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Big Picture: Cowboys, Redskins On Opposite Trajectories Nearing Midseason

Dallas Cowboys

What more is there to say that hasn't already been said? The Cowboys are riding their longest winning streak in the last seven years, they have the best record in the NFL and they are 1-0 in division games after downing New York last weekend.

They have a chance to improve both their overall record and their division record in front of a national audience, as they'll get their first crack at an underwhelming Washington team on Monday Night Football this week. A win would improve their home record to 4-1, which is important given the upcoming stretch for this team.

When the Cowboys are done playing the Redskins, they'll have just three remaining home games over the second half of the season. Their three remaining home opponents after Washington – Arizona, Philadelphia and Indianapolis – have a combined record of 15-4 so far this season. Grabbing a home win against what appears to be one of the worst teams remaining on the schedule seems like it'd be a good idea.

Somewhat surprisingly, Washington is actually No. 2 in the league in passing offense, but that should be put to the test this week. With Robert Griffin III looking unlikely to play, Colt McCoy is the starter. McCoy went 11-of-12 for 128 yards last week against Tennessee, but he hasn't been a regular starter since 2011.

The Cowboys' secondary is ranked 17th in the league this season, and will have the task of stopping both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins' season is so snake-bitten, even last week's victory against the Titans came with bad news. Washington improved to 2-5 on the year, but it lost star pass rusher Brian Orakpo for the season in the process.

It's actually fellow outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan who leads the team in sacks, with 6.5 -- Orakpo had just a half-sack on the year. The Redskins still have 16 sacks on the season, however, and offenses had to account for Orakpo's abilities.

Washington looks dead in the water right now, with Dallas and Philadelphia dominating the NFC East race. But there's some precedent here for a turnaround. The Redskins fell to 3-6 in 2012 before ripping off seven-straight after their bye week to reach the playoffs.

This year's Redskins have road trips to Dallas and Minnesota before the bye week, and then they play four of their last seven games at home. It seems like a stretch, but who knows what might be possible if Griffin returns and plays up to his rookie standard.

[embeddedad0]For the time being, a win at AT&T Stadium would do wonders to prevent Washington from slipping any further in the standings.

The Redskins have the best overall defense in the NFC East, including the best rush defense of the four division teams. But they are ranked 24th in scoring defense, allowing 26 points per game.

With the best run game and the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the league, the Cowboys should be able to test those rankings.

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