- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2013

Five questions Redskins beat writer Brian McNally has heading into Washington’s Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys:

Can the Redskins contain Dallas quarterback Tony Romo? Romo is one of the NFL’s best at making plays when things break down. He showed that again in a five-touchdown effort vs. Denver last week. Washington defensive backs must be prepared to cover until the whistle. Defensive linemen must be ready to chase for four, five, six seconds. The key: Keep him in the pocket as much as possible.

Will Robert Griffin III continue to progress? There have been positive signs in a loss to Detroit and a comeback win at Oakland. But Griffin needs to show it for a full game. He will face a Dallas front that now plays a 4-3 and not the 3-4. But the secondary is a mess. The Cowboys have allowed 1,632 passing yards in five games, the second-most in the NFL. Griffin will have opportunities.

How much, if at all, will Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson play? The Redskins add two suspended players to the mix this week. Jackson, a reserve linebacker who had four interceptions last season, says he’s in, at least on special teams. Jenkins could help against the run. But the coaching staff says it’s still evaluating both to determine if they are ready to return. At best they will see limited snaps, but should still help keep their teammates fresh.

Who wins the DeAngelo Hall vs. Dez Bryant matchup? Dallas’ star wide receiver is a handful, one of the most powerful runners after the catch in the NFL. But Hall seems to relish these big matchups. He held his own against Detroit’s Calvin Johnson earlier this season and shut down Bryant in the decisive Redskins-Cowboys game last Dec. 30 to give Washington the NFC East title. It’s not all on Hall, but he needs to have a strong day.

How effective will Redskins running back Alfred Morris be? He has practiced three days this week and had a day off with his teammates on Tuesday. That’s a good sign. There’s no doubt Morris will play barring a setback. But will his sore ribs, which knocked him from the Oakland game, limit his effectiveness against the Cowboys? Washington needs him. Morris torched Dallas for 313 rushing yards and four touchdowns in two games last season.

• Brian McNally can be reached at bmcnally@washingtontimes.com.

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