Tonight on Monday Night Football we get an NFC East battle between undefeated Washington Redskins and the banged up Dallas Cowboys.
The biggest question all week has been whether or not Cowboys QB Tony Romo will play despite a painful rib injury. He is officially listed as questionable and has only practiced on a limited basis, but he is expected to suit up and give it a go tonight.
Will he have enough healthy weapons around him to get the Cowboys above .500?
The Cowboys will be without underrated stud WR Miles Austin, who is coming off a three-touchdown performance in Week 2. They will also still be without cornerback Orlando Scandrick, though the defensive secondary will be buoyed by the return of Terence Newman. Romo and the ‘Boys should have Dez Bryant and Felix Jones in the lineup, though both are dinged up and, like Romo, are listed as questionable.
The Redskins, on the other hand, are relatively healthy; and they are providing their fans with legitimate hope at the start of the season for the first time in a while.
Dallas very much deserves their 1-1 record after winning a game they should have lost (Week 2 v the 49ers) and losing a game they should have won (Week 1 v the Jets). Tony Romo has been his usually outstanding self overall, though hiccups late against the Jets and early against San Francisco have analysts and Cowboys fans a bit uneasy about his expected maturation into a top flight QB. Bringing the Cowboys back from the brink against the 49ers was key, and Romo delivered despite his injury. He will need to have a strong performance again tonight with Austin out and the Cowboys’ offensive line struggling to open holes for the running game; the problem is that no one really knows what to expect from Romo because of the injury.
On the other side of the field, no one really knows what to expect from Rex Grossman either, but that’s just the nature of Grossman. He can be spectacular and he can be awful, with rare performances that are in between. Week 2 was actually one of those rare in-between performances, with Grossman throwing two TDs and two picks, but still leading Washington to the victory. Grossman just needs to be solid tonight, because it’s reasonable to assume that the Cowboys will have some trouble putting points on the board. So long as Grossman doesn’t help them out with turnovers, the Redskins should be able to control the game.
Another factor in Washington’s favor is that they can actually produce on the ground. Tim Hightower has churned out some yards, though at a paltry per carry clip, with Roy Helu beginning to emerge as a dynamic playmaker out of the backfield. Look for him to get more touches tonight, and it will be imperative that the Cowboys make the Redskins one-dimensional on offense, which will increase the likelihood of Grossman making a game-breaking mistake.
Frankly, I’m shocked that the Cowboys are three point favorites. They did not look good in the 49ers game, needing the injured Romo to bail them out, and their complete inability to run the ball makes me wonder how they plan to take pressure off of Romo and his tender ribs.
I don’t think the Redskins are any kind of world-beating team, but they have improved under Mike Shanahan. With an opportunity to seize early control of the NFC East, and to bury the Cowboys two games behind them with the Eagles, I expect a strong effort from the Redskins. Since their QB and top skill players are healthy, while the Cowboys’ are not, I think the ‘Skins leave Jerry World tonight with the W.
Washington Redskins 24 | Dallas Cowboys 14
- Redskins-Cowboys Spread Pick: Redskins +3
- Redskins-Cowboys Over Under: Under
Now it’s your turn:
Who will win tonight's Monday Night Football matchup?
- Dallas Cowboys (39%, 252 Votes)
- Washington Redskins (61%, 406 Votes)
Total Voters: 652Loading ...
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Game Info
- Redskins-Cowboys Date, Time, and TV: Monday, September 26th at 8:30 ET on ESPN
- Redskins-Cowboys Announcers: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Ron Jaworski
- Redskins-Cowboys Point Spread: Cowboys -3
- Redskins-Cowboys Over-Under Odds: 45