Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 22, five days before the Washington Redskins travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Monday night football.
Five Redskins vs. Cowboys questions
Can Colt McCoy game manage the team to a win? The Cowboys are defying the odds by boasting a 6-1 record despite having turned the ball over one more time (6 INT, 7 fumbles lost) than they have taken it away (7 picks, 5 fumbles recovered). If the Redskins can manage to take it away twice, as the average Dallas opponent does, and not give it away, the could hang with them.
Will DeMarco Murray continue his 100-yard streak? If Washington can’t hold Murray under 100 rushing yards in a game for the first time this season it might not matter how the turnover ratio turns out. The Redskins have not allowed 100 yards to a running back since Arian Foster went for 103 in the season opener. Since then they have faced LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch, and Darren Sproles and none has approached 100 (although QB Russell Wilson did go for 122 on the ground against them). But Murray is the hottest back in the league right now, perhaps the hottest in league history.
Who is going to cover Dez Bryant? That has been DeAngelo Hall’s duty ever since Bryant became an impact receiver. But Hall is out and it’s likely that David Amerson and Bashaud Breeland will take sides and cover Bryant when he lines up in front of them. It’s almost certain that one of them will appear in a Sports Center highlight of Bryant making an impossible grab. Whoever isn’t on Bryant likely will get Terrence Williams, who is averaging 17.8 yards on his 19 receptions. It’s likely be a long night for the two young CBs.
How will Ryan Kerrigan do without Brian Orakpo rushing from the other side? He lost a sack to a penalty against the Titans, meaning that he’s now eighth in the NFL in sacks with 6.5 instead of second with 7.5. Regardless, we’ll have to see what he produces without the injured Orakpo, who did command some attention from opposing blockers even though he didn’t compile a bunch of sacks, on the opposite side. In 2012, Orakpo missed the last 14 games and Kerrigan posted 8.5 sacks, tied for his career high. One came in the season opener with Orakpo in the lineup, the rest after Orakpo was out for the season. Kerrigan stayed on the left side in 2012; this year he will work some snaps, perhaps the majority of them, from the right side, where he will face stronger pass blockers. It starts Monday with Tryon Smith of Dallas, one of the best in the game.
Can Kerrigan and company get to Tony Romo? Despite his mobility and the fact that Dallas has given him a solid offensive line, Tony Romo has been sacked 16 times. For comparison, the trio of Redskins QBs has gone down a combined 14 times. The formula defensively will be to stop the run and get Romo on the ground. Much, much easier said than done.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:10—Open locker room and Jay Gruden news conference after practice.
—Days until: Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 5; Redskins @ Vikings 11; Bucs @ Redskins 25
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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