Redskins-Cowboys matchups: the running backs
This breakdown could go either way, because there are question marks surrounding both the Redskins and Cowboys. There are questions about both teams' offensive lines. There are questions about the durability of both backfields. The age factor is also a question looming over the Redskins running backs.
I don't see this being a game in which the backs can get outside. Both defenses have a strong outside presences, with Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo for the Skins, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer for the Cowboys. So I look for both teams to try to run between the tackles.
Clinton Portis is a gifted runner and is coming into the season healthy and in shape. I look for him to run it up in there strong with consistency. He may have plays where he breaks through and has some running room, but I look for him to mostly get 3-to 4-yard gains. Larry Johnson may end up being the go-to back. His size and strength may give LJ more of a chance to have longer runs inside the tackles. It's rare that a back of his size can move the way that he does, and it may be just what the Skins use to try and break the run game open. Either way, the Skins are going to need one of these guys to step up and find his way through that line of scrimmage if they are to have any chance of winning.
As for the Boys - and I enjoy calling them the Boys considering that this is a man's game (shameless shot, I know) - the running backs are very talented. Marion Barber is the hard-running workhorse. He will look to soften the belly of the Redskins defense for the speed of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. If Barber can wear down the Redskins defensive front, it may turn into a run-heavy Dallas attack Sunday night.
This matchup is too close to give an edge to either team, so this will be a push. I think these are both talented backfields and should be fun to watch.
What set of backs do you give the nod to and why?
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