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Can the Redskins score the sweep of the Cowboys?

Can the Redskins score the sweep of the Cowboys?

Eagles (9-5) @ Redskins (3-11)
FedEx Field
Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
NFL Network

We’re changing up the format of the prediction post here. I’m going to give my take and then turn it over to the fans who sent me their predictions via Twitter (@Rich_TandlerCSN) and on the Real Redskins Facebook page.

So what will happen?

I usually spend a few paragraphs here and throw out a few numbers and go over some of the matchups. But you can throw the book out in this game. Not because it’s a rivalry game but because it will come down to which team is motivated and how long the Cowboys will play their starters.

Jason Garrett has said that he will play his top-line players because there is something at stake. Well, yes, but the Cowboys only benefit from a win if the Lions and Packers tie. Sure, Garrett would take some heat if he started Brandon Weeden at QB, the Cowboys lost, and that improbable tie happens at Lambeau Field.

The smarter play is to pull Romo early before one of Jim Haslett’s zero blitzes has a chance to injure his back again and to keep DeMarco Murray on the bench in sweats. That’s how I think Garrett will play it.

That should leave the door wide open for the Redskins to win. After all, they were able to do so in Dallas with the Cowboys playing everyone. But, then again, the Redskins lost to the Bucs so they’re capable of losing this one. The could blow it but I don’t think they will.

Redskins 28, Cowboys 17

(predictions record this year 9-6)

Here are some of the better fan predictions that came my way on Twitter and Facebook:

Unlike the previous few times we've done this, the fans were very optimistic with nearly all of them predicting a Redskins win or, in a few cases, a tie (come on, make up your minds).

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Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

With NFL RedZone, All-22 footage and GamePass, it’s literally never been easier to access information about your favorite teams and players. Still, nothing can quite beat the actual players and coaches, especially those who drew up those plays in the first place.

Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was happy to share some insight on the touchdown pass Alex Smith threw to Vernon Davis to kick off the scoring against the Panthers in Week 6. 

The Redskins took over possession after a Carolina turnover, and the offense was ready to strike quickly. Smith found Davis wide open in the end zone and connected with his longtime tight end to give the ‘Skins an early 7-0 lead.

Interestingly, as Cavanaugh points out, the play was designed to clear out space for the team’s top tight end, Jordan Reed. Instead, the Panthers safety rolled towards Reed, who is generally seen as the more likely receiving threat. You can see in the video of the play that Smith does look towards Reed first, and then noticed the rolling safety leaving Davis wide open down the seam.

Cavanaugh also emphasizes how vital it is for the offense to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“When we’re not on the field and the defense creates a turnover and all of a sudden we’re back out there, we gotta be ready to score, particularly when we get the ball in that great field position. It’s huge, it obviously set the tone for the rest of the game for us.”

A one play, 22-yard drive certainly does show off an offensive unit ready to score quickly and without the benefit of a long possession to get into rhythm.

Hopefully Cavanaugh doesn’t give away too many of his X’s and O’s secrets, but it’s always fascinating to experience a behind-the-scenes look at important plays. It’s even more fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns, and it’s the most fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns that come in Redskins victories.

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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