Two teams that have been NFC East rivals since the beginning of time face off on Monday night. For Washington the season started off with promise. New head coach Jay Gruden was brought in to install his up tempo offensive scheme and it seemed to be a good fit for quarterback Robert Griffin. It would keep him in the pocket more and reduce the chances of him getting hurt while running the football too often. The quick passing attack started slow and before we knew it Griffin broke his ankle and has been out ever since. He has an outside chance of returning this week but it is not likely. Backup Kirk Cousins threw for over 400 yards in his first game as a replacement and many in Washington said that he would take the job from Griffin permanently. Instead after that dynamic first week he threw 4 interceptions against the Giants and continued to struggle until he was benched in last weeks come from behind win over the Titans. Colt McCoy replaced Cousins and was and incredibly efficient 11/12 passing and with the team down by 1 and 3 minutes left he marched them down the field and into easy field goal range for a much needed Redskin win. The Cowboys have had no such quarterback drama as the decision by owner Jerry Jones to draft rookie offensive lineman Zach Martin despite the fact that he was apparently leaning toward drafting rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. Martin has solidified an offensive line that has gone from the worst in the league to clearly the best in only a few years. Romo is no longer asked to drop back and throw over 40 passes a game and is not taking hits nearly as often thanks to improved pass protection.
The Redskins are now at 2-5 and have yet to find any consistent ways to score. They are on their third quarterback. Starting running back Alfred Morris was supposed to be a workhorse and instead he has not had a 100 yards rushing game this season while barely averaging 3 yards per carry. The team will find out the severity of linebacker Brian Orakpo’s pectoral injury soon and are hoping it’s not serious; he is the best player on the defense. Overall the defesne has been inconsistent and it’s hard to predict how the unit will perform from week to week.
When running back Demarco Murray eclipsed the 100 yard mark during last Sundays game it marked the first time in NFL history that a running back gained over 100 yards in the seasons first 7 games. This is yet another example of how well the offensive line is performing. Keeping Romo protected and establishing a running game has the Cowboys looking like they are amongst the elite in the NFL. After a season opening loss they have reeled off 6 straight wins. Some have been too close for comfort and others have been blowouts but they have all been wins.
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