IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have a chance to create a little bit of distance in the NFC East race with the Eagles losing. A win over Washington would give Dallas a 2-0 division record.
But these games are typically tough, regardless of the records. The Cowboys are looking to win their seventh straight game for the first time since the 2007 season. Washington is starting for Texas Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy.
Here are the gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus and David Helman.
Bryan Broaddus: With no DeAngelo Hall in the lineup to handle Dez Bryant one-on-one, my gut feeling is that it is going to be difficult for them to contain him on Monday night. The Redskins have to be concerned with trying to deal with this Cowboys rushing attack and will be forced to have to commitment the safeties down to help which will allow Bryant to have a free run at these corners. Bryant was targeted 12 times last week against the Giants and that was with Prince Amukamara playing him well. Expect another dominate performance from Bryant against a secondary that will have no answer for him.
David Helman:I worry that I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but this isn't a game the Cowboys can afford to lose as they approach their bye week. Of the teams remaining on Dallas' schedule, only Jacksonville has been less impressive through the first half of the season – and this game is at AT&T Stadium, not in London. On top of that, the Redskins are starting a quarterback who hasn't started a game in almost three years. I think the key here is to keep Alfred Morris from carrying the Washington offense – they have a chance to be successful if he can get going, but I don't trust Colt McCoy to beat the Dallas defense on a consistent basis. In fact, I think Brandon Carr will get his first pick of the season on McCoy. I can see Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett making life very difficult on Jermey Parnell, and therefore Tony Romo. So the Cowboys are going to need a big night from DeMarco Murray. I think he'll deliver with about 108 yards and a touchdown, and I think the Cowboys will pull away for another business-like win – something like 28-13.
Nick Eatman: The only quarter the Cowboys are not outscoring their opponents this year is the first quarter. The San Francisco game had something to do with that and as we know by now, we shouldn't judge a lot of things by what we saw in Week 1. But the first quarter is going to be big tonight. The Redskins are a 2-5 team and the Cowboys are 6-1. For Dallas to win this game like it should, it needs to remind Washington of that very early in the game. The longer they keep Colt McCoy and that bunch thinking they've got a legit chance to steal a game on Monday night, the better chance the Redskins will have of doing just that. I think the Cowboys will once again try to impose their will and run the ball, but the easier play will be in the passing game. Terrance Williams gets over 100 yards with a touchdown and I think we'll see a big game from Dwayne Harris, who torched the Redskins in different ways last year. On defense, with Jason Hatcher on the other side, I say both of the Cowboys' 3-technique tackles – Henry Melton and Tyrone Crawford get a sack. The Cowboys never pull away but stay in control from start to finish and win 31-19.