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Redskins-Cowboys preview: Can they keep it going?

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Redskins-Cowboys preview: Can they keep it going?

What: Redskins (4-6) vs. Cowboys (5-5)

Where: Cowboys Stadium; Arlington, Texas

When: Sunday, 4:15 p.m.

TV: Fox WTTG-5

Redskins Kickoff and Postgame Live: Comcast SportsNet at 3 p.m. and after the game.

Fresh off a season-preserving win over the Eagles, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins travel to Dallas on Thanksgiving seeking to move into a second place tie with the Cowboys in the NFC East.

“I hadn’t seen this team play as physical as they did this past Sunday,” Griffin said of the pivotal Philadelphia win. “It wasn’t perfect by any means, but there was a certain tenacity, a certain attitude that was brought to the game, and you could feel it.”

Griffin posted a perfect passer rating, tossing touchdowns to four different receivers and rushing for 84 yards – four more than the Eagles had combined. The Redskins did not turn the ball over for the third consecutive game and, in fact, only one of Griffin’s 15 passes fell incomplete.

“I threw it inside and [wide receiver Josh Morgan] was falling way to the sideline,” the standout rookie joked. “That’s all on me.”

Defensively, the Redskins were just as dominant, picking off rookie quarterback Nick Foles twice and sacking him four times. The 257 yards Washington yielded were the fewest by an opponent in 15 games.

The Redskins hope their inspired effort against the Eagles provided the spark that’s eluded them for much of the season.

The Cowboys, however, aren’t the Eagles. And, like the Redskins, they’re also coming off a season-saving triumph. 

Tony Romo rallied the Cowboys from a 13-0 deficit to beat the Browns, 23-20, in overtime Sunday.

Although Romo has seen his share of struggles this season – he has as many touchdown passes as interceptions (13) – the Cowboys are still flush with weapons. Wide receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin rank 14 and 15th in yards with 735 and 727 yards, respectively, while tight end Jason Witten has 636 yards receiving. Against Cleveland, Bryant hauled in a career best 12 receptions for 145 yards.

Pressuring Romo with blitzes and line stunts and preventing long pass completions will be the primary task for a Redskins’ defense that has suffered another devastating injury. Safety Brandon Meriweather was lost for the season to a knee injury, further depleting a unit that, until last week, has struggled in coverage and routinely yielded too many big plays.

Washington, however, could benefit from injuries to Dallas’s starting left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) and best running back DeMarco Murray (foot). Neither is expected to suit up.

The Cowboys’ defense, meantime, has been the team’s strength throughout this inconsistent season – even if it looked shaky at times against Brandon Weedon and the Browns.

Linebacker DeMarcus Ware leads a unit that ranks seventh in yards allowed per game (318). Ware has 10 sacks, which ranks fourth in the league. 

While both teams are playing on short rest, the Cowboys didn’t have to travel and will have all the comforts of home. The Redskins, though, run an unorthodox offense that requires to time to prepare for – time Dallas Coach Jason Garrett wishes he had more of this week.

“You’d rather have more time than less, there’s no question about that, particularly when you’re facing [Griffin] and the scheme they’re using is a little bit different than you see every week,” Garrett said. “We just have to prepare as best we can as quickly as we can.” 

Here are three more storylines the crew at www.csnwashington.com will be following:

1--Will Fletcher suit up and extend his streak? The 37-year-old has played in 234 consecutive games, which is tied for the most among active players. But a sprained left ankle that Fletcher suffered against the Eagles is threatening his ironman status. 

Fletcher, who leads the Redskins with 84 tackles, said he doesn’t anticipate “testing” the ankle until pregame warm-up at Cowboys Stadium. He did not practice Monday or Tuesday.

“There is a reason why he has played all those games,” Coach Mike Shanahan said, “because he plays when he is hurt.” 

2--Will the Redskins be more disciplined? They crushed the a reeling Eagles’ team Sunday despite being flagged a season-high 13 penalties, including five false starts. That’s inexcusable and the mental miscues will eventually cost them a game – if it hasn’t already.

Washington leads the NFL in penalties per game at 8.8. Dallas, meantime, is a close second at 8.4.

“It’s something we have to get better at,” Coach Mike Shanahan said.

3--For the second week in a row, the Redskins can end a drought. Against the Eagles, they snapped an eight game losing streak against rookie quarterbacks and won their first game coming out of a bye week for the first time since 2007.

On Sunday, they can end a six game losing streak to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Redskins’ first loss to the Cowboys on turkey day was in 1968; the most recent was a 27-20 loss in 2002.

Washington's last win on Thanksgiving came in 1973, a 20-0 victory over the Lions.

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Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

MOBILE — Kirk Cousins remains the best option to be the Redskins quarterback of the future, but that future isn't very secure. For the past two seasons, Washington has been unable to get a long-term deal done with Cousins and optimism is low heading into the 2018 negotiating period. 

At this point, after consecutive franchise tags, it might be time for the Redskins to look at options beyond Cousins. Colt McCoy is under contract for 2018, and head coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly voiced confidence in the famed Texas product. 

Big picture, however, the Redskins need to find their QB for 2018, and beyond. Perhaps that will be Cousins, but it's time for serious due diligence. 

That means the Washington contingent heading to Mobile, Alabama, this week for the Senior Bowl needs to be watching the quarterbacks. And there's a lot to watch. 

Senior Bowl rosters are loaded with future NFL talent at all different positions. NBC Sports will have much more on that later in the week, but to kick things off, start with the passers. 

MORE: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE EAGLES?

  • 1) Baker Mayfield - Nobody will have a brighter light on them in Mobile than Mayfield. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner made big splashes on the field for Oklahoma, posting video game numbers. He threw for more than 4,600 yards in 14 games to go with 43 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He completed a crazy 70 percent of his throws, which is very high for a college passer. There was some off-field immaturity, and a February 2017 arrest, but those issues aren't expected to cause him to slide in the draft. A number of draft experts predict Washington drafting Mayfield with the 13th overall pick, but there will be plenty of teams ahead of the Redskins that need a passer. Mobile will give the Redskins brass a chance to meet and learn who Mayfield is off the field, and that will be vitally important, along with figuring out if there are reasons to be concerned about his height on the pro football level. 
  • 2)  Josh Allen - Big arm and traditional pocket passer, Allen will ace the eyeball test from talent evaluators. His 2017 numbers from Wyoming will not, however, and he will need a strong showing at pre-draft workouts. Mel Kiper suggested Allen could go as high as No. 1 overall, and at 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., there is clearly not a lack of physical talent. In his last two seasons at Wyoming, Allen threw for more than 5,000 yards along with 44 TDs against 21 INTs. Don't try too hard to compare Mayfield and Allen's stats, as comparing the talent and situations at Oklahoma and Wyoming are wildy different. Many NFL scouts love Allen, but some worry about his accuracy. In college, he completed just 56 percent of his passes. He may be a boom or bust type pick, but after the success of Carson Wentz coming out of North Dakota State, teams will be more willing to roll the dice on the Wyoming Cowboy in Allen. 
  • 3) Mason Rudolph - Upstaged by Mayfield's success at Oklahoma, Rudolph put together a terrific season of his own at Oklahoma State. A prolific passer for three seasons in Stillwater, as a senior, Rudolph tossed 37 TDs against nine interceptions along with nearly 5,000 passing yards. At 6-foot-5, Rudolph faces no questions about NFL size, and he certainly has a strong enough arm to play in the pros. Rudolph won't be practicing at the Senior Bowl but is expected to interview with NFL teams. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has said before the interviews are arguably the most important part of the pre-draft process, and this could be a big meeting. Rudolph isn't expected to go quite as high as Allen or Mayfield, and could even be drafted in the back half of the first round. 

There will be other quarterbacks playing in Mobile, including Washington State's Luke Falk, Nebraska's Tanner Lee, Virginia's Kurt Benkert, Troy's Brandon Silvers, Western Kentucky's Mike White and Kyle Lauletta of the University of Richmond. There is some intrigue surrounding Lauletta and White, especially as small school QBs continue to thrive in the NFL and both passers have NFL size and play best from the pocket. Not for nothing, Bruce Allen played football at Richmond too. 

It's a little weird that both Allen and Mayfield are on the same team, splitting reps in practice and snaps in the game. Then again Allen might not even play, so it could be irrelevant. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the week for updates from the Senior Bowl. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

Eagles fans are known for a lot of things, most tend to not be very positive.

Sunday, the internet made sure to help us all keep track of what was going on in Philly, before, during, and after the Eagles and Vikings played for the NFC Championship.

Let's take a look at how things progressed in the City of Brotherly Love.

In what has become the iconic symbol of Sunday's "celebrations", this poor fellow, according to TMZ, Andrew Tornetta, refused to comply with orders to disperse by police in the parking lot before the game.

Instead, according to the report, Tornetta punched a police horse twice in the right shoulder and then hit the human officer in the face, which is always a terrible decision.

Oh, and it's the second time in two weeks a police horse took a fist from a human in Philly. 

Fans also welcomed anyone wearing Vikings colors with class and, well, brotherly love.

Also before the game, the city decided to be proactive, and keep fans from climbing light poles if the Eagles won.

Of course, we knew what wouldn't stop them.

Sure enough, some fans were up to the Crisco Pole Challenge.

Others though, didn't need grease to have issues with a pole.

Some decided to create a new dance, which we're sure will catch on any day now.

There was also the classic dance-on-a-car move.

Oh, and let's not forget them letting the Vikings know they played a great game. 

Forget the Patriots and Eagles playing eachother in the Super Bowl.

The real matchup, is Patriots fans and Eagles fans.

May the best fanbase win.