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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: DAL 13, WAS 24

Thanks to the Packers flopping in Chicago last week, this game has no meaning for the Cowboys. Thanks to the win in Minnesota, it means everything to the Redskins who can snap up the final wildcard with a win here. HC Wade Phillips says he will absolutely try to win the game and the reality is that he will try to win it using players other than Terrell Owens, Tony Romo, Marion Barber and Jason Witten for at least portions of the game. These teams do not like each other but the Cowboys do have bigger fish to fry.

The Cowboys won 28-23 in Dallas in week 11.

Dallas Cowboys (13-2)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYG 45-35 -5.5 44
2 @MIA 37-20 -3.5 40.5
3 @CHI 34-10 +3 41
4 STL 35-7 -13 47
5 @BUF 25-24 -10 42
6 NE 27-48 +5 52.5
7 MIN 24-14 -9.5 46
8 BYE - - -
9 @PHI 38-17 -3 46
10 @NYG 31-20 -1.5 49
11 WAS 28-23 -10.5 47
12 NYJ 34-3 -14.5 47
13 GB 37-27 -6.5 52
14 @DET 28-27 -10.5 38
15 PHI 6-10 -10.5 48
16 @CAR 20-13 -13 44.5
17     +7.5 39
DAL at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     120,1
RB Julius Jones 30    
RB Marion Barber 30 10  
TE Jason Witten   30  
WR Terry Glenn   40  
WR Patrick Crayton   30,1  
WR Sam Hurd   60  
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys left Carolina with a much needed win but Owens left on crutches and that was the only thing - and perhaps one player - that the Cowboys could ill afford to lose for the playoffs. Like most highly successful teams, the Cowboys have made it through the season with a minimal amount of injuries and none to their star offensive players besides the thumb sprain by Romo. The Cowboys have secured the #1 seed thanks to the Packers meltdown in Chicago and could probably live without Owens for up to the divisional round of the playoffs but by the championship game - assuming the Cowboys make it there - Owens would have had almost four weeks to heal.

Quarterback: Tony Romo had a little trouble with his thumb last week but still had 257 yards and one score in Carolina in a game that needed little passing in the second half. Now that the Cowboys have to win the final game, there will be no resting Romo unless Dallas managed to get a very comfortable lead in the game. Romo passed for 293 yards and four scores in the previous meeting with the Redskins. His 4125 passing yards rank second best in the league as does his 36 passing scores. Expect Romo to play about a half this week.

Running Backs: Julius Jones has done little to suggest the Cowboys will be interested in bringing him back next year though the team still insists that he is the starter. Jones hasn't had more than nine carries in the last four games and Marion Barber has asserted himself as the more valued back. Barber comes off a season high 110 yards on 22 carries with one score against the Panthers last week. With a week to rest thanks to the bye and a #1 seed safe, there is no reason to use Barber or Jones for more than a half. This could be a decent game for Tyson Thompson.

Barber only gained 43 yards on 15 carries while Jones gained 30 yards on eight runs against the Skins this year.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens has a high ankle sprain and is out this week but there is guarded optimism that he could be back in time for the divisional round which would give him three weeks to heal. The player of note this week is Terry Glenn who is supposed to get his first playing time all year. Having a healthy Glenn for the playoffs would be a big benefit to an offense that already has been stellar in the passing game this year. But it is unlikely Glenn gets a full game here - why risk a player that took all season to get healthy?

The last meeting with the Redskins was all about Owens who caught eight passes for 173 yards and a season high four touchdowns.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten has a league high 94 catches for 1121 yards and seven scores this year. He's become 1B to Antonio Gates and it is highly unlikely he plays more than a half this week.

Witten caught eight passes for 67 yards versus the Skins this year.

Match Against the Defense: Since the Cowboy starters are likely to play no more than a half, none of them are attractive starts in a game that the Redskins have to win. There is no reason to place any of the star players in a situation to get hurt and a few series will be enough to keep them sharp before heading out on their bye week.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 2 10 8 1 4 10
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 24 9 8 18 16 15


Washington Redskins (8-7)
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIA 16-13 -3 35
2 @PHI 20-12 +7 38.5
3 NYG 17-24 -3.5 40.5
4 BYE - - -
5 DET 34-3 -4 44.5
6 @GB 14-17 +3 40.5
7 ARI 21-19 -7 37
8 @NE 7-52 +16 48
9 @NYJ 23-20 -3.5 35.5
10 PHI 25-33 -2.5 37.5
11 @DAL 23-28 +10.5 47
12 @TB 13-19 +3.5 37.5
13 BUF 16-17 -5.5 37
14 CHI 24-16 -3 37.5
15 @NYG 22-16 +4.5 40
16 @MIN 32-21 +7 40
17 DAL   -7.5 39
WAS vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Todd Collins     230,2
RB Clinton Portis 70,1 20  
RB LaDell Betts 30 10  
TE Chris Cooley   50,1  
WR Santana Moss   70,1  
WR Antwaan Randle El   50  
WR Reche Caldwell   20  
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Redskins have won their last three games to surprisingly get back into the wildcard race and take a lead over the Vikings they beat in Minnesota last week. All Washington needs is a win here or a loss by the Vikings in Denver this week. But the Skins get the benefit of facing a Cowboys team that has nothing to play for and is certain to rest players in the game. An added bonus, the Skins not only get to make the playoffs before the home crowd, they get to beat the Cowboys to get there.

Quarterback: There is a chance that Jason Campbell may be able to play in two weeks but he won't be ready in this game since he only started to run on a treadmill. Todd Collins gets this third start and was deadly in Minnesota when he completed 22 of 29 passes for 254 yards and two scores. With Dallas likely to rest defenders like Terrance Newman, Roy Williams and even Chris Henry at least eventually, it could allow Collins to look a lot better than he really is.

Jason Campbell passed for 348 yards and two scores in Dallas this year.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis will obviously start but if the game was to ever get a safe lead, the Skins would likely rest him since they would play again in just one week in a road game. He's still a safe start but he is also the only Redskin that may get yanked to the bench before the game is over. LaDell Betts would stay behind to carry the load in that case but the Redskins must ensure a win here and Portis is central to that.

Portis only gained 36 yards on 12 carries in Dallas and had only two receptions for nine yards.

Wide Receivers: Santana Moss had a nice game in Dallas gaining 121 yards on nine catches and scoring once. Antwaan Randle El only had 53 yards on seven catches while Keenan McCardell gained 76 yards on five receptions in that loss. Moss has turned in over 70 yards in each of the two starts by Collins who favors him and Randle El scored last week. With the Cowboys likely to let the corners get at least some rest, both players are decent fantasy starts this week unless Dallas just tanks from the start and lets Portis and Betts do the damage.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley leads all Washington receivers with eight touchdowns on the season but he only had one in the last four games. Cooley is typically the primary receiver in games where the defense can cover the wideouts but in easier match-ups, he usually does less.

Cooley had eight catches for 89 yards and one score in Dallas this year.

Match Against the Defense: The projections are all highly speculatory because Dallas will rest some players for some unknown amount of time. Chances are best that Dallas plays everyone for the first half before sending in the scrubs in the second half. Since it doesn't matter when the Skins score and they have to win this game to reach the playoffs, there should be some nice, if somewhat atypical, fantasy production in this game.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 17 8 29 6 14 26
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 14 8 21 16 12 16

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

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