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NFL Betting: Redskins vs. Cowboys Monday Night Football Preview

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 10/27/2014 12:02:25 PM

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t slowing down. One of the three best teams in the NFC is set up well to contend for not just a division championship, but also a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – Monday, October 27

These are not your same old 8-8 Dallas Cowboys, the team that would get your hopes up one week and crush them the next. This is not the Dallas team that made its critics happy and its detractors easily amused. This is a focused, balanced, complete team with very few weaknesses. The Cowboys might occasionally stumble, but if they ever do, they immediately pick themselves up and get things squared away. The Cowboys aren’t doing things the way they’ve always done them, and for a team that had been suffering through a lot of playoff-free seasons, that’s a very good thing.

What you’re seeing from the Cowboys is, first, a new dedication to running the ball instead of asking quarterback Tony Romo to have to do everything. The Cowboys have finally found an offensive line that can pound on opposing defensive lines. Running back DeMarco Murray is getting the publicity for the Cowboys’ offense this season, but it’s the offensive line that’s helping him to succeed.

Both Murray and his offensive linemen deserve equal credit for what’s happening in Dallas. Murray has, for the past few seasons, been the kind of running back who needed to get more touches and was good enough to help the Cowboys if he got more opportunities. However, with the offensive line not doing its job, it was hard for the Cowboys to get the ball to Murray with the consistency they needed. Now that Murray is getting more touches, it’s not the case that Dallas has had a change of heart so much as the Cowboys finally upgraded their offensive line to the point where they could use the running game more often. With Romo no longer having to do everything by himself, Dallas is more balanced, but it goes deeper than that. Romo isn’t just facing a lighter workload. When he passes, his offensive line gives him better protection. Everything falls into place, and that’s why the Cowboys have things so good right now.

The Washington Redskins are coming off a win, but it was an ugly win over the Tennessee Titans. First of all, Tennessee came in with long-term backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst filling in for starter Jake Locker, who was injured. Tennessee was a bad team to begin with, and it didn’t even have its best players on the field. Washington was involved in a close game with Tennessee until the final play of regulation. The Redskins managed 351 yards of offense, an ordinary performance. They also ran into a quarterback controversy, as head coach Jay Gruden pulled Kirk Cousins in favor of Colt McCoy. It’s true that McCoy helped Washington to a 19-17 win, but McCoy is not a long-term answer for this club, which was expecting Cousins to be a successful replacement for Robert Griffin III.

Nothing about this matchup or this week’s lead-up to kickoff suggests that Washington is in position to win. Dallas should cruise in this one.

Pick: Cowboys -9.5

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