FRISCO, Texas –These games sure seem to be coming fast and furious, the Cowboys set to play their third game in the past 12 days, knowing they must stop this three-game slide, otherwise mathematically, and more so logically, losing touch with the ability to qualify for the playoffs.
Next up, the Washington Redskins, sitting here with an identical 5-6 record as the Cowboys. Only difference would be the Cowboys have lost their past three games and the Redskins are 1-2 over their past three games, and by the way, playing their third game in the past 12 days, too. So at least some scheduling equity there. Worn out can't be either team's excuse Thursday night at AT&T Stadium.
And, of course, no excuse for not having some pregame Mick Shots.
- Numbers Don't Lie: So, understand missing injured players or suspended players should be no excuse for losing three games in a row as badly as the Cowboys have. But let me throw a couple of numbers at you. After eight games, Ezekiel Elliott was the NFL's second leading rusher with 783 yards. After missing these past three games, he's still the league's sixth leading rusher. And had he simply hit his eight-game average of 98 yards per game, he'd be at 1,077 and leading the league. As it is, he's only 107 yards behind the league's second leading rusher.
- Numbers Don't Lie II:Now here is another, and maybe even more enlightening how much he means to the Cowboys. After eight games, Zeke was the NFL's second leading scorer with 54 points, just six points behind Rams running back Todd Gurley. Now, after missing these past three games, Elliott is still the league's third leading scorer (tied), and just two points shy of still being second. So again, it's not as if the Cowboys have lost just any ol' running back.
- Skinned Up:The Cowboys aren't the only team dealing with injuries. The Redskins have four players listed for Thursday's game as "out," including three starters: center Chase Roullier, tight end Jordan Reed and safety Montae Nicholson. And their other four starting offensive linemen all are listed as questionable. Oh, the fourth player listed as out is former Cowboys defensive tackle Terrell McClain.
- Game Key: The Cowboys have failed miserably in the past three games to put opposing quarterbacks on their backs. Just one sack (Matt Ryan) over the last three, and this after registering 15 over the previous four games. Well, maybe this is just what the doctor ordered. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has been sacked 31 times this season for minus-269 yards. That's nearly three times a game. Want the key to stopping those big plays the defense has been leaking? Go get you some sacks.