Should I Watch the Thing? is back after a one-week hiatus (check here for the last edition)! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I only just finished my leftovers on Tuesday and now I never want to see a turkey again. Also, get ready for Christmas, everyone! Even though it’s still three weeks away!
Anyway. There were three games on Thanksgiving day of varying quality. The Minnesota Vikings topped the Detroit Lions in a mostly fun contest, the Los Angeles Chargers destroyed the Dallas Cowboys, which was probably entertaining if you love to hate the latter, and the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants in a surprisingly tight night game.
This time around, two of those teams will face off in an NFC East showdown as the Cowboys host the Redskins tonight. With a full week of rest, that should eliminate the usual sloppiness of Thursday night games. Right?
Playoff implications: just barely. The two teams haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention yet, but at 5-6, they both are two games back in the wild-card race. The NFC is particularly stacked this year, so while a victory would keep the winner alive, they’d need outside help to gain ground. The Philadelphia Eagles have the East division pretty much locked up, so there’s nothing to look for there.
1 point out of 3
Division rivalry/past history: of course. Outside of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, no rivalry has lasted as long or has been as fierce as the Cowboys and Redskins in the NFL. The Cowboys have won the last three matchups though.
2 points out of 2 (3 out of 5 points total)
Team quality: definitely a mixed bag. The majority of the Redskins games this season have been extremely competitive. They’re certainly more talented than their 5-6 record indicates. Considering that they were playing with a skeleton crew at offensive line for the first half of the year, they did about as well as they could.
While the Cowboys have struggled lately, a big part of that has been due to the absence of left tackle Tyron Smith to injury. Still, a three-game losing streak can’t be explained away that easily. It seems like their secondary has fallen off after a solid start to the season.
1 point out of 2 (4 out of 7 points total)
Offensive showcase potential: the Redskins seem to be peaking at the right time offensively. While their running back situation is dire, mostly because Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson are out for the year, Kirk Cousins has played very well at QB. He’s established a good rapport with Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder.
The Cowboys were in good shape on offense, but a combination of Smith’s injury and the final nail in the coffin to Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension has derailed them big time. Dak Prescott hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass during the losing streak.
1 point out of 2 (5 out of 9 points total)
Must-see players/record watch: nothing much on the record watch front, unless you want to see Jason Witten make progress in the all-time receiving categories. Two players to monitor are for Crowder for the Redskins and Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who could take the league lead in sacks tonight.
0.5 points out of 1 (5.5 out of 10 points total)
The numbers suggest that this should be a mediocre game to watch. I’d lean toward tuning in regardless since Cowboys-Redskins games tend to be entertaining, but unless you’re a fan of either team, it’s probably safe to sit this one out.