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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week

Prediction: WAS 20, DAL 31

The Cowboys get a chance to exert a little more dominance over the NFL East with this match-up and the expectation is that it won't be that close but the Cowboys won 28-23 when the Redskins visited in week 11 but later lost 6-27 on the road in Washington in a meaningless week 17 game. When these teams meet, past records don't always matter much. The home team has won six of the last seven meetings.

Washington Redskins (2-1)
Homefield: FedEx Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NYG 7-16 +3.5 41
2 NO 29-24 -1 42.5
3 ARZ 24-17 -3 42
4 @DAL - +11.5 46
5 @PHI - - -
6 STL - - -
7 CLE - - -
8 @DET - - -
9 PIT - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 DAL - - -
12 @SEA - - -
13 NYG - - -
14 @BAL - - -
15 @CIN - - -
16 PHI - - -
17 @SF - - -
WAS at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell 10   220,1
RB Clinton Portis 60,1 20  
TE Chris Cooley   30  
WR Santana Moss   60  
WR Antwaan Randle El   70,1  
WR Devin Thomas   10  
PK Shaun Suisham 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The struggling offense has come to life the past two weeks while playing at home but other than the expected big passing mark against the Saints, the offense is still not hitting on all cylinders yet. This week will be a good indicator of the progress that has been made since the Cowboys have a good defense but one that can be beaten if only a few times per game.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell hasn't made any meteoric improvements this year but after three games he has thrown for at least one score in each and has yet to have an interception. His big 321 yard effort against the Saints is his only time over the 200 yard mark this year but he's been a capable game manager who has not made mistakes.

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

Running Backs: The Redskins haven't had the rushing game take off quite yet this year though Clinton Portis has scored three times during these last two home games. He has only been averaging 83 yards per game and has yet to top 100 rushing yards. Portis is one of the rare running backs in the league in that he rarely shares the ball much.

Portis only gained 36 yards on 12 carries in Dallas last season but later had 104 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns in the week 17 game.

Wide Receivers: At least Santana Moss likes the new passing scheme. He has scored in all three games this year and even turned in 164 yards against the Saints. Granted - he only had 37 yards on five catches against the Giants but he still has scored once every game. Moss only had four scores in all of last season. Antwaan Randle El has calmed down since gaining 73 yards in the season opener but that was the only road game this year.

Moss caught nine passes for 121 yards and a score in Dallas last year. Randle El only managed 26 yards on three receptions.

Tight Ends: While Chris Cooley has evidently yielded his job as the touchdown maker to Moss, he has come up with 72 yards in both the last two weeks. On the road for only the second time this year, he'll need to figure in more than the one catch he had against the Giants in the season opener.

Cooley caught eight passes for 89 yards and a score in Dallas last year.

Match Against the Defense: Portis has not been that successful in Dallas and mainly from a lack of carries than actual yards per attempt. The Cowboys have not allowed more than 62 rushing yards to any runner this year but have given up three rushing scores. Look for a lower game here by Portis but with a shot at a touchdown.

Campbell will need to throw and it all comes down to whether or not he can connect deep with Moss. Can Moss catch a score in 4 straight games? I would expect Randle El to have the lesser coverage and better game. Moss has been a problem in Dallas in past years and will be doubled on every play.

Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 14 20 11 8 23 19
Preventing Fantasy Points    DAL 22 10 13 19 25 16

Dallas Cowboys (3-0)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CLE 28-10 -5.5 49
2 PHI 41-37 -7 47
3 @GB 27-16 -3 51
4 WAS - -11.5 46
5 CIN - - -
6 @ARZ - - -
7 @STL - - -
8 TB - - -
9 @NYG - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 @WAS - - -
12 SF - - -
13 SEA - - -
14 @PIT - - -
15 NYG - - -
16 BAL - - -
17 @PHI - - -
DAL vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     280,2
RB Felix Jones 40,1 30  
RB Marion Barber 90,1 20  
TE Jason Witten   70  
WR Terrell Owens   90,2  
WR Patrick Crayton   20  
WR Miles Austin   40  
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys have looked sharp in reaching 3-0 and after this week comes a nice stretch of games against CIN, ARZ and STL before it gets tough again. Romo is playing well enough that both sides cheer for him each week thanks to spectacular throws and bonehead mistakes. The rushing game has been solid and the defense good enough so far. The Skins always present a problem but after this week it'll be three potential trap games in a row.

Quarterback: So far Tony Romo has been very productive with just under 300 yards per game on average but he has only thrown for five touchdowns over the first three weeks thanks to a rushing game that has more than carried their weight. These next games could see Romo with declining numbers since Barber and Jones should be enough to notch the wins but Dallas isn't going to let up this year after the last two seasons have seen late collapses. Romo isn't quite a prolific as he was in 2007, but his yardage alone ensures he is consistently one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

Romo passed for 293 yards and four scores when the Skins visited last year.

Running Backs: Whole lot of scoring going on. Felix Jones set a team record by scoring in each of his first three games and when he has been involved as a runner, he's been electric. He only has 18 carries so far but has gained 148 yards (8.2 YPC) and has rushed in two scores.

Marion Barber has hardly been losing out to Jones. With four rushing touchdowns and another via a catch, Barber is tied for the NFL lead with five touchdowns. His yardage had remained below 80 rushing yards until last week when he was nearly unstoppable against the Packers and racked up 142 yards on 28 carries. That was the heaviest load of his career and since he held up fine, that could happen again in these next few games where the Cowboys should enjoy nice rushing match-ups.

Barber only gained 43 yards on 15 carries against the visiting Redskins in 2007.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens comes off one of his worst games as a Cowboy when he only had two catches for 17 yards in Green Bay but made an impact as a blocker on a couple of long breaking plays. After scoring three times in the first two weeks, Owens tossed in a clunker because the defense over committed to stopping him and were killed by Miles Austin instead. Patrick Crayton had no catches against the Packers and is back to merely being the other guy across from Owens. Austin had a career best game on Sunday when he snared two passes for 115 yards and one touchdown - almost had two. The Cowboys like the speedy Austin there to stretch the field and last Sunday showed future defenses what happens when the safety only watches Owens.

Owens had a rather decent showing against the Redskins in Dallas last year when he caught eight passes for 173 yards and four touchdowns. No other wideout had more than 28 yards in that game. If any team had a reason to over commit against Owens, it is the Redskins.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten still has not scored this year but he has never had less then six catches per game and at least 67 yards. That's as consistent as any tight end has been this year.

Witten caught eight passes for 67 yards yards against the Skins last year.

Match Against the Defense: The Redskins have only played once on the road and gave up big chunks of rushing yards to the Giants. Expect both Barber and Jones to have good games here and both should score. Jones will become a focus by the offense to get him a touchdown to extend his record breaking scoring streak. Both are good plays this week.

Romo plays bigger at home and should notch at least two scores in this game that could both favor Terrell Owens as a thank you for last week. Owens has always been a big problem for the Skins and there's too much going on in this offense to commit too much to him.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 6 2 9 3 14 15
Preventing Fantasy Points    WAS 18 15 20 1 16 8
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