Redskins-Cowboys preview: Must win time?

It may be early but the odds are not in the Redskins favor if they do not beat the Cowboys.

Matchup: Washington Redskins (0-1) vs. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)

Kickoff: Sunday, September 18, 1:00 PM EDT

Location: FedEx Field

Television: FOX

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Odds: Redskins (-2.5), O/U: 45.5

Social media: Twitter: @BreakBurgundyFacebook

Last Week: Washington was embarrassed on Monday Night Football to the tune of a 38-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Matchup History: Washington trails in the all-time regular season series, which dates back to 1960, 42-66-2 but the Redskins won the last matchup in January. The Redskins will look to score back-to-back victories over the Cowboys for the first time since 2012.

2016 Rankings (Yards Gained/Allowed):

Washington – Offense (5th), Defense (30th)

Dallas – Offense (19th), Defense (15th)

Dallas’s Strength: The Cowboys offensive line has arguably been the best in the league for the past two seasons and they have no expectation to slow down. Between Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin, Dallas has invested three first round picks in the trenches and one could argue La'el Collins is also a first round talent. DeMarco Murray and Darren McFadden are not great running backs but the Cowboys line turned them into 1,000 yard rushers with ease. Although Dallas struggled to run the ball in Week 1, Washington will have to game plan to combat Ezekiel Elliott as well as former Redskins workhorse Alfred Morris. 

Dallas’s Weakness: An argument can be made that the Cowboys quarterback position, between rookie Dak Prescott and backup Mark Sanchez, is on shaky ground, but their bigger concern comes opposite the offensive line. With both Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence suspended for the Week 2 matchup, the Dallas defensive line is short handed and without play makers. Tyrone Crawford is a decent defensive tackle but the rest of Dallas' four man defensive line is suspect without quality depth. If there was ever a time for Washington to get their running game on track, it may be against Dallas.

Fantasy Focus: Check out where Matt Jones and DeSean Jackson rank compared to Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant in Breaking Burgundy's Week 2 fantasy rankings by position.

Prediction: With roughly 12 percent of NFL teams making the playoffs when starting 0-2, a number that is probably lower if those first two game are at home, Washington is already facing a must-win situation. Opposing a fourth-round quarterback that was expected to be the third string quarterback is an advantage the Redskins will make the most out of. The defense will set up the offense on short fields by causing turnovers, which will secure the win.

Final score: 23-20 Washington.

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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