Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
Date and Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Week 2 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Redskins -3, O/U 45.5
Cowboys vs. Redskins TV Coverage: FOX
Dallas unloaded its group of backup quarterbacks from last season and nabbed Dak Prescott in the draft. The record-setter from Mississippi State was a preseason sensation and took the NFL by storm with his play. The Boys felt they had the perfect backup to Tony Romo. Then bam, Romo goes down again with an injury and Dallas is left to relive the troubles from last season.
Things will be different this time, they tell themselves. Prescott is ready to be the starter. He obviously wasn’t on the Jared Goff timetable and made everyone believers. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Dallas’ backups went 1-11 last year when Romo went down and the inability of the Cowboys to close out games was evident once again. Prescott had a nice game, but he led just one touchdown drive. Four other times the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal and that proved to be the difference.
Washington put a nice run together last season to win the NFC East and finished as the only team in the division with a winning record. All nine victories last year came against teams that finished the year at or below .500 with the Cowboys being one of them. But the Skins also lost at home to the Boys and have dropped three straight in the series at FedEx Field while going 1-2 ATS.
Matchup To Watch
Dallas used the fourth-round pick in this year’s draft on Ezekiel Elliott because they consider him to be a franchise running back. Judging by his NFL debut, he’s not there yet. Elliott managed just 51 yards on 20 carries for an average of 2.6 yards per carry. That number is less than half the 6.7 yards per carry he averaged while at Ohio State. The Giants spent a lot of money to upgrade their defense and the investment paid off in the opener. “I think I was average. That’s not why I was brought here to be average,” Elliott said of his Week 1 performance. You can’t judge a career on one game and Elliott will have plenty more opportunities to prove his worth.
The next chance comes Sunday when the Cowboys face the porous run defense of the Redskins. It was an issue all last season and Washington did little over the offseason to upgrade the area. The Skins were 29th last season in rushing yards allowed per play and there’s no reason to believe that’s going to change. They surrendered 143 yards on 26 attempts to Pittsburgh’s DeAngelo Williams Monday night for an average of 5.5 yards per play. With Elliott and a strong O-line, Dallas has the tools to exploit Washington’s weakness.
Cowboys vs. Redskins Free Picks
The Redskins beat the teams they were supposed to beat last season, racking up nine wins against teams that finished without a winning record. Getting the 0-1 Cowboys at home has Washington at -3 for this one on the odds at BookMaker.eu. The Skins were exploited by Pittsburgh on Monday night. Their lack of a run game forced Kirk Cousins to throw 43 times and he was picked twice. The Skins also couldn’t stop the run and allowed 435 yards of offense to the Steelers.
Granted, the Steelers are one of a few legitimate Super Bowl contenders and showed just how superior they are. Washington would really like to avoid a 0-2 start, especially considering both games came at home. The Skins could be hard-pressed to stop the Cowboys offense, which worked well between the 20-yard lines against the Giants. Putting the ball in the end zone instead of settling for field goals will be the difference in a Cowboys victory.
Cowboys vs. Redskins Week 2 ATS Pick: Cowboys +3 at BookMaker.eu
Cowboys vs. Redskins Score Prediction: Cowboys 27, Redskins 24