(Editor's Note: Each week, the staff of DallasCowboys.com will present "6 Days to Sunday" for the upcoming game, presenting a daily update for each team as they head into the upcoming contest. This week, the Cowboys will look to end a three-game losing skid when they face the Redskins in another Thursday night game.)
WHAT: Washington Redskins (5-6) at Dallas Cowboys (5-6)
WHEN:Thursday, Nov. 30 - 7:25 p.m. (Central)
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington Texas
TELEVISION: NBC/NFLN/Amazon (Mike Tirico & Cris Collinsworth)
As expected, all eyes have been fixated on Dak Prescott since the six-game suspension began for Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott has been asked to carry the load and obviously, it hasn't happened as the Cowboys have not only lost three straight games, but the offensive success as plummeted without Zeke. The numbers in the passing game have been downright abysmal. Prescott not only has failed to pass for 300 yards in a game this year, he's recorded only 407 yards in the last three games combined. He's also thrown five interceptions in the last three games, after tossing just four in the first eight games. And what about sacks? Dak was dropped just nine times in the first eight weeks. Since then, the Cowboys have yielded 14 sacks in 12 quarters of football. Yes, Zeke has been missed in the running game but it has affected the passing numbers as well.
Washington already has a long list of injuries this season, with 15 players placed on IR to date. Thursday they'll be without three more starters who officially have been ruled out: safety Montae Nicholson (concussion), tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) and center Chase Roullier (hand). The health of the offensive line has been a specific question mark since the Redskins' first meeting with Dallas back in October. They had already lost starting center Spencer Long to IR, and with Roullier injured, they'll turn to Tony Bergstrom for the second straight week. Four other offensive line starters who have started games this season are officially listed as questionable: Trent Williams (knee), Brandon Scherff (knee), Morgan Moses (knee/ankle/ankle) and Ty Nsekhe (core muscle). (Full Injury Report).
The Cowboys have been battling injuries at linebacker all season, but got some encouraging news Tuesday when Anthony Hitchens was able to participate on a limited basis in practice. He was listed as DNP (Did Not Participate) on Monday, but the fact he's getting more reps as the week goes on, typically means he'll be available for the game. The Cowboys will officially announce the game status of all injured players on Wednesday. Hitchens suffered a groin injury against the Eagles on Nov. 19 but was able to not only play just four days later on Thanksgiving, but finished the game as well. He'll likely be in the lineup Thursday vs. Washington, but the Cowboys probably won't have Sean Lee (hamstring) or perhaps Justin Durant (concussion) alongside of him. (Full Injury Report).
While he ranks in the Top 10 in just about all passing categories in the NFL, Kirk Cousins is only behind Tom Brady (3,374) this year in passing yards. Cousins has thrown for 3,038 yards, including five 300-yard games this year. Against the Cowboys earlier this year, Cousins battled through a steady rainfall to pass for 263 yards with a touchdown and interception. Over his career, Cousins hasn't played his best against the Cowboys, winning just one of six career starts. His only win vs. Dallas occurred in the 2015 season finale, beating the Cowboys, 34-23 at AT&T Stadium.
*The Cowboys have been dealing with injuries at several positons, but if there's one spot being hit the hardest right now it would be linebacker. Sean Lee once again missed practice Monday with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of the majority of the last three games. His availability for this Thursday's game with the Redskins seems unlikely. That makes the injury status for both Anthony Hitchens and Justin Durant even more interesting. Hitchens (groin) was able to fight through the entire game, unlike Durant, who played well early in the game but left because of a concussion. Those injuries open the door for Jaylon Smith, Kyle Wilber, Justin March-Lillard and Damien Wilson. (Full Injury Report)*
*It won't be a short week for the Redskins, who like the Cowboys, played on Thursday against the Giants. But looking at their injury report, it won't be an easy turnaround for a Washington that listed 14 players, including 11 that either missed practice Monday or were limited. The headliners of that group feature the offensive line, where four of the five starters did not have full participation. Left tackle Trent Williams (knee) has been banged up for nearly the entire season. Right tackleMorgan Moses* is dealing with a knee and two ankle injuries, but was able to practice on a limited basis.
* *With another Thursday game, the Cowboys were on their "Wednesday' schedule at The Star, despite it being a Sunday on the calendar. However, not everyone was back on the field, including some key starters on the offensive line. Guard Zack Martin, who missed nearly the final three quarters of the Thanksgiving Day loss with a concussion, did not practice with the team. However, coach Jason Garrett said Martin was able to participate in the morning walk-through, which is a good sign for his recovery. Left tackle Tyron Smith didn't practice but should be able to play this week despite back and groin injuries, barring any setbacks. Garrett also said linebacker Justin Durant is dealing with a concussion he suffered in Thursday's game.
* *In the four games since losing at home to Dallas, the Redskins have been battling to stay in the playoff race. While just 2-2 in the last month, Washington has dealt with a barrage of injuries on the offensive line. Against the Cowboys on Oct. 29, all five regular starters on the O-line were injured by the end of the game. And while there are still issues up front, including left tackle Trent Williams sitting out last week in a win over the Giants on Thanksgiving, the Redskins have been able to stay competitive. The Redskins rallied to win in Seattle in the final minutes, only to lose by eight to Minnesota and then by a field goal in overtime to New Orleans. Thursday night, Washington outlasted the Giants 20-10 to pull even with the Cowboys at 5-6 in the NFC East standings.