The Washington Football Team's formula for winning has been built off of a sound defensive front and the ability to run the football and win the game on long fourth-quarter drives.
With Washington at home Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, the strategy should remain to win the game on the ground and the way to beat teams like that is to go through the air and force them to play your style. With CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper in Cowboys jerseys, they could disrupt Washington's game plan. Quarterback Dak Prescott will have to utilize his receivers from the jump if the Cowboys want to win Sunday.
Earlier in the season when the Cowboys beat the Atlanta Falcons, the team got off to an incredibly fast start. They put their foot on the gas and found themselves up 33 points at halftime.
While that probably won't happen again this weekend on the road against the WFT, getting off to a hot start is crucial for the Cowboys.
Getting healthy would be nice, too, but in some cases, not an option. On Saturday, the WFT made a flurry of moves, with guard Wes Schweitzer placed on IR, Darryl Roberts and James Smith-Williams placed on the COVID, List, Jon Toth signed up from the practice squad and Lirim Hajrullahu- who ironically spent two stints with Dallas earlier this year - signed to the practice squad.
Hajrullahu is basically the "quarantine kicker'' if needed.
Also, De’Jon Harris is elevated from the practice squad and William Bradley-King and Jeremy Reaves are also activated up from the practice squad as COVID replacements. (The defensive end shifting is in part about Montez Sweat moving to the COVID list; The WFT is thin there, at at tight end, too, with Logan Thomas out.)
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And one more grouping of possible problems, as questionable for Sunday are Landon Collins, Jamin Davis, Curtis Samuel and J.D. McKissic.
So ... the WFT has some work to do here.
Score early? Score often? Sounds cliche, but ...
By scoring early and often, it will force Taylor Heinicke and the offense to win the game by throwing the ball. It's something Washington is capable of, but it's not its strong suit. Washington needs to manage the tempo, especially at home, and pull the win out late like it has done the past four weeks.