It took eight weeks, but the Redskins worked themselves into a bit of a situation. It's too early for fans to be totally freaked out, but after a physical loss in Philadelphia, Washington really needs a win.
Sitting at 0-2 in the NFC East, both losses from the Eagles, and 3-3 on the year, if the Redskins lose this week the team will have given up key positioning in the Wild Card race.
And, oh yeah, it's Dallas Week.
The Cowboys arrive at FedEx Field for America's Game of the Week on Sunday afternoon (full coverage on NBC Sports Washington at 3:30) coming off a big win in San Francisco. Dallas has the same 3-3 record, and are 1-0 in the NFC East.
There are plenty of stories to watch, but here are the Top 3:
- Watch your health - Any discussion of this Redskins team starts with injuries. Through seven weeks, the Redskins have lost starters on both sides of the ball, and could be down as many as four offensive linemen on Sunday. Spencer Long is out, and rookie Chase Roullier will start at center. Morgan Moses seems likely to play. A report says that Trent Williams will miss this game, which likely means T.J. Clemmings at left tackle. Another report says Brandon Scherff will miss the game, which means Tyler Catalina could get the start. Defensively, linebacker Mason Foster will miss at least the next eight games after having surgery on his torn labrum. Foster joins rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen as Redskins defensive starters now on the IR list. Without even mentioning the players that are listed as questionnable, the Redskins are hurting. One bit of good news: After missing the last two games, Josh Norman is expected to start Sunday.
- Push broom - Dallas swept the Redskins last season. The Eagles have already swept the Redskins this season. Washington needs to break their NFC East losing streak, as well as their losing streak to the Cowboys, and it needs to come this week. Washington will have their work cut out for them, however, as Dallas ranks higher in both yards-per-game and points-per-game. In fact, the Cowboys hold a +23 point scoring margin of the year and have scored 21 touchdowns. Washington has a -6 scoring margin and has scored five less TDs. The team needs Kirk Cousins to produce, big-time, offensively to get their first division win of the year.
- Produce section - Much like last year, the Redskins offense is moving the ball this season without scoring at a proportional rate. Depending how you look at it, that could be a credit to Kirk Cousins, or a reason for his detractors to shout. Washington's wide receivers have been largely unproductive. No 'Skins wideout ranks in the Top 50 in the NFL recieving yards list. In fact, Terrelle Pryor lands 91st on the list, the highest ranking Redskin. Cousins still has the Washington offense piling up 369 yards-per-game, good for 8th in the NFL. Cousins has had to rely on Chris Thompson, Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed for the bulk of his targets. Perhaps it's time for the emergence of 2016 1st-round pick Josh Doctson. It would be a great time for it.
News & Notes:
- Kirk Cousins is four starts away from second place in Redskins history with 42 consecutive regular season starts at quarterback since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970. With the start against Dallas, Cousins will have started 39 straight. Currently Mark Rypien sits in second place with 41 straight starts. Joe Theismann ranks 1st with 60 straight starts.
- Tight end Vernon Davis is 26 receiving yards away from passing Kellen Winslow (6,741) for the ninth-most career receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history.
- Through six games, Chris Thompson has 366 receiving yards. Since 2000, only six running backs have that much or more receiving yardage through six games: 2013 Darren Sproles (366), 2005 Brian Westbrook (367), 2014 Matt Forte (376), 2002 Charlie Garner (377), 2011 Matt Forte (381), 2000 Marshall Faulk (462).
- The Redskins haven't beaten the Cowboys since December 2015.
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