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Need to Know: 5 burning Redskins questions on defense

Need to Know: 5 burning Redskins questions on defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 3, 14 days before the start of minicamp.

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After a 3-13 season there are always plenty of questions surrounding an NFL team. Here is a look at five burning questions facing the Redskins’ defense (we’ll talk about questions on offense later this week).

Can Jason Hatcher get double-digit sacks again? The Redskins’ 3-4 defense is not designed for the linemen to make plays. But they didn’t sign Jason Hatcher to a four-year, $27.5 million deal to do grunt work; they want 10 or more sacks out of him. In what situations will Hatcher play and how will what he does affect the rest of the line? Will responsibilities change?

Can Brian Orakpo perform at an elite level? The Redskins are going to rely heavily on the pass rush to prop up the secondary this year and in a 3-4 the key pass rusher is the outside linebacker coming from the QB’s blindside. That, of course, is Orakpo. If the master plan is going to work he will have to play to his full potential and make some big plays in addition to getting sacks and pressures.

Will Keenan Robinson be ready? The third-year player who has only 69 defensive snaps under his belt is the preferred choice to win the job at inside linebacker. Robinson looks good now but it’s hard to judge without pads. And if he’s not ready, the question becomes who will it be?

Will David Amerson be ready? The second year player seems to be a safer bet. He played almost 700 snaps as a rookie so he has more on-field experience to fall back on. Still, he’s a second-year player coming off of a season during which he, well, looked like a rookie. He’s likely to get burned from time to time but if can he can make enough big plays to compensate his year will be a success.

How will the safety spot sort out? Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather are the starters, at least for the time being. Does that mean Phillip Thomas will watch most of the year from the bench, barring injury, or will he get a legit shot at starting? Will Bacarri Rambo even make the team? Can Tanard Jackson be effective after a two-year suspension (if he even makes the team)? Nothing seems to be out of the question at this point in time.

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Timeline

—It’s been 156 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 96 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 14; Training camp 51; Redskins @ Eagles 110

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Redskins need to stop Cowboys' Cole Beasley to win in Week 7

Redskins need to stop Cowboys' Cole Beasley to win in Week 7

When the Redskins take on the Cowboys on Sunday in Week 7, there's one player NBC Sports Washington's resident GM Charley Casserly says they need to contain in this week's "Matchup to Watch."

The player: Wide receiver Cole Beasley

The comparison: Randall Cobb (Packers), Jamison Crowder (Redskins)

Who will cover him: Casserly's guess? Fabian Moreau

The key for the Redskins: Get physical with him. "Jam Beasley off the line of scrimmage," Casserly says, "reroute him and be physical with him."

Click "Play' in the video box above to watch Charley Casserly's full Redskins vs. Cowboys Matchup of the Week.

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Redskins vs. Cowboys Week 7: Time, TV channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today

Redskins vs. Cowboys Week 7: Time, TV channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Most Redskins fans wait all year for this particular Sunday, the Cowboys are coming to Fed Ex Field

The problem is the Redskins have not faired well in this rivalry over the last few years. The Cowboys have won five straight and eight of 10 against the 'Skins. Dallas has struggled away from Jerry's World this season, going 0-3 in road games. 

The Cowboys offense exploded against the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the top defenses in the NFL. Ezekial Elliott rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown. Dak Prescott was effective through the air and on the ground, rushing for 82 yards and touchdown and throwing for a pair of scores. Prescott connected with Cole Beasley nine times for 101 yards and both touchdowns.

Dallas' offense isn't cured yet. The Cowboys still remain 29th in the NFL in total yards per game.

The Cowboys strength is on defense. Dallas is second in the league in points allowed per game (17.2) and fourth in yards allowed per game (315.2). Demarcus Lawrence can wreak havoc coming off the edge. He has 5.5 sacks this season. The Cowboys MLBs of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have been very active this year, both ranking in the top 10 in tackles. 

That's what the Redskins have to deal with in Week 7.

To get you more fired up, CLICK HERE for the 10 most-hated Cowboys of all time.

REDSKINS vs. COWBOYS WEEK 7

Who: Washington Redskins (3-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

What: Game 6 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Where: FedEx Field. Landover, Md. 

TV Channel: CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)

Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV - Try free trial. You can also watch pregame and postgame coverage streaming on NBCSportsWashington.com

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Weather Report: Partly Sunny, 55 degrees. Wind gusts up to 25 mph.

REDSKINS vs. COWBOYS TV SCHEDULE:

8:00 AM: Pro Football Weekly
8:30 AM: Redskins Nation
9:00 AM: Redskins 100
9:30 AM: Redskins Kickoff Preview
10:00 AM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live
11:00 AM: Redskins Coach's Show
11:30 AM: Inside the Redskins
3:30 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live
4:25 PM: Redskins vs. Cowboys (CBS)
7:30 PM: Redskins Postgame Live
8:30 PM: Redskins Overtime Live

REDSKINS 2018 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Sun., 9/9, @ Arizona Cardinals (24-6, W)

Week 2: Sun, 9/16, vs. Indianapolis Colts (21-9, L)

Week 3: Sun., 9/23, vs. Green Bay Packers (31-17, W)

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Mon., 10/8, @ New Orleans Saints, (43-19, L)

Week 6: Sun., 10/14, vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. (23-17, W)

Week 7: Sun., 10/21, vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Week 8: Sun. 10/28, @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 10: Sun. 11/11, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 11: Sun., 11/18, vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 12: Thu., 11/22, @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (FOX)

Week 13: Mon., 12/3, @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 (ESPN)

Week 14: Sun., 12/9, vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 15: Sun., 12/16, @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 16: Sun., 12/23, @ Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 17: Sun., 12/30, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

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