Washington finds themselves in first place despite most preseason predictions that had them well out of the playoff picture by now.
But a win this week at Dallas would still surprise most. Washington battled the Texans to the wire last week but suffered a loss that was bigger than a game.
Quarterback Alex Smith went down with a compound fracture of his lower leg and is done for the season. Colt McCoy played well enough to keep the game within reach and will lead the offense in a short week against a revitalized Cowboys team.
Dallas looked like they were done after falling to 3-5 with a brutal loss to the Titans. But victories against the Eagles and the Falcons have them one win away from a share of the NFC East lead.
Since the loss to the Titans, coach Jason Garrett increased quarterback Dak Prescott’s impact. Ezekiel Elliott is still getting his touches, but Prescott is throwing more and taking advantage of his new primary receiver, Amari Cooper.
Washington fans point out that they are in the first place largely because of their defense and running game. Are they right in being cautiously optimistic that Colt McCoy can lead them into the playoffs?
Injuries and notes
Washington signed Mark Sanchez to serve as McCoy’s backup.
Christ Thompson and Jamison Crowder did not practice this week. Samaje Perrine got in limited practice and Adrian Peterson practiced in full Tuesday.
Left tackle Trent Williams (thumb) is expected to suit up for this week’s game.
Dallas lists five defensive linemen as questionable and will be without linebacker Sean Lee. Tackle David Irving was the only one of the linemen to miss both practices this week.
Tight end Geoff Swaim is out with a wrist injury. Tavon Austin did not practice and is highly questionable for Thursday.
Nothing quiets a crowd calling for your head like a couple of wins against presumed playoff contenders. Sending Cowboys fans home with their team tied for first place will endear Jason Garrett to all of them, not just his protective boss, Jimmy Jones.
Jay Gruden came into 2018 on a hot seat and was expected to need a playoff victory to save his job. But if injuries derail the Redskins’ run, will their good start be enough to save Gruden? It’s making for some fun talk-radio conversations around Washington.
How to watch the Redskins-Cowboys game
Fox Sports will send the Redskins-Cowboys game to affiliates across the nation Thursday, which means you can kick back and watch it on your DirecTV Now internet feed.
If you don’t know what DirecTV Now offers in your neighborhood, you are behind the technology curve, but you’re also paying way too much for your television service.
Internet TV providers like DirecTV Now, Sling, and Fubo TV offer live-stream signals from all the NFL-contracted networks, as well as dozens of other sport, movie, and entertainment channels to your internet-connect television, computer, smartphone, or any handheld device.
But the best thing is, DirecTV Now, Sling and Fubo TV do all that for a fraction of what cable or satellite television cost. And they don’t ask you to sign a contract or buy any expensive equipment.
Check out their websites to see what they offer and how much you can save by switching to internet TV for all your entertainment needs.
Read More: NFL week 14 Game Preview: Giants at Redskins
Who will win the Cowboys-Redskins game?
Washington is at their best when no one expects too much from them. Certainly, few expect them to win against a rolling Cowboys squad on the road without their starting quarterback.
Colt McCoy might be good enough to win some games with a healthy Redskins team. But can he do it without Thompson, Crowder, and Paul Richardson?