NFL Odds & Week 12 Predictions: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Hosts Washington with First Place in NFC East on the Line
The Dallas Cowboys have won two games in a row for the first time all season and it’s put them on the cusp of first place in the NFC East. In their way is the team currently occupying that spot, the Washington Redskins who are dealing with the aftermath of the gruesome injury to quarterback Alex Smith.
The Cowboys were 3-5 at the halfway point of their schedule with their season essentially hanging in the balance. A trip to one of their archrivals, the Philadelphia Eagles in a similar spot was not going to make the task any easier.
But they showed a lot of guts in leaving there with a 27-20 win. They led early, only to see Philadelphia come back in the second half, but the team came up with the big plays on both sides of the ball in the final minutes for the win.
The script was pretty similar the following week, once again on the road against another team fighting for their playoff lives, the Atlanta Falcons. What’s more, the last time those teams met was last season and the beatdown the Falcons put on Dallas essentially derailed their playoff hopes.
Dallas once again built an early lead and were up 19-9 early in the fourth only to see Atlanta tie it up. But the team marched down the field in the final two minutes and Brett Maher inched one through the uprights for the win.
The identity of the team has become the defense coupled with the dominating play of Ezekiel Elliott. But the addition of Amari Cooper to the receiving core is now helping to keep opposing defenses honest.
Washington in the meanwhile will turn to long-time backup Colt McCoy who has had some success playing in limited action for head coach Jay Gruden. He knows the offense well, having served in this position for the past 3 and a half seasons.
The team is built quite similarly in that their defense has stepped up in a major way all season. The running game has been great as well behind the resurgent play of RB Adrian Peterson. There’s also not much of a passing game to speak of with TE Jordan Reed leading the way with 44-462-2. The next highest receiver is Maurice Harris with just 27 catches on the season.
Dallas is 25th averaging 20.3 PPG and 3rd allowing 19.0 PPG. They are 5-5.
Washington is 27th averaging 19.7 PPG and 5th allowing 19.8 PPG. They are 6-4.
Dallas is -7 favorites in this one and that’s a lot for a team that is struggling to score points. I think they have the momentum and are certainly helped by the loss of Smith, but I think Washington can keep it close with their stingy defense. The Pick: Dallas 20-17.