DALLAS COWBOYS (8-7)
at WASHINGTON REDSKINS (9-6)
Kickoff: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Washington -3, Total: 48.5
Two of the league's most storied rivals meet on Sunday night to likely determine the winner of NFC East division when Dallas visits a red-hot Washington team seeking its seventh straight win.
These teams met in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, and the Redskins absolutely dominated. The final score was 38-31, but the Cowboys had no answers for Robert Griffin III and the game was not as close as that score would suggest. Getting on the road could be good for the Cowboys though. They’re 4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS away from home this season. Washington has won three in a row at home, SU and ATS. Griffin didn’t quite seem 100 percent recovered from his knee injury last year, as he threw for 198 yards and ran for just four yards in a win at Philadelphia.
Who will win this all-important game on Sunday night? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every NFL game throughout the 2012 season and playoffs.
The biggest mismatch this time around could be the Cowboys' third-ranked passing offense against the Redskins' 30th-ranked pass defense. The weak Washington secondary will be hard-pressed to stop a red-hot Tony Romo, who in his past eight games has 17 TD and only 3 INT while averaging 8 yards per attempt. Romo attempted 62 passes in the Thanksgiving Day loss to Washington, but this time around he has top RB DeMarco Murray to keep defenses honest. Murray missed that game with a sprained foot, but he's done a nice job since his return to action in December with 380 total yards and 3 TD in four games. The Redskins have a great run defense though, ranking fifth in the NFL with 96 rushing YPG allowed. Another player in the midst of a hot streak is WR Dez Bryant, who has 808 yards and 10 TD during a seven-game scoring streak. His 12 TD catches on the year rank second in the NFL.
Griffin feels that his knee is in better shape this week than it was the previous Sunday against Philly when he carried the ball just two times. Now he's eager to improve upon his gaudy 104.1 passer rating (2nd in NFL) thanks to 20 TD passes and just 5 INT. This includes 6 TD passes and 0 INT in his past four home games. If Griffin's mobility is still affected by his sprained knee, RB Alfred Morris perfectly capable of handling a heavy workload, ranking fourth in the league with 1,413 rushing yards. This includes 113 yards on 24 carries in the Thanksgiving Day meeting with Cowboys. The Dallas defense has slipped to 21st against the pass (240 YPG) and 17th against the run (115 YPG).