The Dallas Cowboys have started off the season well and now take on the Redskins. With every game of the season there will be things to watch and pay attention to. Here are five things to watch for in week 2.
1. Can Dak Prescott String Multiple Good Games Together?
Dak Prescott entered the season without a long-term deal, but that didn’t seem to bother him one bit. He had a fantastic game against the Giants, throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns. Prescott and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore seem to be meshing well to start the season.
Jerry Jones has said that a deal is getting closer with Prescott, but until then Prescott will want to be at his best to get the most money. He will have a great chance to keep the momentum going against the Redskins, who allowed Carson Wentz to throw for 313 yards and three touchdowns in week 1. If Prescott makes good reads against their zone defense, he can have a similar stat line to Wentz.
2. Will Ezekiel Elliot Knock Off the Rust?
It was expected that Ezekiel Elliot wouldn’t be given a lot of touches in his first week back with the team. He was given 13 carries, same as backup Tony Pollard, and managed 53 rushing yards. For the Cowboys to be at their best, Elliot will need to get more carries and be more productive with them.
Washington has a formidable front seven, which will make it tougher for Elliot to get back to having big games. They did, however, allow 123 rushing yards to the Eagles in week 1, even though Philadelphia doesn’t have the best rushing attack. If Prescott plays well too, Elliot running the ball well will keep the defense completely off-balance.
3. Can the Defense Keep Things in Front of Them?
The defense certainly has some things to fix from week 1. They bent, but they didn’t break. With that, they gave up far too many passing yards to Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley was able to break free for a big run in the first quarter. If they can limit the big plays against the Redskins, they’ll win the game.
Case Keenum opened up week 1 on fire for the Redskins. Terry McLaurin was able to beat the defense deep a few times and Vernon Davis broke free on a long touchdown catch and run. The Cowboys will need to keep McLaurin from beating them deep, tackle well and prevent big touchdown plays.
4. The Run Defense
Limiting the big plays mostly refers to the passing game, as the Redskins likely won’t have many 20-yard rushes. The Cowboys did give up that big play to Barkley and the star running back rushed for 120 yards on 11 carries. For the team to reach its potential, the run defense needs to be better.
Adrian Peterson will likely start in the place of the injured Derrius Guice. Peterson will run powerfully and likely pick up a few yards every time he touches the ball. The Redskins offensive line isn’t great this season, so the Cowboys have a chance to get the run defense back in order.
5. Will There be More QB pressure?
In the opening game, the Cowboys did not register much pressure on Eli Manning. They had just one sack, with half going to Leighton Vander Esch and the other half going to DeMarcus Lawrence. There seven QB hits were a good sign that maybe they can finish the game with more sacks this week.
As mentioned, Washington’s offensive line isn’t that great, especially without Trent Williams, who likely won’t play for them anymore. It will be a great game for DeMarcus Lawrence and company to start racking up the sacks.