The Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III were looked at as a team that was going to be in rebuilding mode this year. Well, after the way they have played the last month and a half, they have positioned themselves to be the winner of the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, are where many thought they would be: battling for the NFC East crown. Well, in the last week of the season, it all comes down to these two rivals, battling it out in DC for the division crown. But who pulls it off?
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has been playing exceptional the last few weeks. He has not made mistakes and has been delivering the football with excellent accuracy. One guy that has benefited from his accuracy is wide receiver Dez Bryant. The third-year pro out of Oklahoma State has been showing out for the Cowboys and has been a problem for opposing secondaries. Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall will have a tall order on his hands trying to contain Bryant. One way they could help Hall out is to provide some safety help for him. If Hall is left to cover him on his own, that will expose Hall to giving up a potential game-breaking play by Bryant.
Another key element of the Dallas Cowboys offense has been the return of DeMarco Murray. When Murray was out of the lineup, all of Dallas’ offense was on the shoulders of Romo. Now that Murray is back, the offense is now balanced and Romo is not forced to carry the offense. And more balance to the offense means less chances for Romo to make mistakes. In order to stop the run, the Redskins will need their nose tackle, Barry Coefield, to be very active. The more active he is the harder it will be on the Cowboys to have that much-needed balance.
Robert Griffin III has taken the league by storm this year. He has been unflappable while leading the Redskins up to this point. While unflappable, he is also still healing from a knee injury. Expect the Redskins to come out and try and establish running back Alfred Morris. The rookie running back has been electric this year and has made opposing defenses pay. Dallas will definitely need to stop the threat of the run with Morris and try to contain Morris as much as possible.
But even with contraining Morris, you still have to worry about RGIII in the passing game and also with the read option. In the first game, the read option was destroying the Cowboys.RGIII was running it to perfection while making the Dallas defense look silly. And just as soon as the secondary started creeping up to help out on the option, the Redskins went up top and hit the big play. Look for the Cowboys to have a better grasp on the read option this game. Expect DeMarcus Ware and crew to be able to play with more discipline. If they are not able to, then RGIII could make Sunday night a long one for the Cowboys defense.
As far as how the game will go. Look for the Redskins to come out with a bang at home to start the game. Look for the Redskins to come out and attack early and often. The key will be how will Dallas respond to the early attacks of the Redskins. Will they break or will they step up to the challenge. Well, looking at the track record of Romo in big games like this, I believe the Cowboys season will be ending on Sunday night in DC.
Prediction: Washington 27, Dallas 13