really that the team is averaging just 18.5 PPG (29th in NFL). This Cowboys offense has been plagued by a lack of productivity at the quarterback position and that will not change with Tony Romo out of the lineup. If Dallas is going to win some games the rest of the way, it will be thanks to the legs of Darren McFadden. The Cowboys still have one of the best offensive lines in football, so they will be looking to pound away at Washington on Monday night. McFadden has rushed for 634 yards with two touchdowns on the season and he has added 31 receptions for 257 yards in the receiving game. He did, however, rush for just 11 yards on 10 carries in a blowout loss to Carolina last week and will likely need to rush for at least 100 yards if Dallas will have any shot at coming away with a road upset.

The Redskins have a golden opportunity to improve to 6-6 on the season and keep themselves atop the NFC East, but this team will need to play some mistake-free football. Kirk Cousins has thrown for 2,787 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but he is prone to throwing some awful picks. If he can make high percentage throws and take good care of the ball then his team will be in an excellent position to win. Another guy who will need to avoid letting the ball get in Dallas’ hands is Matt Jones. Jones is an explosive runner for this Redskins team, racking up a total of 618 yards rushing and receiving and also punching in four total touchdowns. He has, however, fumbled the ball six times and he has lost four of those. He will need to grip the rock tight and make sure he does not lose it on Monday. Ball security combined with the Redskins shutting down the run would likely mean that the team comes away as a winner in this game.