WASHINGTON REDSKINS (4-6)
at DALLAS COWBOYS (5-5)
Kickoff: Thursday, 4:25 p.m. EDT
Line: Dallas -3, Total: 48
A classic NFL rivalry resumes on Thanksgiving Day when the Redskins visit the Cowboys.
Dallas has yet to cover at home this year (2-2 SU, 0-4 ATS), but it has covered in five of its past six games as a Thanksgiving Day favorite. They Cowboys will be dealing with a rising rookie superstar in Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, who bounced back from a mini-slump to throw four TDs against the Eagles last week. He’s posted a 100.3 passer rating in five road games this year. Dallas needed to come back and force overtime against the Browns at home last week, but has managed back-to-back SU wins for the first time since Weeks 9-12 last season.
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Griffin III was outstanding in last week's 31-6 trouncing of Philadelphia, completing 14-of-15 passes for 4 TD. He also added 84 yards on 12 carries, improving his league-leading total among quarterbacks to 613 rushing yards. He hopes to be the difference maker that his team has lacked in the past three meetings, which the Cowboys have won by a combined eight points. Partly because the Cowboys are the sixth-best passing defense in the NFL (211 YPG), Washington will likely try to control the game by rushing the football. The Redskins rank second in the NFL with 165 rushing YPG led by another exciting rookie, Alfred Morris, who has 869 rushing yards on 4.7 YPC with five touchdowns. Griffin has six rushing TD. The Redskins have rushed for at least 150 yards in four of their past five road games. This ground game has also been a key reason why Washington has zero turnovers in its past three games combined.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo was able to bring his team back from a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit against the Browns last week, winning 23-20 in overtime. Although he's had a subpar season (7.4 YPA, 13 TD, 13 INT), Romo expects to throw ball all over the weak Washington secondary. The Redskins are allowing 289 passing YPG, which ranks fourth-to-last in the NFL. Romo has a pair of talented receivers in Miles Austin (727 rec. yds) and Dez Bryant (735 rec. yds), who is coming off a 12-catch, 145-yard performance against Cleveland. TE Jason Witten leads the team in both receptions (73) and targets (99). The running game is a big problem though, as both of Dallas' top running backs, DeMarco Murray (foot) and Felix Jones (knee), are expected to miss Thursday's contest. That leaves rookie Lance Dunbar as the main running back. Dunbar has just 20 carries this season, gaining just 67 yards (3.4 YPC) with zero touchdowns. Washington's rushing defense ranks seventh in the league at 95 YPG allowed, so the game plan for the Cowboys figures to be one heavily favoring the pass.