Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 9, four days before the Redskins visit the Cowboys on Sunday night.

Nickel coverage

Five things you need to know about the Redskins-Cowboys matchup on Sunday night.

1. After being in the hole all season, the Redskins have managed to work their way back up to even in turnover ratio. They have seven takeaways (2 INT, 5 fumble recoveries) and have given it away seven times (4 INT, 3 fumbles lost). The Cowboys are a plus-three in turnover ratio. Of course, it’s not always quantity, it’s often a matter of when the turnovers occur. Tony Romo’s late interception against Denver was very costly and a Robert Griffin III fumble against the Lions was damaging to the Redskins’ chances in that game.

2. Romo is averaging 285.0 passing yards per game and Griffin is just inches behind him at 284.8 (numbers are net, including yards lost due to sacks). The difference is that Dallas’ offense is designed for a lot of passing and the Redskins’ is not. In 2012 the Cowboys averaged 41.1 passes per game and the Redskins averaged 27.6. This year it’s Washington with more attempts at 42.5 per game while Romo has averaged 37.6.

3. The Cowboys start their average drive on their own 28 yard line while the Redskins start at the 23. More goes into than this but Dallas is averaging almost more yards per kickoff return than the Redskins, 27.0 yards to 20.3. Last year the Redskins averaged 23.5 yards per kickoff return. Anyone miss Danny Smith yet?

4. Everyone knows that Dez Bryant has been a beast for the Cowboys this year but he’s tied for 16th in the NFL with 29 receptions and 10th in yards with 423. It would not be shocking if the best receiver on the field on Sunday night turns out to be Pierre Garçon, who has the same number of catches as Bryant having played in one fewer game. The Redskins receiver is averaging  84.8 yards per game while Bryant is averaging 84.6.

 

5. The early-week talk around Redskins circles is that they should run the ball and control the clock to keep Romo, Bryant, and company off the field. But that could be easier said than done. Dallas has allowed 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, 13th in the league. It may be better to attack through the air as they are giving up 8.2 yards per pass attempt, 25th in the NFL.

Stat of the day

—If it seems like Alfred Morris is getting stonewalled a lot more this year than the he was last season, it’s because he is. In 2012 one in every 5.8 rushing attempts for Morris resulted in a gain of zero yards or a loss of yardage. So far this year he is getting zero or negative yards every 4.6 carries, about 20 percen more frequently.

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Timeline

—Former Redskins long snapper and current Comcast SportsNet NFL analyst Trevor Matich was born on this date in 1961.

—Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys 4; Bears @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Broncos 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00 (open to media for first 30 minutes); After practice (approx. 3:00) news conferences from Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan.

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