Dallas (3-8) at Washington (5-6)
When: Monday, December 7th 2015
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
This week’s Monday Night Football matchup pits two teams with losing records, but both teams are still alive in the playoff chase, especially the Washington Redskins. This Redskins team has a huge disparity in their road/home splits going 0-5 on the road and 5-1 at home. In all fairness, they’ve played a much tougher road schedule than home losing at Carolina and at New England in their last two away games and haven’t played a team with a winning record at home. Quarterback Kirk Cousins numbers mirror that in his road/home splits. He has thrown for 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions while compiling a passer rating of 121.2 during the five-game home winning streak. DeSean Jackson has a catch of at least 42 yards in three consecutive games while tight end Jordan Reed remains Cousins’ favorite target with a career-high 55 receptions and six touchdowns. WR Pierre Garcon has 13 catches for 197 yards and a TD in his last two home games versus the Cowboys. The ground game has been poor all season ranking 22nd with under 100 yards per game. The defense is playing better as they held the Giants and Saints offenses to 14 points each in the last two home games. The Redskins look to keep pace with the Giants in the NFC East and will play just one more home game after today with three more on the road.
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The Dallas Cowboys are having one of their worst seasons in years, but despite being 3-8, are only two games back in the NFC East. Dallas was humiliated by Carolina on Thanksgiving Day and lost Tony Romo again, this time for the season. They will now turn back to Matt Cassel, who is 0-4 this season. He was great against Philadelphia in Week 9 passing for 299 yard and three scores, but was held to 97 yards against Seattle and 186 against Tampa Bay. Running back Darren McFadden, who busted out for 129 yards against Miami in Week 11, was held to just 11 yards on 10 carries against the Panthers. He’ll need to be strong from here on out to take pressure off the quarterback and should have some success tonight against a poor Washington defense. Dallas’ defense has been able to keep them in most games and are ranked 7th overall, but have only forced a league-worst seven turnovers. Tight end Jason Witten needs two receptions to become the second tight end in history with 1,000. The Cowboys have won five or their last seven in Washington, but had Romo under center in each of those. Dallas will host Washington again on the last day of the regular season.
I think Dallas’ defense will do enough to keep them in it and I look for McFadden to have a big game and keep the Redskins offense off the field as much as possible. Dallas won’t lay down knowing they still have a shot at the playoffs.
Pick: Cowboys +4.5