Five Basics to Stopping Dallas

It's Dallas week! The Washington Post's Jason Reid talks to Coach Jim Zorn about the upcoming rivalry game against Dallas. Video by
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pound The Ball

Running back Clinton Portis has averaged 3.9 yards per carry in his career against Dallas, which is also his career average in 22 NFC East contests. Finding a way to break off a few big runs against a stout Dallas defense could sway the outcome.

Hands Off

The Redskins have the best turnover ratio in the NFL. They are the only club without an offensive giveaway, and quarterback Jason Campbell has been well protected and no longer is prone to fumbles. It's awfully hard to lose the turnover battle and win on the road.

Special, Special Teams

The punting game must be consistent. Holds must be firm. Finding a way to limit rookie return sensation Felix Jones (and veteran Adam Jones on punts) cannot be overstated. Dallas's offense is potent enough without a short field.

Open It Up

Dallas's greatest vulnerability is in the defensive secondary, and though Jim Zorn's West Coast offense is built primarily on short and intermediate routes, throwing the deep ball is a must. It will keep the safeties off the line a bit more, and Campbell has the arm to deliver the long pass.

Press The Issue

In their first matchup last season, cornerback Shawn Springs did a fine job in man-to-man coverage on Dallas wideout Terrell Owens, but the Redskins wilted in the second half when they switched to more zone looks. After coming off his performance on Arizona's Anquan Boldin last week, Springs should be up for this challenge, and taking away this big-play threat limits the scope of the Cowboys' attack.

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