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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Cowboys

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Cowboys

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 27, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden press conference, open locker room after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 9
—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 27

Injury update

Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Cowboys

QB Kirk Cousins—Last year, Cousins put up big yardage numbers against the Cowboys in both games. But red zone problems—an interception in the first meeting and an inability to finish multiple drives in the second—cost the team both times. If they are going to win this time around Cousins will have to do what he can to punch the ball in when they are close.

RB Rob Kelley—Outside of the first quarter and part of the second against the Rams, Kelley hasn’t done much this year. In his second return from an injury on Monday he got six yards on his first carry and then 10 more yards on six carries the rest of the game. He’s not on the verge of getting benched or anything but he may not have unlimited rope if he doesn’t start producing. Sunday, going up against the No. 24 rushing defense in the league, would be a good time to start.

WR Josh Doctson—I had said that Terrelle Pryor had a permanent spot on this list until he broke out but he apparently is now a part-time player so the focus shifts to Doctson. At some point, the process of ramping him up slowly has to end and he needs to produce. Getting on a roll with a big game against the Cowboys would be a quick way to turn himself into a new fan favorite.

NT Ziggy Hood—He is one of several players who will be responsible for slowing down Ezekiel Elliott. I chose him because he plays the more in running situations than other linemen. As always, stopping Elliott on first down—he’s averaging 4.2 yards per rush on first down this year—is the key to slowing down the Cowboys attack. That’s when Hood will usually be in the game and it will be up to him to clog up the middle and get Elliott running to the linebackers.

S D.J. Swearinger—Per Pro Football Focus, Carson Wentz completed five of five passes to receivers covered by Swearinger for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He needs to bounce back in a big way. A solid game against Dallas would be a good bounce back, getting his first interception as a member of the Redskins on top of that would be even better. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter

From the locker room

Josh Norman on getting active in practice again. He is hoping to get final clearance to play in the. next day or two.

Posted by Rich Tandler on Thursday, October 26, 2017

In case you missed it

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: The NFC is much better than the AFC through 11 weeks

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: The NFC is much better than the AFC through 11 weeks

Through 11 weeks, the NFL's playoff picture is far from clear. But one thing is: The NFC is the superior conference. 

And that's not just because Nathan Peterman plays in the AFC.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S NEW POWER RANKINGS CAN BE FOUND RIGHT HERE

In this week's rankings, seven teams in the top 10 come from the NFC. The middle and back-end of the rankings even out, but at the top, one side of the league is stronger than the other.

The bottom line is that a few deserving squads in the NFC will miss out on the postseason. Meanwhile, in the opposite conference, a couple of mediocre ones will be playing in January.

To see who lands where overall in the post-Week 11 breakdown, click the link above or below. You know who No. 32 is, but there was plenty of movement in the other 31 spots.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S NEW POWER RANKINGS CAN BE FOUND RIGHT HERE

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Week 12 Redskins vs. Giants Thanksgiving Game Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Week 12 Redskins vs. Giants Thanksgiving Game Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Redskins enter Week 12 against the Giants on Thanksgiving looking for a lot of thanks. 

The Redskins were up by 15 points with less than 5 minutes to go against the Saints in Week 11. Despite being major underdogs, they thought they had the win in hand.

Then, as D.C. fans have witnessed all too often, everything fell apart.

Even after their terrific Week 9 win in Seattle, the Redskins still probably needed to split the next two against the Vikings and Saints.

It seemed like they had done exactly that, right up until Drew Brees reminded everyone why he's one of the greatest passers in NFL history.

The loss was doubly painful, as everybody's favorite breakout star Chris Thompson suffered a fractured fibula and will undergo season-ending surgery. Thompson has been one of the few bright spots on offense this season, and his loss will be felt by a team clinging to its playoff hopes.

Despite seeing yet another key cog go down with an injury this season, the team will look to bounce back against one of their NFC East rivals. The Giants have been one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, but are coming off a 12-9 win over a quality Chiefs squad, so the Redskins will have to show up ready to play.

On a short week against a division rival, anything can happen. Every game matters, but this is as much of a must-win for the Redskins as it gets. It's Thanksgiving night, and the Redskins will have the stage all to themselves. 

Before the Week 12 Redskins-Giants matchup, here's a preview of everything you need to know, including game time, TV channel and live-stream info.

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

WEEK 12 Redskins vs. Giants

Who: New York Giants at Washington Redskins

Where: FedEx Field, Landover, MD

What: Week 12 of the 2017 NFL season

When: Thursday, November 23, 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC

Live Stream: Fubo.TV: Online with no cableTV: fuboTV (Try for free)

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Betting Odds: According to OddsShark.com, the Washington Redskins are 7.5-point favorites against the New York Giants.

Washington Redskins 2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1 (Sun. 9/10): 30-17 loss vs. Eagles (0-1)

Week 2 (Sun. 9/17): 27-20 win at Rams (1-1)

Week 3 (Sun. 9/24): 27-10 win vs. Raiders (2-1)

Week 4 (Mon. 10/2): 29-20 loss at Chiefs (2-2)

Week 5 (Sun. 10/8): BYE WEEK

Week 6 (Sun. 10/15): 26-24 win vs. 49ers (3-2)

Week 7 (Mon. 10/23): 34-24 loss at Eagles (3-3)

Week 8 (Sun. 10/29): 33-19 loss vs. Cowboys (3-4)

Week 9 (Sun. 11/5): 17-14 win at Seahawks (4-4)

Week 10 (Sun. 11/12): 38-30 loss vs. Vikings (4-5)

Week 11 (Sun. 11/29): 34-31 OT loss at Saints (4-6)

Week 12 (Thurs. 11/23): vs. New York Giants, 8:30 p.m.

Week 13 (Thurs. 11/30): at Dallas Cowboys, 8:25 p.m. 

Week 14 (Sun. 12/10): at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. 

Week 15 (Sun. 12/17): vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:00 p.m. 

Week 16 (Sun. 12/24): vs. Denver Broncos, 1:00 p.m.

Week 17 (Sun. 12/31): at New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS: WEEKLY MVP'S ON REDSKINS OFFENSE AND DEFENSE