The Washington Post

Redskins-Cowboys: Keys to the game

No need to get complicated this week. Plain and simple, the Redskins need to just play football.

When I look at the Cowboys on offense, it’s clear the best chance of success will take a full unit effort from the Redskins’ defense. The defensive line will need to push the line of scrimmage back and create clear lanes for the linebackers to run in and make tackles.

The linebackers will need to tackle well, blitz well and cover well. Much of QB Tony Romo’s success in the passing game is connected to Jason Witten. Witten has made a career out of abusing linebackers on his pass routes. The communication between London Fletcher and Perry Riley will need to be clear if they don’t want to be on the Cowboys’ highlight reels.

The secondary will have its hands full too, but here’s the plan: Mix coverages, try to confuse Romo on his pre-snap reads and blitz him from all angles.

If the pressure can get to him, he may give some balls away and guys like Dez Bryant won’t have the time to get downfield.

On offense, block DeMarcus Ware. If the O-line can block Ware, at least Redskins’ QB Rex Grossman will have a chance to throw the ball. My biggest concern is that the right side of the O-line has been shaky and I believe the Cowboys will use Ware at the weakest points on the line. That could spell trouble if Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan gameplans this way, which I’m assuming he will.

Redskins’ skill people must protect the ball and just play football. If I’m the offensive coordinator this week, I try everything in my playbook It can’t hurt. If something works, do it until they stop it. Otherwise just go three and out and let Sav Rocka punt it away.

Fight for field position and don’t make any costly mistakes. Just play football and see what happens.

I’m taking the Cowboys over the Redskins in this one. It just seems like the Redskins struggle way too much on offense to win.



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