Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Washington Redskins (0-1)
NFL: Sunday, September 15th, 2019 at 1:00 pm ET (FedEx Field)
Line and Odds: Dallas Cowboys -4.5 Over/Under: 47
Free ESPN NFL Picks Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys’ offense was a revelation in last week’s 35-17 win over the New York Giants. There was a lot of anticipation around the new-look Cowboys offense with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore calling the plays. Can Dak Prescott be a franchise QB? Would Ezekiel Elliott be ready to go? Is the Cowboys’ receiving corps going to take the next step? After week 1, the answer to all of those questions appears to be “yes.” Following a Giants touchdown in their opening drive, the Cowboys went on a 35-3 run. Dak Prescott was exceptional in his season debut. Prescott went 25 of 32 for 405 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Dallas had the 2nd most yards per pass attempt in week 1. Dak Prescott had a QBR of 97.4, the 2nd-highest QBR of week 1 (behind Lamar Jackson). Cowboys wide receivers Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper each had over 100 receiving yards. Gallup had 7 receptions and 158 yards on 7 targets. Cooper had 6 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown on 9 targets. Elliott averaged 4.1 yards per carry (13 carries for 53 yards) and scored a touchdown. Dallas’ offense also scored 2 touchdowns on 2 red zone appearances and converted 6 of 10 3rd down attempts.
Dallas’ defense had some strong moments, but they also have some things to work on. The most glaring problem with the Cowboys defense in week 1 was the run defense. The Cowboys had no idea how to limit Saquon Barkley. Barkley went 120 yards on just 11 carries. Overall, the Giants ran for 151 yards on 17 carries. Dallas’ defense gave up 8.9 yards per rush, the highest mark of any team in week 1. They gave up 470 total yards and 7.1 yards per play. Barkley would’ve had an even bigger day if the New York’s defense had been able to keep the game close. Dallas also allowed Giants TE Evan Engram to make 11 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. However, there are a few positives for the Cowboys defense in the opener. They held the Giants to 2/11 on their 3rd down attempts. They forced 2 turnovers and prevented touchdowns on 2 of NYG’s 4 red zone trips. It didn’t look like the Cowboys defense from 2018, but the offense looked much better than it has for the past couple of years.
For a team that isn’t expected to do much this season, the Washington Redskins looked impressive in the first half of their 32-27 opening day loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Their offense was surprisingly efficient against the Super Bowl contenders. They won the first half 20-7 and had many survivor/eliminator pool players nervous. On the game, the Redskins totaled 398 yards and 6.9 yards per play. Even the biggest Dwayne Haskins fans would admit that journeyman QB Case Keenum played well. He went 30 for 44 for 380 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. With Keenum’s help, rookie WR Terry McLaurin had 5 receptions for 125 yards on 7 targets. Keenum had a 73.5 QBR and a 117.6 passer rating on the day. If they get that kind of quarterback play throughout the season, the Redskins will win more games than most of the experts expected. It also helped that Washington’s offensive line had a great day in pass protection. Keenum was sacked just once in 45 dropbacks. However, their line was unable to create holes for the running game. Washington’s running backs averaged just 2.2 yards per carry (28 yards on 13 carries). Derrius Guice (who is expected to miss this week’s game with a knee injury) had just 18 yards on 10 carries. With Guice out, they must rely more on Chris Thompson and Adrian Peterson.
Washington’s defense had a pretty tough day against the Eagles’ offense. They gave up 436 total yards and 22 first downs. Carson Wentz went 28 of 39 for 313 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. The Redskins consistently let Eagles’ WR Desean Jackson get behind the defense. Jackson caught 8 passes for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Washington let the Philadelphia offense go 11 for 17 on 3rd downs, the worst 3rd down performance of any team in the league on week 1. They ranked 26th in defensive expected points added in the opening weekend. The Redskins also failed to get a single turnover, defensively. They got off to a great start, allowing just 7 points in the 1st half. However, Washington’s defense allowed Philly to score 25 straight points in the 2nd half. A stronger 2nd half defensive performance would’ve secured an opening day win in Philadelphia, but Washington gave up too many big plays.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Dallas are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games.
Dallas are 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games against Washington.
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Dallas’ last 13 games on the road.
Washington is 1-7 SU in their last 8 games.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington’s last 7 games against Dallas.
Washington is 1-5 SU in their last 6 games when playing at home against Dallas.
ESPN NFL Scores Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
I’m taking the Dallas Cowboys -4.5 in this divisional battle. The Cowboys have had a strong recent edge when visiting Washington, going 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games at FedEx Field. With the addition of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, this Cowboys offense is explosive. They now have all of the pieces to be dynamic offensively. Dallas has an efficient QB, a top-5 RB, a top-5 offensive line, solid pass-catchers, and a good play-caller. Ezekiel Elliott will be more prepared to carry the load after a full week of practice. Washington will have difficulty slowing Dallas down. I also expect Dallas’ defense to more closely resemble the 2018 defense than their week 1 2019 defense. They have too much talent to play like they did last week all season. Their run defense struggled last week, but they won’t have to worry about Saquon Barkley. Washington’s rush offense was ineffective against Philly and they’ve lost their #1 running back to injury. Dallas will focus on getting turnovers and defending Case Keenum’s pass offense. Keenum will throw a couple of interceptions and Washington’s offense will be held down. Take the Dallas Cowboys -4.5.