The NFC East features four teams that all have losing records. Two of those teams will go head-to-head on Monday Night Football as the Dallas Cowboys pay Washington a visit in prime-time. Dallas has only won games when Tony Romo is playing, which makes it no surprise that the point spread is currently favoring Washington at -4 now that Romo has re-injured the broken collarbone that saw him miss seven weeks of action.
Monday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington
Point Spread: Washington -4 Over/under: 41.5 Date: Monday, December 7, 8:30pm ET Location:FedEx Field, Greater Landover, MD
With their starting quarterback out indefinitely, Matt Cassel needs to find a way to be better for the Cowboys. In four games as the starter, he’s managed a 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio, throwing five of each and posting a 78.8 rating. While the passing game has struggled to find rhythm, they may look to running back Darren McFadden to carry the load against a Washington defense that is giving up nearly 130 yards rushing per game.
The Cowboys’ defense has been their one saving grace this season, keeping them in games but not getting the scoring support they need to win. They may be able to keep the score manageable against Washington who’s averaging just 21 points per game. Dallas’ pass rush could do some damage against quarterback Kirk Cousins who is consistently inconsistent. A few sacks on Cousins could go a long way to throwing the whole offense off kilter.
In facing the +4 underdog Cowboys without their star quarterback, Washington gets a bit of a break on defense. Cassel has not been good for Dallas which could take the pressure of a Washington secondary that is giving up lots of yardage. If they can find a way to get some push on the Cowboys talented offensive line and stuff the running game, they stand a good chance of forcing Cassel to win the game with his arm.
Offensively, Washington has been able to move the ball well but is in the bottom half of the league in turning the ball over. Cousins needs to play mistake-free against a Cowboys defense that leads the league in takeaways, or they could find themselves in a close game.
Monday Night Football Prediction
The Cowboys simply look lost on offense without Romo and Washington should benefit from playing their division rival at an emotionally deflating time for Dallas. Without a real threat at quarterback, the Cowboys are reduced to a good defensive team doing everything it can to help their anemic offense.