Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clinging to Hope: Cowboys-Redskins Preview

The Dallas Cowboys have arguably the biggest game of their season tonight against the Washington Redskins. After Jerry Jones declared that Dallas would assuredly make the playoffs, the implications of this game are even higher. A loss here means much more than an uphill battle to the means a mountain climb. Not to mention the stamp of the "most disappointing team in NFL history." So, what is there to key in on tonight that will be deciding factors? We at DallasDedicated have the answer.

--How will the return of Romo help the 'Boys?

Everyone is hoping that Romo has the missing piece in these last few games, but analysts are quick to point out that the team was in trouble even before his injury. However, the defense has improved tenfold since then, and is now producing close to its potential. A depleted secondary has stepped up and the defensive line has now become dominant. So, we hope Romo can open up the offense, and can give either Owens or Witten a huge day. Really, really huge.

--How will the absence of Clinton Portis help the 'Boys?

Well, I'm glad you asked. Clinton Portis ran for 121 yards in the last meeting earlier this season. Without him, the passing game will not be as open, and hopefully the Dallas D can minimize the effect Santana Moss has on the game, as well. Let's not forget that the Redskins played a near perfect game and only won by 2 points. No Clinton Portis is a huge blow for the 'skins, and great news for Cowboys fans.

--How will Terrell Owens respond to the criticism he has received this season?

Hopefully Owens can respond with a huge game. I say this for two reasons: 1) Because the Cowboys need his output very badly, and 2) if he doesn't, it may lead to a post game blow up, especially if Dallas gets an "L". Owens success keys around the Dallas running game, which has coincidentally been sup-par during his sub-par games. A big game from Barber will open things up for Owens.

--What about Felix Jones?

Another great question, got to love our readers. Today was supposed to be the big return for Big Play Felix, too, but not yet, my friends. Jones didn't practice all week, and is listed as "questionable." Phillips didn't rule out playing him, but don't expect much, if anything. If Jones appears at all, you will most likely see him on a kick return, if they feel like his hamstring can hold up while he sprints at top speed.

--What ever happened to the Pacman Jones Situation?

Actually, Roger Goodell is going to review his suspension following Sunday's games. So, in an ideal world, Pacman would be reinstated soon, though I don't see how Goodell will be so quick to let him back in. Or that the Cowboys/Jerry Jones will allow him to return. If Newman doesn't look 100% in the next couple weeks (assuming he gets in today), I have a feeling Jones will be all over Pacman if possible.

Lastly, Wade Phillips knows that his job is on the line, so he will--hopefully--be coaching like it. Look to see a couple big plays and deep passes--a few more risks than normal. If Dallas loses this game, they will sit last in the NFC East and will need a miracle if they are going to catapult themselves into the playoffs. Quite a change from the preseason hype, but this is the new Dallas team we have to live with. Enjoy tonight. Pray for a victory.


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