Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
Monday, December 7, 2015, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
FedEx Field – Landover, Maryland
Opening Line: Washington -5
Current Line: Washington -3 1/2
Opening Total: 42
Current Total: 42
Opening Money Line: Redskins -210 / Cowboys +175
Current Money Line: Redskins -185 / Cowboys +160
The NFC East could be the worst division in football but the AFC South is pretty bad as well. All four teams in the NFC East are under .500. The 5-6 Washington Redskins host the 3-8 Dallas Cowboys Monday night. A Washington win would put them a game ahead of the 5-7 New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. A Dallas win would create a 3 way tie with the Cowboys only a game behind.
Dallas leads the series 65-43-2 against Washington. The Cowboys have won three of the last four games against the Redskins. The teams split the season series last year. Washington won 20-17 in overtime in Arlington and Dallas won 44-17 in Landover. The two teams will meet in Arlington in the regular season finale January 3.
Dallas is coached by Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have a home win over the Giants 27-26 and road wins at the Eagles 20-10 and Miami Dolphins 24-14. Dallas has home losses to the Atlanta Falcons 39-28, New England Patriots 30-6, Seattle Seahawks 13-12, Eagles 33-27 in overtime and Carolina Panthers 33-14 Thanksgiving, plus road losses at the New Orleans Saints 26-20 in overtime, Giants 27-20 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6.
Dallas was a 1 point underdog against the undefeated Carolina Panthers and the total was 44.5. It was the second game back from a broken collarbone for Dallas quarterback Tony Romo who missed seven games after suffering the injury in week two. Romo struggled to say the least with 3 interceptions including two pick sixes. Carolina led 23-3 at halftime. On the last play of the third quarter, Romo was hit and reinjured his collarbone. He is out for the season but will not require surgery. Dallas added a late touchdown that sent the game over the total. Carolina had only 294 total yards but scored 17 points off turnovers. Dallas had 210 total yards including just 31 rushing yards. Dallas is 3-8 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.
Washington is coached by Jay Gruden. The Redskins have home wins over the St. Louis Rams 24-10, Eagles 23-20, Buccaneers 31-30, Saints 47-14, and Giants 20-14 last week. Washington has a home loss to the Dolphins 17-10, plus road losses at the Giants 32-21, Falcons 25-19, New York Jets 34-20, Patriots 27-10, and Panthers 44-16.
Washington was a 1 point underdog against the Giants last week and the total was 47.5. The Redskins jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the fourth quarter. The Giants scored two touchdowns to pull within 20-14 with 4:57 left. Washington would take 4:38 off the clock though and New York got the ball back with only 19 seconds. The Redskins had 407 total yards to 332 for the Giants. New York had three turnovers. Washington is 5-6 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season.
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Dallas is being outscored 24-19 this season. The Cowboys are #29 in scoring. Dallas averages 331 total yards per game on offense including 216 passing and 115 rushing. The Cowboys are #26 in total offense and #28 in passing. On defense, the Cowboys are allowing 332 yards per game including 225 passing and 107 rushing yards. Dallas is #6 or better in total and pass defense. Dallas is 59/148 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 54/142. Dallas has forced 20 sacks and has allowed 24 this season. The Cowboys are -12 in turnovers. Dallas has 2 defensive touchdowns and has allowed 6 defensive/special teams touchdowns.
Romo has thrown for 884 yards with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and has 13 rushing yards. Matt Cassell has 902 yards with 5 touchdown and 5 interceptions, plus 10 carries for 75 rushing yards. Cassel will start for the rest of the year. Brandon Weeden threw for 738 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions plus 30 rushing yards. Weeden was released and signed with the Houston Texans. Romo has yet to be put on injured reserve but Kellen Moore is the only other quarterback on the roster after being promoted from the practice squad.
Running back Darren McFadden has 169 carries for 634 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 257 yards. Joseph Randle had 76 carries for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 86 yards. He was released a few weeks ago due to some off the field issues. Lance Dunbar had 67 rushing yards, but did have 21 catches for 215 yards before tearing his ACL.
Tight end Jason Witten has 55 catches for 508 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Terrance Williams has 33 catches for 491 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cole Beasley has 39 catches for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Dez Bryant missed several weeks after suffering a broken foot in week one. He has 23 catches for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. Six defensive players are listed on the injury report.
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Washington is being outscored 24-22 this season. The Redskins are #20 in scoring and in points allowed. Washington is averaging 340 total yards per game on offense, including 243 passing and 96 rushing yards. The Redskins are #24 in total offense and #23 in rushing. Washington is allowing 367 yards per game on defense, including 240 passing and 127 rushing yards. The Redskins are #22 in total defense and #28 in rush defense. Washington is 68/160 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 63/158. The Redskins have forced 20 sacks and allowed 17 this season. Washington is -2 in turnovers. The Redskins have four defensive/special teams touchdowns and have allowed four as well.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins has completed 68.4% of his passes for 2,787 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and has 3 rushing touchdowns. He took over as the starter in the pre-season for former first round pick Robert Griffin III after Griffin suffered a concussion.
Alfred Morris has 135 carries for 482 yards and 10 catches for 55 yards. Rookie Matt Jones has 98 carries for 351 yards with 3 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 267 yards and a touchdown. Chris Thompson has 27 carries for 191 yards, along with 30 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a shoulder injury.
Tight end Jordan Reed has 55 catches for 541 yards and 6 touchdowns. Receiver Pierre Garcon has 49 catches for 508 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jamison Crowder has 45 catches for 419 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Grant has 18 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown. DeSean Jackson has 12 catches for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with an illness. Andre Roberts and Derek Carrier will get some catches as well , but both are questionable. Tight ends Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen are both on injured reserve. Twelve defensive players are questionable or out for the Redskins.
Dallas is 5-0 ATS in December, 8-1 on grass, 4-1 after rushing for 90 yards or less, 10-4 in road games, 2-5 after a straight up loss, 2-7 after a straight up loss by 14 points or more, and overall, 1-6 against NFC teams, 0-5 in Monday games, and 0-4 in week 13. The underdog is 25-9 ATS in this series recently. The under is 6-2-1 in Washington recently between the teams and 4-1 overall.
Washington is 4-1 ATS at home and after allowing 90 rushing yards or less, 17-39-3 against teams with losing records, 3-7 in Monday games, 4-10 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 3-8 after passing for 250 yards or more, 3-10 after alliowing more than 250 passing yards, 7-24-2 against teams with losing road records, 2-7-1 after allowing 15 points or less, 1-4 in week 13 and in December, 3-14 after a cover, and 1-5 after a straight up win. Washington is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 games in this series including 4-1 at home.
Washington is great at home with a 5-1 record, but is 0-5 on the road. Dallas has a solid if not good defense, but the offense has really struggled no matter who is playing quarterback. It is hard to believe that the Cowboys are still alive for the NFC title. I think the Redskins win at home but Dallas keeps it close. In six of the eight losses so far, Dallas has held a fourth quarter lead except in blowout losses to the Patriots and Panthers.