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Five things to watch when Cowboys tangle with Redskins

Dak 2.0

Dak Prescott had a solid debut in the opener. If Cole Beasley would have caught a potential touchdown pass in the first half, and Dez Bryant maintains possession on another touchdown pass, the tone around Prescott’s debut would be completely different. But that didn’t happen and more pressure is now on Prescott to deliver a win in Week 2. Prescott has handled everything thrown his way so far, and should be ready for his first road test as a pro.

Zeke’s encore

Ezekiel Elliott had a forgettable debut, rushing for only 51 yards on 20 carries. Elliott admitted he was “average” and the Cowboys didn’t use the fourth overall pick on him to be “average.” The offensive line must help Elliott by creating more holes, and this should be an easier task against the Redskins. Steelers backup running back DeAngelo Williams gashed them for 143 rushing yards and two scores on Monday.

Sacks, please

The Cowboys had two sacks in the opener, and are on pace for 32, more than they had last season (31). Benson Mayowa and Orlando Scandrick each recorded the sacks, and pass rush remains a priority. They can’t let Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins get comfortable in the pocket. Keep an eye on Ryan Davis, who signed earlier this week, but has the most career sacks (11) of anyone on the team.

Turnover watch

Cornerback Brandon Carr ended his long interception-less drought in the opener by taking advantage of a gift thrown to him by Eli Manning. That proved to be the lone turnover by either team, but the Cowboys know they must force more. This is a team that had only 11 takeaways a season ago in a disastrous 4-12 finish. If the Cowboys win the turnover battle for the second consecutive week, it’s hard to see them being 0-2.

Road warriors

The Cowboys went 8-0 on the road in 2014 in winning the NFC East title. They went 3-5 a season ago. The Cowboys must get back to their winning ways on the road if they want to make a run as they did two years ago. And don’t expect the inexperienced backfield to get too rattled. Dak Prescott played in tough road environments on a weekly basis in the Southeastern Conference, and Ezekiel Elliott faced plenty of hostile crowds during his days at Ohio State in the Big Ten.

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