Saturday, November 17, 2007

Week 11: Redskins vs. Cowboys

The Cowboys are a very good offensive team. They do have their weaknesses on defense, mainly in the secondary, but have been able to gloss over those inefficiencies by getting and maintaining a lead. They score a lot through the air and have a bruising back in Marion Barber to eat up clock and hurt worn-down defenses.

On a normal day, the Redskins would have to play flawless football and make big plays in order to beat this Cowboys team that looks primed to go deep into the playoffs. However, with the already much maligned offensive line, nagging injuries to Santana Moss and the loss of Sean Taylor, this game looks to be very lopsided.

This Dallas team hasn't scored less than 24 points in any game this season and has the fifth ranked passer in Romo, completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 23 TDs and only 11 INTs. I didn't even mention the big guy that the Redskins are talking about single covering all day with Shawn Springs. Going off Springs’ recent historical success, the Redskins seem content to man up against TO on Sunday and see if Springs can keep him in check yet again. Springs is a good cover corner in this league and should have seen a lot more playing time this year than he did, but the Redskins will get burned all day if they go with this strategy. Coverage and pass rush go hand in hand and, at this point, the Redskins are just not generating the kind of pass rush that will make this idea effective. Romo is comfortable in and out of the pocket and has the necessary quickness to make plays and find the open receiver. Last week against the Giants, who defensive front line is one of the fiercest in the game, Romo was only sacked once. I just don't see, especially with Taylor out, how the Skins' secondary expects to cover all of Dallas' weapons and blitz the passer at the same time.

The Redskins' offense could have success in the passing game against a secondary that's also suffered key injuries. However, I'm still skeptical about Campbell's accuracy and ability to read a coverage scheme. This is a guy that has yet to throw for over 300 yards in a game and has recorded a passer rating of over 80.0 just twice this year. He had his best game statistically last week against the Eagles but didn't get the win. In addition, his biggest passing threat, Moss, is probable again this week; it just doesn't look good for the young quarterback.

It's just too much for an inexperience and depleted Redskins team to overcome. This Dallas team is the real deal and, while these games bring a lot of rival intensity, I don't think we can overlook their weapons and the Redskins lack of consistency and general confidence.

Redskins 10, Dallas 31

- The Hokie

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