Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 15, three days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.
—Today's schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Joe Barry news conferences and player availability after practice approx. 3 p.m.
—Days until: Browns @ Redskins 17; Redskins @ Ravens 24; Eagles @ Redskins 31
From around Redskins
—The Redskins are largely in good health. Two players, OT Morgan Moses (knee) and DL Chris Baker (elbow/rib), were limited in practice; the other 51 were full go. The current expectation is that Baker and Moses will start against the Cowboys. They have a few bumps and bruises but they are in much better shape than they were last year. The Redskins need to take advantage of their good health and playing the softer spot in their schedule. They don’t play a team that made the playoffs in 2015 until they go to London the play the Bengals in Week 8 on October 30.
—The Redskins are not interested in former Saints running back C. J. Spiller and an acquisition of any other veteran running back does not appear to be imminent. It seems that the plan is to be patient with Matt Jones before exploring other options. And Rob Kelley should get some touches when the total of carries gets closer to 20 than to 11.
—While we on the topic, can we dispense with the notion that Jay Gruden is overly pass happy and doesn’t like to run the ball. Last year the Redskins ran 429 times. That was more than the NFL average per team of 421 attempts. In 2014 the Redskins were below average in rushing attempt with 401 compared to the average of 428. But the Redskins were a 4-12 team and had to play from behind a lot. Of the 20 teams with more rushing attempts than them in 2014 only two had double-digit losses. I think that last year it was more legitimate to say that he ran too often, given how ineffective the rushing game was. If there are a few more 12-attempt games over the next month or so we can revisit this. For now, the facts don't back up the pass-happy Gruden myth.
—Josh Norman didn’t seem to be too concerned about there not being much film out there on Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott for the Redskins to study. “I don't know, man, just go out there and play ball,” he said. You can only control what you can control.
—Some players pay no attention to stats. Kirk Cousins is not one of those players. “I always like to look at third down and red zone as two important ones,” he said. “You know, if you’re over 50 percent in both of those, you’re going to be near the top of the league, in a better position that most teams, so that’s something we’re always going to look at. And there are others – first down efficiency, yards per play, that kind of a thing – that you look at, that you can kind of measure yourself to see are we achieving the goals that are necessary that lead to wins, traditionally and typically.”
Tandler on Twitter
Su'a Cravens is into the rivalry. He said his mom, a Cowboys fan, called this morning. He hit the "ignore" button. #Redskins— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) September 14, 2016
In case you missed it
- Gruden says there may have been other ways to try to slow down Antonio Brown
- Gruden: Cousins will "have some bumps along the way"
- Redskins out on C.J. Spiller
- Alfred Morris wanted to play in one city his whole career
- Did Steelers D provide blueprint to slow Redskins, Cousins?
- Redskins strong vs. rookie QBs lately
- NTK: 5 first thoughts on Redskins-Cowboys—Not much film on Prescott
- Mitchell among 2017 Hall of Fame nominees
- Redskins among NFL's Top 5 most valuable franchises