Cowboys win 10th straight, knock off Skins

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Updated: November 25, 2016

With each passing week and following each passing victory, it’s looking more and more like the Dallas Cowboys are the real deal. By virtue of their tenth straight win, Dallas remains in the driver’s seat of the current NFC playoff hierarchy.

This year’s Thanksgiving day game saw the Washington Redskins come to “Jerry World”, and for a good portion of the contest Kirk Cousins and company moved the ball up and down the field at will. The Redskins finished with a whopping 505 yards of total offense, but their struggles in the red zone ultimately proved to be their undoing.

While the Cowboys converted all four of their trips inside the red zone into touchdowns, Washington was only two for five. Rod Marinelli’s defense seems to constantly bend but never break, and the unit’s overall speed to the ball and gang tackling has been able to compensate for the rash of injuries and suspensions endured by the group.

On the other side of the ball, rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott continue to impress. By now I think we have all run out of superlatives to describe just how dynamic these two have been this season, and those waiting for a letdown or drop in performance are running out of time. Each time Washington cut into the lead in the second half, Dallas responded with a scoring drive that looked almost easy. The final score of 31-26 sent the crowd home happy and put a serious dent in Washington’s hopes of capturing a second straight division title.

As good as Dak and Elliott have been, it’s the offensive line that makes this entire operation go. Whether they are blowing people off of the ball and opening up large amounts of real estate for the backs (Dallas currently has the #2 rushing offense in the league) or allowing Prescott to work with the benefit of a clean pocket, the resources put into constructing this wall could the difference maker come playoff time against a team like, lets say, the Seattle Seahawks.

A lot can change in the NFL in the course of a few weeks, but at the moment the Dallas and Seattle appear to be on a collision course to meet somewhere down the line. The Seahawks have had one of the most dominating defenses in the entire NFL going on five years now, a smaller unit that relies more on speed than on force. If these two do end up hooking up in January, it will be interesting to see the contrast in styles, and if the faster team can stand up for four quarters against an o-line that bludgeons opposing teams with brute strength.

Of course, that is a dream matchup for another time. For the moment at least, Dallas can revel in the fact that they have the look of a polished team with the talent and resolve to close out games when it matters in the fourth quarter.

 

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