Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Seattle Seahawks.
The Opponent: It's been a long time since a game against the Redskins has been anything other than just another week in the schedule. That streak ends on Thursday when the Cowboys face off with Robert Griffin III for the first time. The rookie has become one of the guys whose every game is an EVENT and that's especially true when he faces a divisional opponent on the road. It might take a few years to get to the Landry-Gibbs level of bad feelings and beer commercials, but it's a pretty good way to start.
The Line: Cowboys -4
Last Game: The Redskins threw some dirt on the grave that is the Eagles' 2012 season with a 31-6 rout last Sunday. Griffin completed 14-of-15 passes, threw four touchdowns and ran for 84 yards before driving the team bus back to the hotel and making paella for everyone in the organization.
The Coach: Mike Shanahan has convinced the world that he's a good coach with or without John Elway playing quarterback. He's 1-4 in the playoffs without Elway, though, and hasn't taken a team to the postseason since he was in Denver in 2006. The Redskins haven't shown much improvement in his three years as coach, but Griffin probably buys him another year and another hundred spray tans.
The Offense: Griffin's the headliner, but you could do worse than rooking running back Alfred Morris when it comes to a supporting act. He's picking up 4.7 yards per carry and the Redskins use every formation under the sun to disguise which way they'll attack you with the two youngsters. If they could put together an offensive line and a healthy receiving corps, they'll really have something going in D.C.
The Defense: Losing linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker for the season was bad news for a defense that wasn't all that good when they were in the lineup. They did a good job against Eagles rookie Nick Foles, but this is also a team that gave up a 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz late in the fourth quarter of a game they were winning. They left no one deep on the play because, well, no one's really sure why they did that other than the fact that they are a pretty poor unit across the board.
Key Matchup: Griffin vs. DeMarcus Ware/Anthony Spencer - You can't let Griffin get to the edge, which means both of the Cowboys outside linebackers have to be extra careful about the angles they take to the ball on Thursday afternoon. Griffin can make throws from the pocket and has the accuracy to show it, but his biggest plays tend to come off of broken plays when the defense loses their original assignments. Ware and Spencer will be the first line of defense against this and the Cowboys' chances of winning plummet if they fail.