Playing on Thanksgiving Day may be tough on players physically due to the short turnaround, but fortunately this year it will provide one of the most historic rivalries in the league. Although the Cowboys have been eating fairly well this season as they sit atop the NFL standings, the NFC East remains a tight race that is far from over. Cowboys Blitz writers share their predictions on this Week 12 matchup below.
Dallas Cowboys (9-1) host Washington Redskins (6-3-1)
Thursday, Nov. 24, 3:30 p.m. CST
AT&T Stadium, Arlington Texas
Bobby: I think this is the game that ends Dallas’ nine-game winning streak. Dallas has been vulnerable to opposing passing games the last few weeks with Morris Claiborne and Barry Church out, not to mention Orlando Scandrick banged up as well. Washington loves the vertical passing game and racked up 350 passing yards against Dallas earlier this year. While Washington is coming off a Sunday night game and traveling, Dallas played a very physical, draining game against Baltimore. I think that’s going to be apparent as the game wears on and the Dallas offense becomes gassed. I think we’re in for a shootout through 3 quarters, and then the heavy legs will set in for Dallas after its bruising match-up with the Ravens. Redskins 35, Cowboys 24.
Jonah: After an impressive showing against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, the Washington Redskins have a ton of momentum heading into their Thanksgiving showdown against the 9-1 Dallas Cowboys. Kirk Cousins is playing at his best right now with healthy playmakers on the outside and a rejuvenated run game led by undrafted rookie free agent Robert Kelley. Make no mistake about it, this is going to be a heck of a game. It may honestly come down to who has the last possession because I expect this game to turn into a shootout with the amount of playmakers for each team. If there is another game this season where the Cowboys lose again, it is going to be this one with the high level of play from Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense. I believe Dallas is going to be forced to play a track meet style of a game here, and I have a feeling they will come up just short in their effort to win nine consecutive games. Redskins 31, Cowboys 30
Cami: If you had asked me what my gut feeling was for this game a few weeks ago, I would have confidently picked the Cowboys. However, the Redskins have steadily improved since then. Not to mention, NFC East matchups are typically a toss up and the records can be thrown out the window. It’s not the Dallas offense that worries me in any matchup because I believe teams will have to pick their poison between Elliott and Bryant and neither is a good choice. It’s the defense. Not only are the Cowboys suffering with injuries in the secondary, they also have been able to mask their pass rush deficiencies at times this season, and I feel that weakness will begin to show. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming off his best game of the season, while also fighting to prove that he deserves a long-term deal. Although Elliott put the ball on the ground twice in Washington the last meeting, Cousins also gifted a redzone interception into Barry Church’s chest. These are two different teams than Week 2, and this could be a shootout. Redskins 34, Cowboys 27
Laurie: You get the feeling there’s an expectation for points in this one, and that’s right on the mark. Kirk Cousins is passing with confidence and for the second week he faces a hampered secondary unable to completely contain his trinity of wideouts and two athletic tight ends. Dallas’ best hope on the back end comes in Anthony Brown, who will need to show the ability to make plays (and picks) in flurries, like we saw at Purdue. On the offensive side of the equation my eyes will be on Doug Free and his ability to stall the varied and talented pass rushers sent his way. If the line can provide time and balance in the ground game, Dak Prescott should find the windows to go to work, with a hint of a Brice Butler splash play in the air as the Washington defense tires out in this back and forth scoreboard sizzler. Cowboys 38, Washington 35