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Monday Night Football Week 3: Redskins-Cowboys Preview

Daniel Carr-Crawford |
September 26, 2011 | 4:09 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Cowboys QB Tony Romo and WR Miles Austin take on the 'Skins. (suzismini/Wikimedia Commons)
Cowboys QB Tony Romo and WR Miles Austin take on the 'Skins. (suzismini/Wikimedia Commons)
The Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys meet tonight in Texas, an early battle for the NFC East. We break down the three key things to watch:

1. Romo's Injury Concerns

Dallas QB Tony Romo is coming off of a gutsy win over the New York Jets in which he suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs. While Romo played through the pain last weekend to lead Dallas to the win, how he responds to a Washington team that will be gunning for his injury will ultimately decide the outcome of this game.

Take into account that several key members of his supporting cast, including star WR Miles Austin, are likely to be out of this game, and this game will likely be dictated by how Romo responds to pressure.

2. Officials Closely Monitoring Hits

Earlier in the week, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall made some polarizing comments, stating, "I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever's hurt," especially Romo's ribs.

Statements like this will draw extra attention from officials and could lead to fines on hits that in normal circumstances would’ve been legal. Keep an eye out for more flags tonight than usual, as officials look to penalize players who are playing to intentionally injure Romo.

3. Pace of the Game

Redskins RB Tim Hightower (Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)
Redskins RB Tim Hightower (Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)
The Redskins have a revitalized running game at this early point in the season led by Tim Hightower and Roy Helu. They average 123 yards per game on the ground. On defense, they are one of the NFL's best teams against the run, ranking 6th-best and giving up only 84 rushing yards per game.

The Dallas running game is non-existent, which will force the Cowboys to go to the air far more than they’d like to. As a result, the Redskins' D will have opportunities to take more chances than usual, and their offense will be able to run the ball and control the clock in a late-game situation.


Despite the injuries that have seriously hurt the Cowboys' this season thus far, expect this game to be extremely competitive. The Monday night home crowd will get the Cowboys going and they will feed off that energy early on.

Expect the 'Skins to prevail though, as they are currently playing at a higher level on both sides of the ball and don't have the injury concerns that Dallas does.


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