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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

NYJ at DEN (thu) * CIN at BAL PHI at NYG * TEN at ATL
* ARI at SF * DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
* BUF at MIA * JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

Prediction: DAL 23, WAS 10

Players to Watch: Tashard Choice, Roy Helu

Update: Felix Jones is listed as questionable but had limited practice all week and is expected to play. He is only expected to be relief for Murray this week, much as Philip Tanner has been.

The Cowboys remain one game back in the NFC East with a 5-4 record and bring their 1-3 road record to Washington where the Redskins are 3-6 and on a five game losing streak thanks to an offense that has nearly no firepower no matter how many permutations that HC Mike Shanahan tries.

The Cowboys won 18-16 when the Redskins visited in week three.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 24-27 10 BUF 44-7
2 @SF 27-24 11 @WAS -
3 WAS 18-16 12 MIA -
4 DET 30-34 13 @ARI -
5 Bye - 14 NYG -
6 @NE 16-20 15 @TB -
7 STL 34-7 16 PHI -
8 @PHI 7-34 17 @NYG -
9 SEA 23-13      
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 250,1
RB DeMarco Murray 110,1 30 -
TE Jason Witten - 50,1 -
WR Kevin Ogletree - 10 -
WR Dez Bryant - 60 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 70 -
PK Dan Bailey 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cowboys retain their manic ways with a huge beatdown of the Bills and now head out where the "goofy way to end the game" always happens. But at least Tony Romo is self-pronounced as healthy again and the offense at home has been firing on all cylinders with the new found ground attack leading the way. This game is important as a divisional meeting but the Cowboys eventual fate lies more in the two remaining games against the Giants including week 17 in New York.

QUARTERBACK: This week will be a test to see how well Tony Romo really is since his previous meeting with the Redskins saw him settle for 255 yards and no touchdowns in a game where he just could not score a touchdown and the Cowboys settled for six field goals to win. But a lot has happened since week three like the Cowboys finding a rushing attack and the Redskins generally falling apart.

On the road, Romo has been much less likely to play well as evidenced in Philly but the Redskins are really on a downward spiral and it is highly unlikely that any shootout is going to commence. The Skins have held visitors to usually moderate yardage and one score. Romo may do better, but the risk is higher since now DeMarco Murray takes his chunk of the offense and if the Skins struggle for the sixth straight week, the less need for passing much.

RUNNING BACKS: The Magical Mystery Tour of DeMarco Murray just chugs along with his third rushing effort over 130 yards and his second touchdown on the season against the Bills last week. Murray has only played in one road game since his week seven explosion and that was in Philly where he only received eight carries but still gained 74 yards. Murray only ran twice for six yards back in week three because the Cowboys knew not what they possessed. Murray is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and has made Felix Jones a footnote to the season so far. When Jones returns from his ankle injury, he is expected to just provide third down duty and relief.

The Redskins are weaker against the run now with four runners topping 100 yards on them and seven different running backs scoring on them including Reggie Bush twice just last week. Murray is a must start now and should have a decent showing against the Skins this time. Felix Jones rushed for 115 yards on 14 carries in the previous meeting.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Miles Austin remains out with a hamstring strain but Laurent Robinson stepped right up and turned in three receptions for 73 yards and two scores on the Bills. That makes three straight games with a score for Robinson who was the lead receiver in Philly with 103 yards and a score there. Dez Bryant scored along with his standard 70 yards last week and against the Skins turned in 63 yards on four carries back in week three. Bryant has five scores on the year and never two consecutive games with a touchdown.

The Redskins have only allowed two touchdowns total to be scored by an opposing wide receiver though four have turned in 100 plus yards on them including three in home games. The one passing score could go anywhere but it is slightly less likely with a wide receiver than with Jason Witten.

TIGHT ENDS: While the rushing success has seen a downswing in passes to Jason Witten, he still has scored four times over the last six games and turned in 60 yards on six catches in the previous meeting with the Skins. He has been under 50 yards in four of the last five games though but is a first option for a score. He is still a must start.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 8 15 5 7 1 12
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 9 16 7 16 31 22
Advantage +31 to -31 DAL 1 1 2 9 30 10

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NYG 28-14 10 @MIA 9-20
2 ARI 22-21 11 DAL -
3 @DAL 16-18 12 @SEA -
4 @STL 17-10 13 NYJ -
5 Bye - 14 NE -
6 PHI 13-20 15 @NYG -
7 @CAR 20-33 16 MIN -
8 @BUF 0-23 17 @PHI -
9 SF 11-19      
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Rex Grossman - - 200,1
RB Roy Helu 50 20 -
TE Fred Davis - 70,1 -
WR Anthony Armstrong - 20 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 60 -
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Six game losing streak, players hitting IR, playing musical quarterbacks and running backs - there is little on the Skins currently that does not speak to "crash and burn". HC Mike Shanahan has that "the game has passed me by" look and for all his maneuvering the Skins still have no quarterback, no offense in general and it only gets worse. The team has scored only one touchdown over the last three games and now hits the tougher part of their schedule. The only plus here is that the Skins are getting so bad that they could pull off a trap game eventually.

QUARTERBACK: HC Mike Shanahan said he would stick with Rex Grossman this week for at least the first snap but in Miami he only managed 215 passing yards with no scores and two interceptions. That was marginally better than the 143 yards, no scores and four interceptions he tossed in week six when he was last benched.

Grossman passed for 250 yards and one touchdown in Dallas earlier this year while the Cowboys have allowed every road opponent to pass for exactly two scores so far. But the Skins should break that trend and be happy enough with even one touchdown pass and marginal yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: HC Mike Shanahan had no real explanation for why he opted to start Ryan Torain over Roy Helu in Miami other than he just "wanted to see what he could do" because the four previous games for Torain had only produced 2.0 yards per carry. And so Torain ran for 2.0 yards per carry again - gasp - and Helu eventually returned to the game to gain 41 yards on six runs. There is no reliability in the backfield and even Shanahan himself apparently is unsure why he does what he does.

This week should see Helu as starter again but only if you expect rational decisions. It is complicated though since the Cowboys have a good rush defense - plenty good for this opponent and the Skins will have Tashard Choice available. All that probably means is that he will rob Helu of producing as much. I will project for Helu but take that with a grain of salt even more than usual with Choice being added to the mix.

Against the Cowboys earlier this year, Tim Hightower accounted for 41 yards on 14 runs and scored once on his five catches for 39 yards.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Here is the ugly mess. Santana Moss has been ruled out this week as well because of his hand but may be back in week 12. Leonard Hankerson had a breakout game with eight catches for 108 yards and naturally tore the labrum in his right hip and is gone for the rest of the season. Anthony Armstrong is back to starting and has one catch in the last three games and only five on the entire season. 1, but could possibly return for Week 12. Jabbar Gaffney is the clear #1 here and that is apparent to all secondaries who have held him to around 40 yards per game in recent weeks. Gaffney hauled in five catches for 60 yards in Dallas this year while Moss turned in 70 yards.

Even Gaffney is not an attractive play in this dysfunctional offense. No reason to start any wide receivers from the Skins.

TIGHT ENDS:Fred Davis comes off his second worse game of the year with just 28 yards in Miami and his worst was the 23 yards he had in Dallas. But Chris Cooley turned in 41 yards in that game as well and the Cowboys on the road are weak against tight ends - all four games away from Dallas has awarded the opposing tight end with a touchdown. Davis is an attractive play this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 22 30 30 10 24 18
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 10 9 9 31 8 12
Advantage +31 to -31 WAS -12 -21 -21 21 -16 -6

NYJ at DEN (thu) CIN at BAL PHI at NYG TEN at ATL
ARI at SF DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
BUF at MIA JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

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