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Redskins vs Cowboys: 5 things to know for much more than just Thanksgiving rivalry game

Redskins vs Cowboys: 5 things to know for much more than just Thanksgiving rivalry game

Dallas Week culminates when the Redskins take on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

Families throughout the DMV will try to time their turkeys for a perfect golden brown during halftime of the 4:30 kickoff, and considering the game is indoors at Jerry Jones' football palace, weather will not be a concern.

Beware of the food coma as all the coverage starts with Redskins Kickoff on CSN at 3:30. Here are five storylines to watch in the 113th meeting of Redskins vs Cowboys.


1. Going streaking — The Redskins have not lost a game in more than a month and are coming off their best victory of the season over the Green Bay Packers.

In that game, the Washington offense finally clicked on all cylinders as Kirk Cousins threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns and the team posted more than 500 yards of total offense in a 42-24 romp. Dallas is on their own streak, winners of an impressive nine straight games and in sole possession of the best record in the NFL at 9-1.

Somebody's streak will snap by the time the pecan pie rolls out Thursday night.

2. Yeah, but who have you beaten? — There's some thought that the Dallas win streak is less impressive because they haven't played many tough teams.

It's true that the Cowboys last eight opponents are all below .500, they've only played two teams with winning records, and lost one of them. That said — the Cowboys pulled off a come-from-behind win against the Steelers in Pittsburgh two weeks ago before knocking off the Ravens by 10 points last week.

Neither of those wins was easy.

3. Texas Shootout — Washington's offense ranks second in the league at 418 yards-per-game; Dallas ranks fourth at 413. Kirk Cousins and the 'Skins pass the ball better than Dak Prescott and the Cowboys - Washington ranks 3rd overall in pass-yards-per-game, Dallas is 15th - but the scenario is flipped when it comes to running the ball.

Behind a dominant offensive line, the Cowboys rank 1st in the NFL for their run game that goes for more than 150 yards-per-game. Rookie RB Ezekiell Elliott leads the NFL with 1,102 rush yards. The 'Skins rank 10th at 117 YPG, good but not superb like the Dallas ground game. All signs point to both teams moving the ball on Thursday, just like the first matchup between the team where both offenses went for more than 800 total yards combined.

4. Lessons from September — Looking at the box score from the Redskins' Week 2 loss to the Cowboys, no numbers really stick out. The game was hard fought and tight throughout, but an end zone interception from Cousins cost the 'Skins an imporant chance to score.

In fact, red zone scoring has been the only negative aspect of Washington's offensive game this season, though it seemed the team worked some of that out last week dropping 42 on Green Bay. Jay Gruden talked time and time again of the Redskins attack being capable of scoring inside the 20, and the coach wisely preached patience with his team. 

​5. Beware of the 2nd quarter— This season, the Redskins defense has repeatedly had letdowns in the second quarter. In multiple games, Washington has gotten out to a 14-0 lead only to see the opponent come back and tie the score or take the lead (vs Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota).

The second quarter woes prompted defensive coordinator Joe Barry to joke that he only remembered the 1st, 3rd and 4th quarters from the Vikings games. In fact, the Redskins have allowed more second quarter points (91) this season than the first and third quarters combined (81). Making that problem worse: Dallas' offense scores the most in the second quarter.

Oddly, the Cowboys have exactly 91 second-quarter points scored this season, the same amount the Skins have given up. For Washington, winning the second quarter leads to a much higher probability of winning the game.

Numbers & Notes:

  • A win Thursday would give the Redskins victories in consecutive Thanksgiving contests for the first time in team history.
  • A win Thursday would give the Redskins three consecutive seasons with victories in Dallas for the first time since 1987-89.
  • If Kirk Cousins throws for more than 400 yards Thursday, he would take sole possession of most 400-yard passing games in franchise history. Currently, Cousins is tied with Sonny Jurgdensen and Mark Rypien, and another 400-yard passing day would make Cousins the only Redskins to accomplish the feat twice in one season.
  • If Jamison Crowder scores a TD, it would be the first time in his career to do so in four straight games, and he would be the first Redskins pass catcher with a TD in four straight games since Fred Davis in 2009.
  • If Robert Kelley rushes for 10 yards or more, he will become the first Redskins running back to post consecutive 100-yard rushing games since Alfred Morris in Weeks 8-9 of the 2013 season. He would be the first Redskins rookie to accomplish the feat since Morris in Weeks 11-13 of the 2012 season.
  • Josh Norman has forced two fumbles this season, and if he can force one more, three forced fumbles would be a career high.
  • With one catch Thursday, tight end Jordan Reed will tie Brian Mitchell in 14th place with 232 career receptions with the Redskins. Reed is only seven catches behind Larry Brown on the 'Skins all-time receptions list at 13th place. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #3 The 'Best Available' Scenario

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Redskins 2019 7-round mock draft: #3 The 'Best Available' Scenario

Time for the third and final look at the Redskins’ projected 7-round draft, each with a different approach but ultimately the same goal: Fill holes and upgrade the roster.

These choices are based on a combination of conversations with league sources, homework, intuition plus remaining needs. These different paths are akin to a “Choose your adventure” book. The Redskins have four of the top 97 selections and a lengthy needs list.  

We went “Living on the edge” in the first version and didn’t pass on the future in the second. Click here for the latest two-round NFL mock draft, but only after reading the second path.

PATH 3 -- Best available

First Round, Pick No. 15: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma

Maybe we can quibble over the likely best offensive lineman if not player, but there's no denying the need and CBS Sports ranks Ford No. 16 overall. The buzz remains positive for the mauler who doubles as the top guard prospect and for some the third best tackle prospect. The Redskins should be desperate to fill their vacant left guard spot after the revolving door the prior two seasons.

Ford would also provide a tackle hedge should Trent Williams or Morgan Moses deal with injuries again. It’s also worth noting Brandon Scherff’s contract extension remains in limbo.

Second Round, Pick No. 46: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

The only thing larger than this massive 6-foot-5 target is his wide draft range. The Draft Network views the Baltimore native who averaged 22 yards on 60 receptions last season a top 20 selection. ESPN considers the same player, one with drop concerns, outside the top 75. What we know is the Redskins have stated publicly the need for size -- and production -- at receiver.

Third Round, Pick No. 77: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

Some believe that corner ranks among the Redskins' top concerns considering Quinton Dunbar's season-ending nerve injury, Josh Norman possibly turning into a cap casualty or not returning in 2020, and overall depth. Love played 38 games over his three seasons with the Fighting Irish.

The All-American corner was the rare defensive back not repeatedly tortured by Clemson passer Trevor Lawrence during the college football playoffs. His draft projected fits on the second/third round line.

Third Round, Pick No. 97: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

These first four selections in this path are with a BPA mindset. On Day 2 that strict approach could easily mean one of several running backs including this explosive game-breaker. The 5-foot-8, 208-pound Henderson averaged 8.9 yards per carry in each of the past two seasons while scoring a combined 31 touchdowns. While grabbing an RB seems highly unlikely, let’s remember that Adrian Peterson is now 34, Derrius Guice is coming off a torn ACL, and the shifty but injury-prone Chris Thompson enters free agency in 2020.

Fifth Round, Pick No. 154: Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State

Is it outrageous to think the Redskins could select two wide receivers in the draft? Go look at the depth chart before answering no. In this case, the target has skills worthy of first-round consideration, namely an impressive catch radius and willingness to fight for contested throws. Character red flags dropped Williams into the middle rounds if not off the board for some teams.

Fifth Round, Pick No. 174: Evan Worthington, S, Colorado.

The 6-foot-2 can play a variety of spots including the neede high safety. Nobody would expect a fifth-round pick to start, but that's possible simply considering the current uncertainty with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix joining the Bears. From "Worthington's value to teams could depend on where they project him since he's played all over the field. He has the size, athleticism and ball skills to handle a variety of man-cover targets from the slot or as a deep safety."

Sixth Round, Pick No. 208: Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State

The East Carolina transfer piled up the stats in his one year running Mike Leach’s offense, finishing with 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is an accurate thrower, but his lack of size and fears of being a system QB work against him. Any quarterback drafted by the Redskins stands a chance at being the only healthy one on the roster entering next off-season.

Seventh Round, Pick No. 229: Jordan Brailford, DE, Oklahoma

The 250-pound edge rusher had 10 sacks in 2018 yet consistently ranks in the 200’s among 2019 draft prospects. The Draft Network on Brailford: “Not very nimble, off balance and ending up on the ground on multiple occasions.”

Seventh Round, Pick No. 255:  Keenan Brown, TE, Texas State

Granted the idea of selecting two tight ends seems odd. Pro Football Focus selected Brown first-team All-American based primarily on his work after the catch. He forced more than 24 missed tackles, more than double the next closest TE.

UDFA: Josh Watson, ILB, Colorado State

The 240-pounder receives virtually no interest from the public big boards despite amassing 240 tackles combined the last two seasons. One league source calls Watson a “steal.”


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Ryan Kerrigan electrifies crowd, chugs beer through his shirt in nod to T.J. Oshie

Ryan Kerrigan electrifies crowd, chugs beer through his shirt in nod to T.J. Oshie

There was only one way for Redskins linebacker and Capitals fan Ryan Kerrigan to show his support for TJ Oshie and the Caps prior to Game 5 when he led fans in the "Let's Go Caps" chant at Capital One Arena. 

He chugged some beer through his shirt - a nod to the move Oshie introduced to Caps fans and the world during last summer's Stanley Cup celebration.

Kerrigan joined fans and the Capitals showing support for the Capitals forward heading into Game 5 of the series between the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, following an injury he suffered in Game 4.

While Kerrigan will be spending Game 5 in the stands hoping to help the team through motivation, he was also prepared to take a much more hands-on approach in order to try and get a victory.

Ahead of Saturday's Game 5 matchup between the Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, Kerrigan stopped by NBC Sports Washington's Caps Pregame Live coverage to explain how he's ready to suit up and throw his body around on the ice if the Caps need him.

"I'm here, I got a jersey on. I'm ready to roll," Kerrigan said.

His services may be of interest to Washington, as the series has proven to be a physical one. However, there is one little piece of adversity both sides might have to overcome.

"I can't skate very well," Kerrigan admitted. "So that might be a little bit of a hiccup there."

So while Kerrigan may not be exactly what the Caps need, the Redskin's willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team win is a testament to his fandom of Washington's hockey team. Since he became a part of the D.C. sports community 2011, he's grown fond of a sport he didn't follow much growing up.

"Growing up in Indiana, we don't have a team there, it was all basketball for us in Indiana," Kerrigan said. "Since I got here, everyone is so passionate about the Caps, it was easy to become a fan and really dive into hockey."

Now immersed in the sport, Kerrigan tried out his analyst skills as well prior to the matchup.

"I think they got to come out the gates hot, I think they got to come out physical," Kerrigan said. "They got to come out and be physical. I'm a defensive guy, you got to be physical."

He also predicted that Nicklas Backstrom would have an impact on the game, and with Backstrom opening up the scoring early on in the contest, it seems as if Kerrigan may have a profession to fall back on after football.

Yet when the puck drops, Kerrigan will act just like the thousands of other Caps fans packed into Capital One Arena. One the edge of his seat, living and dying with every second that ticks, Kerrigan is more into the game than ever before.

"Especially coming off the Stanley Cup last year, we're wanting to go back-to-back now," Kerrigan said. "My wife and I watched every game last year during the postseason run. We were yelling really loud when they were winning, we were really focused when things weren't going so well.  No different this postseason."

Speaking of his wife and family, Kerrigan also took some time to talk about his new life as a father following the birth of his daughter Lincoln last month. Just around 40 days into parenting, it's safe to say that the bruising linebacker has found a soft spot for his little girl.

"That's all I heard going up to it. Little girl will change your life, little girl will melt your heart and I'm like, 'yeah yeah whatever,'" Kerrigan said. "And then I held her for the first time and I'm crying, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

Though Kerrigan may have a soft spot there, opposing quarterbacks shouldn't get their hopes up. According to him, he's still ready to be as physical as ever when he hits the gridiron.

"Only she can get the soft dad," Kerrigan said with a smile.