Only one time since Jason Garrett has become head coach, have the Cowboys started a season 2-0. Then again, that might not a good sign, considering that team eventually finished the year 4-12.
But the Cowboys will take their chances of having a better season than that, and know how important a 2-0 start in the division would be if they could get a win against the Redskins on Sunday.
The DallasCowboys.com staff gives their ‘gut feeling’ for this Week 2 matchup in D.C.
Mickey Spagnola: If the Cowboys are going to win this game, and I think they will, but it won’t be easy, they will need running back Ezekiel Elliott to run the ball the way we know he can run the ball. No more pitch counts. No more watching how much he’s in the game. Let Zeke play ball. He now has six practices under his belt, but also 37 game snaps. He probably doesn’t get that many snaps in a practice, and these snaps are real. Zeke sounds as if he’s ready for a full load and this coaching staff thinks so, too. Wonder if the Redskins think he is?
Bryan Broaddus: This FedEx Field is a strange place to play. Crazy plays, bad bounces and questionable calls have all been part of its history. The Redskins are already 0-1 in the division and another loss would already put them in a bad spot. The Redskins are banged up while the Cowboys should have full game efforts from Ezekiel Elliott and Byron Jones. I believe that Jay Gruden is going to attempt to shorten this game by running the ball with Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson so that means every possession is going to matter. If the Cowboys defensively don’t handle this they will lose this game. But I see a better game from the front seven especially DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford. Cowboys control Peterson and Thompson as the offense puts a ton of pressure on the Redskins defense. Dallas 28 Washington 17.
David Helman: We know it’s never easy on the road, especially within the division, so let’s just get that part out of the way. For me, this game all comes down to the Cowboys’ offensive line and Washington’s front seven. The Dallas passing game looks like a really favorable matchup against this Washington secondary – if Dak Prescott has time to take advantage of it. We’ve seen Ryan Kerrigan make life miserable for him before, so that’s what I’m watching. If La’el Collins can win that matchup and give Dak time to throw, then I think the Cowboys’ offense will have a great day. On the flip side, Adrian Peterson will probably get his yards, but I just don’t think Case Keenum can keep pace. There will be some twists and turns, but if Dak isn’t running for his life, then I think the Cowboys will have control of this game in the fourth quarter. Washington is missing several key contributors, from Trent Williams to Derrius Guice to Jordan Reed to Jonathan Allen. If the Cowboys are good, they should be able to win this game without too much drama. I think they’ll score late to put it away – something like 27-17.
Rob Phillips: Doesn’t seem to matter who plays in this rivalry, it never seems to be easy, particularly up there. Did you know the Cowboys are 6-2 at Washington in the Jason Garrett era, but five games were decided by four points or less, including last year’s 20-17 loss? All that said, I think the defense will tighten things up after allowing 470 total yards against the Giants. FedExField will have its share of Cowboys fans, but it’ll be interesting to see how the new-look offense handles the crowd noise while facing a capable Washington defensive front. The running game usually travels, though, and Ezekiel Elliott should be ready for a larger workload. That’s the difference for me. I’ve got the Cowboys getting to 2-0.
Nick Eatman: Take out the crazy stuff and I think the Cowboys win this game by 14 points or more. But since we’re officially going to Washington and the game will be played at FedEx Field, then you have to factor in some crazy. The Cowboys are the better team, but that doesn’t always matter in this rivalry. I just know how crucial it is for a team to avoid an 0-2 start. You would think the Redskins want/need this game more but if the Cowboys can just match that intensity, they should win. Give me at least three sacks by the defense, and I think one of them will be from Kerry Hyder. I’ve got Blake Jarwin scoring a touchdown for the second straight week and maybe a big play from Pollard. Oh, and I’ll go on a limb and say Dak Prescott takes a step back – only because his QB rating can’t go any higher. I can see this game going overtime but give me the Cowboys to win 27-24.