Having faced Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant nine times prior, the Redskins will leverage prior play against him to hopefully help them score a big win on Monday Night Football.
Experience against Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is in the Washington Redskins' corner for Monday night as they prepare to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2014, when they beat the Tennessee Titans and Cowboys in Weeks 7 and 8 of the 2014 season.
"I think we have a little different perspective going against him because all of us have got a chance to really play against him and know him personally as far as how he likes to run routes and things like that," Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall said this week. "Just from experience standpoint, I think it'll give us a little edge."
Indeed, the Redskins have seen Bryant before, nine times to be exact, and have actually held the two-time Pro Bowler in check.
Only once has he gone over 100 yards against the Redskins (Thanksgiving Day, 2012).
Last season on Monday Night Football, Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland, still a relatively unknown rookie even to Redskins fans, played perhaps the best game of his young career, keeping Bryant in check for just 30 yards on three receptions in front of a national audience.
On one particular drive for the Cowboys, Breeland twice broke up passes in the end zone intended for Bryant.
"He's a very tough receiver once he has the ball in his hands," Breeland said. "He's a very good back shoulder receiver. He has good body control and great hands. He knows how to protect the ball."
Breeland added: "You've got to play physical with him and get in his grill. Don't allow him to get going."
This will be the second time in as many weeks that Breeland, along with the rest of the Redskins secondary, are being tasked with subduing the talents of one of the league's best wide receivers.
Last week, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did go off for nine receptions for more than 140 yards, but his only really true game-breaking play was his diving touchdown reception.
"I think I played pretty well," Breeland said of facing Beckham Jr. "I tried to challenge him one-on-one. He's a good receiver. He gave me my issues and I gave him his issues."
Bryant and the rest of the Cowboys are clearly not off to the same pace they were last season, when the offense was breaking records while the team was running away with the NFC East.
The Oklahoma State product missed five games following a fractured foot in the season opener, and hasn't quite been the same game changer, as he has just 23 receptions for 280 yards and two touchdowns in six games this year. He's also been without Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo for most of the season, who missed several weeks with a clavicle injury, returned to action and then re-aggravated the injury and is expected to miss the rest of the year.
But Redskins head coach Jay Gruden knows that many pieces are still there from a team that nearly advanced to the NFC Championship Game had Bryant completed a catch late in the Cowboys loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"They still have a mammoth offensive line. They still have Jason Witten. You know, they still have [Darren] McFadden, who's a heck of a back. They have got Dez Bryant still," Gruden said. "They're a very good football team."