Monday Night Football Picks: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Monday, 9/26/11, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Dallas -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Dallas -3
Opening Total:  46
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten must have a big game against the Washington Redskins

Washington heads out on the road for the first time this year, picking up home wins over the New York Giants (28-14) and Arizona Cardinals (22-21) to start the season.  The Redskins have managed to out-gain both of their opponents this year.  The two teams have played at least twice a year during each regular season since 1961, with the only exception being the 1982 strike-shortened campaign.  The Redskins trail, 40-60-2, with losses in 20 of the last 27 meetings.  In Week 15 last year, the squad dropped a 33-30 contest at Cowboys Stadium as 9.5-point road underdogs, as its rally fell short after falling behind 27-7.  Washington is 15-15 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, including 9-6 ATS on the road.

The Redskins have talked a bit in the media this week about the upcoming prime-time battle, including cornerback DeAngelo Hall saying he’d come after Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.  “I’m going to be asking for some corner blitzes,” commented Hall, as Romo is suffering from a cracked rib.  On the other side of the ball, Washington signal-caller Rex Grossman would be doing himself a great service in getting wide receiver Santana Moss the football, as he has registered 73 catches for 1,055 yards and six touchdowns in 12 career games in this NFC East rivalry.

Dallas definitely has some injury concerns outside of Romo, but everyone was impressed with this toughness in leading the team to a 27-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers as three-point road favorites in Week 2.  “It was very gutty,” commented ESPN broadcaster Ron Jaworski.  “I think there were probably a lot of people surprised by that.”  Considering that wide receiver Miles Austin will not be participating in this meeting, tight end Jason Witten will need to step up.  He has topped 100 yards receiving in each of the two games to start the season and had 10 catches for 140 yards in the second meeting in last year’s series.  Dallas is 10-8 ATS at home the past two-plus years.

The Cowboys will be looking for their first win to open a home schedule since Cowboys Stadium was put in play, which could happen tonight due to the Redskins dropping both games played inside.  Defensively, a lot of the discussion begins and ends with start linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who has nine sacks in 12 games against Washington.  Everyone inside the locker room knows how big this game is in terms of the division and  playoff race down the road.  “It’s a big week for us,” commented Witten in practice this week.

Bettors will likely back the Cowboys due to their 4-0 ATS mark in Week 3, while the Redskins are 0-4 ATS on Monday Night Football.

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