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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 1, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
GB at BUF NO at TB CLE at SD *updated NYJ, PHI

Prediction: DAL 27, WAS 13

What a difference a week makes. The Cowboys were throttled by the visiting Giants in week six and then went to Carolina and played like Parcells always wanted them to. When Parcells starts kissing players, you know it's going pretty well. The Redskins are on a three game losing skid and even the bye week hasn't gotten them healthy yet. This is a replay of the week two match-up this year when Dallas won 27-10 while at home.

Update: The Redskins come into this game pretty banged up. Clinton Portis had a sprained left ankle but has been practicing the last two days and will start. Mark Brunell had sore ribcage muscles but has also returned to practice and is expected to play. Santana Moss is nursing a hamstring strain and remains questionable. He has not practiced this week so far and appears to very likely miss this game. I am removing him from the projections though there is still a chance he could play.

Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
1 17-24 @JAX 10 --- @ARZ
2 27-10 WAS 11 --- IND
3 Open Bye 12 --- TB
4 45-14 @TEN 13 --- @NYG
5 24-38 @PHI 14 --- NO
6 34-6 HOU 15 --- @ATL
7 22-36 NYG 16 --- PHI
8 35-14 @CAR 17 --- DET
9 --- @WAS M THU SAT
DAL at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 10 0 220,2
RB Julius Jones 90 10 0
RB Marion Barber 30,1 10 0
TE Jason Witten 0 50 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 90,1 0
WR Terry Glenn 0 50,1 0
WR Patrick Crayton 0 10 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: No doubt that the win last week in Carolina was a good one, but where was that effort against the Giants or Eagles? The switch to Romo hasn't hurt at the least and his mobility is easy to see compared to Bledsoe. The next two games are on the road but look like probable wins but the Cowboys cannot take anything for granted at 4-3.

Quarterback: His first start now under his belt, Tony Romo comes off a nice 270 yard effort against the Panthers with one touchdown against just one interception. Romo also added 18 yards on 4 carries to help keep the drives alive. The mobility is a nice addition to the offense but more than that is the visible switch in targets. Bledsoe loved Terry Glenn. Romo has breathed all new life into both Owens and Witten. One game is hardly enough to consider a turnaround, but the early returns are good.

Bledsoe threw for 237 yards and two scores back in the week two match-up with the Redskins.

Running Backs: Julius Jones comes off a solid 92 yard effort in Carolina with one touchdown - his third on the season. Jones had been above 90 rushing yards in five of the last six games. He ran for 94 yards on 20 carries while Marion Barber gained 39 yards and one touchdown on eight runs in the previous match-up against the Redskins this year.

Barber comes off his first two touchdown game of the year when he ran nine times for 42 yards in Carolina during mostly mop up duty. Barber is a scoring machine - whereas Jones has ran for 90 yards or more in those five of six, Barber has always scored whenever Jones has ran that well and has six touchdowns on the season.

Wide Receivers: Let's see here. Two games with Romo playing a lot of snaps (if not all) and Terry Glenn has two of his worst games on the year - 41 and 52 yards. Terrell Owens over the last two weeks has turned in his two best games - 98 and 107 yards. There is a reason why Owens is smiling and putting his arm around Tony Romo on the sidelines. Owens had 26 passes thrown to him over the last two weeks. Glenn had just 14.

Glenn had 94 yards and a score against the Skins this year while Owens only had 19 yards. Bet that changes this week.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten comes off his best two games of the year as well, turning in 72 and 80 yards during the brief Romo era and scoring for the first time this year. Last week Glenn had six passes - Witten had 10 thrown to him.

Witten caught four passes for 45 yards against the Skins this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins defense has been gashed by opposing runners lately, even Travis Henry. Look for a solid showing here by Jones and Barber with no reason to expect their standard at a minimum. It could go higher if the Cowboys take an early lead and want to protect it. With the Skins pretty banged up right now, that is a distinct possibility.

Romo faces a secondary that has always given up at least one score if not also big yardage. Look for at least 220 yards and two scores here that favor Owens and Glenn. The Redskins have been better against tight ends but this shift in the Dallas scheme with Romo could take it away from Glenn and give the score to Witten. Anything less than 220 and two scores means the rushing game is on fire.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 4 3 9 12 9 5
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 27 15 30 26 31 2


Washington Redskins (2-5)
1 16-19 MIN 10 --- @PHI
2 10-27 @DAL 11 --- @TB
3 31-15 @HOU 12 --- CAR
4 36-30 JAX 13 --- ATL
5 3-19 @NYG 14 --- PHI
6 22-25 TEN 15 --- @NO
7 22-36 @IND 16 --- @STL
8 Open Bye 17 --- NYG
9 --- DAL - MON SAT
WAS vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Brunell 0 0 170,1
RB Clinton Portis 60 20 0
RB Ladell Betts 20 30 0
TE Chris Cooley 0 40,1 0
WR Santana Moss 0 50 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 30 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 20 0
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: After the win over the Jaguars, the wheels have come of the Redskins cart the last three weeks

Quarterback: Mark Brunell has certainly been inconsistent this season, throwing for as much as 329 yards and three scores (vs. JAX) and as little as 109 yards (at NYG). The entirety of his success is all about how well he connects with Santana Moss. When the opponent takes Moss out of the equation, Brunell has been unable to make much use of the other receivers. There is a growing rumble about Jason Campbell getting a chance and if the Redskins continue to lose, there wouldn't be a reason not to trot out the quarterback of the future.

Brunell only had 197 passing yards against the Cowboys earlier this season and did not score. Brunell is nursing bruised ribs and missed practice on Monday but should be back for this game.

Running Backs: While Clinton Portis has a healthy six touchdowns on the season already, he's only topped 100 rushing yards in one game - in Houston of course. Otherwise, Portis has only ran for more than 60 yards two other times and has only one game this year where he was given over 20 carries in a game. The Redskins have been falling behind and losing the luxury of just running the ball. Portis is scoring well when they near the goal line, he's just not doing as much as expected to get there.

Portis did not play in the previous match-up in Dallas and Ladell Betts started and gained just 40 yards on 11 carries. He is nursing a "mild" high ankle sprain but could play this week. I am projecting for him to play but will update as warranted.

Wide Receivers: The nice passing numbers last year were almost entirely related to what Santana Moss did and this year he leads the team with three receiving touchdowns - all in one game (Jacksonville). Otherwise, he has been held without a score in all other games and had only once had more than 50 yards in any game outside of the Houston treat. That one game was when Moss had four catches for 69 yards against the Cowboys in week two. No other wideout had more than one catch for eight yards in that game. Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El should just be swapped out for more blockers and the Skins not pretend that any other wideout besides Moss matters to Brunell.

Moss is nursing a sore left hamstring and didn't practice on Monday. I am assuming that he plays this week but will update as warranted.

Tight Ends: The lone bright spot, relatively speaking, is that Chris Cooley has scored in each of the last two games. He still never had more than four catches in any game and usually ends up with 40 or less yards, but at least Brunell is looking at Cooley again as an end zone target.

Cooley had just one catch for 23 yards in the previous meeting in Dallas.

Match Against the Defense: This game is shaping up to be messy with Brunell, Portis and Moss all injured. Other than the one Giants game, the Cowboys rush defense has been very good this year and Portis has not been running well lately anyway. And now he is nursing a high ankle sprain. Expect minor yardage from Portis at this point though later updates could change the projections.

Brunell has been underperforming this year anyway and now he and Moss are both banged up - not a good thing given his penchant for zeroing in on Moss on most plays. Look for just one score here from Brunell and that could be optimistic given the health problems on the team.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 28 10 21 20 25 31
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 9 11 18 19 10 27