Before every Washington Football Team game this year, Pete Hailey will identify one key number that you must know regarding that contest.
Here is his number for the Week 7 tilt with the Cowboys.
The Washington Football Team's defense has generated 16 sacks so far this year. That mark is good enough to slot them inside of the top 10 across the league.
Eight of those, however, came in their opener, and lone win of the year, against the Eagles.
So, since Week 1, Jack Del Rio's group of pass rushers have taken opposing quarterbacks down just eight more times in the five ensuing games.
This Sunday's matchup with the Cowboys represents an enormous chance for Washington to, as they say in baseball, put up a crooked number, much like they did versus Philly.
On Friday, Adam Schefter reported that Dallas' star guard, Zack Martin, will be held out of the action at FedEx Field due to a concussion. That means that the Cowboys will have just one Week 1 starter along their offensive line when they face the Burgundy and Gold.
Aside from Connor Williams, Mike McCarthy's other guard, their offense will be relying on guys they would prefer to not be relying on. In addition to Martin's impending absence, the Cowboys' two top tackles are out for the year (one of their backups, by the way, is also going to be out) and their center is currently injured as well.
Therefore, Sunday needs to be — not has to be; needs to be — a dominant outing for Washington's supposedly dominant defensive line.
Between the ravaged group of blockers and Andy Dalton stepping in for Dak Prescott, Chase Young and the rest of his teammates up front have got to wreck their opponents from the first quarter to the fourth. They must force Dalton into uncomfortable throws and keep Dallas in third-and-long situations. Together, they should be the storyline to come out of this game.
In that opening victory over the Eagles, Washington's D-line pounded an O-line that was in shambles. In Week 7, a similar opportunity is presenting itself. The results ought to be similar, too.