Redskins. Cowboys. Always a big game. This version is no exception. My three thoughts on the matchup plus the seven I project sit this one out.
1) Don't budge -- Outside of the fluke plays and random bounces of the ball, this matchup comes down to whether the Cowboys, like the Steelers did in Week 1, can average over 4.5 yards per carry. Considering Dallas's imposing offensive line faces Washington's suspect run defense, that could happen, which would mean the Cowboys can control the clock and setup rookie QB Dak Prescott with workable down-and-distance scenarios.
2) More DeSean Jackson -- Nice start for Jackson with 102 yards on six catches in Week 1. That's in line with the 101 yards he's averaging over his last three games against Dallas with touchdowns in the last two. The Cowboys' lack of a pass rush should allow Kirk Cousins time to seek his big play target downfield.
3) Yes, this is a must win -- Yes, that's crazy talk for WEEK 2, but reality says otherwise. Only 12 percent of teams that start 0-2 reach the postseason and that percentage likely dips when those two losse are at home. Factor in next week's is at the Giants' home field, which historically is something of a house of horrors for the Redskins, and, yeah, they need this one.
Who Sits -- Seven players will be declared inactive before kickoff. Best guesses and the impact of those choices.
Nate Sudfeld - If the Redskins are lucky, the third-string quarterback will never be part of the 46-man game-day roster. The 2016 sixth-round pick isn't ready for prime time yet in more ways than one.
Arie Kouandjio - Going with only seven offensive linemen is dicey, but it's been done before, including last week. Question involves whether Trent Williams (glute) is fine after sitting out Friday's practice.
Kendall Reyes - Already ruled out with a groin injury that's now lingered for two weeks.
Martrell Spaight - Already ruled out with concussion symptoms after being placed on injured reserve last season with one.
Kendall Fuller - The third round pick flashed at times during the summer. If he's down, it's more about the corner depth. Greg Toler and Quinton Dunbar serve as the primary outside options with Dashaun Phillips in the slot. Fuller will receive plenty of run on game day's this season.
Quinton Dunbar - Surprise. Redskins can get away with four corners because 1) the Cowboys don't run lots of three and four receivers 2) Washington has several former corners at safety if needed. Sitting Dunbar allows space for strong safety Duke Ihenacho, who is one of the Redskins' better tacklers. That's a key element against a Dallas team with a strong ground game. That Spaght is out and Su'a Cravens (hip flexor) popped up on the injury report late in the week could boost Ihenacho's chances of playing this week after not in the opener.
Odd man in - Anthony Lanier - The undrafted free agent was down last week as Washington went with five defensive lineman. That Chris Baker (rib, elbow) missed some practice time this week; Cullen Jenkins is only just back with the team this week; and the challenge of contending with the Cowboys' offensive line might have the coaching staff desire a sixth lineman.
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