Greg Cote

An early lead and a man named Alfred hold key to Cowboys win over Redskins Thursday

Cowboys running back Alfred Morris, shown carrying the ball, will be a key to Dallas beating his former team Thursday night, says Greg Cote.
Cowboys running back Alfred Morris, shown carrying the ball, will be a key to Dallas beating his former team Thursday night, says Greg Cote. AP

GREG COTE’S NFL PICK

REDSKINS (5-6) at COWBOYS (5-6)

LINE: WAS by 1 1/2.

COTE’S PICK: DAL 24-20.

TV: 8:25 p.m. Thursday, NBC.

Cowboys have run the ball surprisingly well during Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension-absence, yet are 0-3 without him as Dak Prescott’s efficiency has plummeted. That helps explain but does not justify the ‘Skins being a slight road favorite even though Dallas won these division rivals’ earlier meeting 33-19. ’Boys opened as a narrow favorite but bet-line swung three points in past two days. That’s too much faith in Kirk Cousins, and not enough in Prescott bouncing back at home. Key for Big D: An early lead so that Elliott’s fill-in Alfred Morris — the ex-FAU Owl is averaging 4.9 per carry replacing him — can get a workhorse load against his former team. Loser here can forget about any playoff shot, which means Jerry Jones gets to pretend a while longer. An upset (if you insist) kicks off NFL Week 13. Thursday Night Football

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