- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 17, 2011

1. Will the Redskins cross the goal line? Scoring touchdowns is kind of important, after all. Washington has only one in its last 35 possessions — a span of 185 minutes, 5 seconds. Dallas, meanwhile, scored 44 points last week against a Buffalo defense that shut the Redskins out.

2. Can they establish an effective running game? Here are the Redskins’ rushing totals during their five-game losing streak: 42 yards, 92, 26, 52 and 61. There’s a trend there. The Redskins’ offense is crippled because it can’t run. The line must block better, and the backs must maximize lanes.

3. Will Rex Grossman avoid the negative big play? As we’ve come to know during Grossman’s short tenure, the negative play is always just around the corner. He must protect the ball by making good decisions and throwing it on time. Also, the line must protect him.

4. Which receivers will make a play? Now that rookie Leonard Hankerson is out, the Redskins are even thinner at the position. Jabar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong could start. Do you think they scare the Cowboys?

5. Can the run defense build on last week’s strong game? The Redskins limited Miami last week to 3.1 yards per carry, the first time since Week 4 that mark has been under 4.2. Dallas rookie DeMarco Murray has averaged 6.7 yards on 100 carries this season. He’ll give the Redskins all they can handle.

• Rich Campbell can be reached at rcampbell@washingtontimes.com.

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