Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 25, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule:

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 11
—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 18
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 29

First look at Redskins vs. Cowboys

Keeping Zeke average—It looks like Ezekiel Elliott will play on Sunday, barring yet another twist in the machinations of the legal process. In two games against the Redskins as a rookie last year Elliott averaged 90 yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry. Actually, the Redskins would be pretty happy to hold him to that average rather than see him explode for a big day.

Keeping Dak in the pocket—Among the common threads in the Redskins’ three losses in 2017 has been a mobile quarterback playing for the other side. Carson Wentz is second on his team with 196 yards rushing on the season and Alex Smith has 121. Dak Prescott has 152. It’s not just the rushing yards that give the Redskins consistent headaches, it’s the ability to elude pass pressure and get off an accurate pass. Prescott is as slippery as any quarterback out there and he has the ability to get rid of the ball just before going to the ground. The Redskins will need to wrap him up and get him down on the ground. That’s easier said than done as they found out against Wentz (twice) and Smith.


Sacks in bunches—The Cowboys are on pace to get 56 sacks this year. That may be a bit misleading because over half of their 21 sacks came in two games (6 vs. AZ, 5 vs. SF). Still, the total is what it is and the Redskins are going to have to do what they have to do to protect Kirk Cousins. That will be difficult to do with their offensive line as banged up as it is. Demarcus Lawrence has 9.5 sacks already and David Irving and Tyrone Crawford have three each.

Norman following Dez? Jay Gruden said that Josh Norman should return to practice this week so he is on track to start on Sunday after missing two games with a broken rib. Last year the big question was if Norman would shadow Dallas receiver Dez Bryant from side to side; that was something that former defensive coordinator Joe Barry was reluctant to do. Greg Manusky is willing to do what it takes but is it really necessary? Bryant is still an effective receiver but he isn’t the All-Pro that he was a few years ago. He’s on pace to gain about 875 yards. That’s not a receiver you fear. I think they’ll start out going straight up in coverage and only shift to having Norman follow Bryant if things go south.

Potpourri: In their three losses, the Cowboys have given up 42, 35, and 35 points. In their wins, the opposition scored 3, 17, and 10 . . . The combined record of the three teams the Cowboys have beaten is 4-17 . . . WR Cole Beasley is much less of a thorn in the side of opponents. After posting 833 yards receiving last year, he’s on pace for about 350 this year . . . The Cowboys have just two interceptions on the year. They have recovered five fumbles.

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

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