5 Keys to the Game: Redskins vs Dallas
1. Stopping Tony Romo:
Tony Romo is coming off a 500 plus yard passing effort versus Denver so the obvious thought is that he can should be able to throw for 600 versus the Washington secondary. Maybe the secondary, but the Redskins have the potential to get to Romo and pressure him much more than Denver could do without Von Miller. This is a must for the Redskins defense to function. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is pressure on the quarterback is needed.
Good thing for Washington is that both Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are coming off great performances in Oakland. I know Romo is much better than Matt Flynn, but getting pressure is getting pressure. Washington needs to get turnovers, sacks and cause holding penalties to slow down the Dallas offense. We need to see a lot if 2nd and 20 on Sunday night for them to be successful and get the defense off the field unlike the opener versus the Eagles.
I say this because many have the Redskins as underdogs Sunday night against the first place Cowboys. But lets not let a close loss to the Broncos make us fear this Dallas team. Dallas has two wins and those were at home against the winless Giants who gave them like 12 turnovers and another home win versus the sorry Rams. Washington needs to come out and not get down 10 or 14 in the first like they have come accustomed to so far this season.
I am going to throw this on two guys to starts, Robert Griffin III and Haslett. Griffin needs to move the ball early and avoid early three and outs or even worse turnovers. The offense needs to show us something for sixty minutes to win. As for Jim Haslett, please just have your team prepared. You have had two weeks to do so he better have this defense not looking lost like the first three weeks.
3. Getting the Ground Game Going:
Robert Griffin had two very opposite games versus Dallas as a rookie. The first game he was dynamic and put up huge stats, made huge plays and got a huge win. The second time around Dallas decided to try to take away the big play and the read option post to Garcon and his stats looked average at best. So Alfred Morris pounded the Dallas defense for 200 yards and a second victory so who really cared about RG3‘s statistical day.
I feel they need to look at the second victory and run Morris again until Dallas shows they can stop him. If Morris can wear down the Dallas defense then the missing big plays to Garcon, Hankerson and even Aldrick “Premature dance” Robinson should come easier. It will be interesting to see where Griffin is at after a longer rest when it comes to taking off and being a running threat in the read option as compared to the first month also.
4. End the penalties:
Washington needs stop making critical penalties if they hope to win. Not only simple holds, offsides and motion penalties, but big ones as well. Too many free first downs have been given by the defense or loss of field position by the offense or special teams making mistakes. They need to play in control and until we see a regular drop in penalties it will continue to show up on blogs like this. They can’t have Dallas in 3rd and long and bail them out with a defensive hold. Guys like Deangelo Hall and Brandon Merriweather will have to stay in control and avoid the big fifteen yarders they are not afraid to get.
It is hard to give the team a solution other than just play better and smarter and don’t get yourself into situations which call for penalties to be made. Maybe the referees can help out a bit also? Or maybe this is all on the coaches or leaders like London Fletcher, Santana Moss and Robert Griffin.
5. Stop Demarcus Ware and Dez Bryant:
Last seasons finale brought a very damaged Demarcus Ware to Fedex Field. He was hurt and Trent Williams was able to take advantage of the situation. He is a year older, but healthier this time and Silverback needs to keep him in check . Ware is a great player but Williams has held his own against one of the leagues best in the past. Another star Washington cannot let kill them is of course Dez Bryant. He had a big game on Thanksgiving when Dallas played from behind but in week 17 Deangelo Hall did a great job and Bryant eventually left the game hurt. Their battle continues Sunday and Washington needs a huge effort from Hall.
Finally I think this is a tight game that could come down to very small details. I have much more confidence in Mike Shanahan than I do Jason Garrett at this point when it comes to head coaching calls. Maybe its a review or a halftime adjustment but I just would have more faith in Shanny making that call. Garrett has way too much looking over his shoulder to do his job smoothly. While Shanny’s owner is busy trying to sell everyone on why the Redskins name should stay.