Redskins will play healthy starters against Cowboys

ASHBURN, Va. -- The dilemma is a new one for the Washington Redskins, a byproduct of winning the NFC East a week early and being unable to improve their playoff standing. They can rest their starters, some of them at least, or keep building momentum. Turns out they’ll try to do both.

“Right now we’re approaching it as if they’re dressed they’re playing,” Gruden said.

The question remains, though: Who will dress? Three players sat out practice Thursday -- corner Quinton Dunbar, safety Dashon Goldson and running back Matt Jones. Six others were limited -- left tackle Trent Williams, defensive back DeAngelo Hall, end Jason Hatcher, receiver DeSean Jackson, linebacker Perry Riley, Jr., and running back Pierre Thomas.

The Redskins can dress only 46 players so many starters will have to play. The question will be whether they start quarterback Kirk Cousins if players such as Williams and Jackson aren’t playing.

The Redskins also have two players close to setting franchise records: Reed is one catch away from setting the mark for most receptions by a tight end in a season while Cousins is 120 yards away from establishing a record for passing yards in a season.

“Kirk is getting ready to start the football game. Jordan Reed is getting ready. All our [healthy] guys are starting,” Gruden said. “They’re getting ready to play the game and then how I substitute throughout the course of the game will be dependent on how we’re doing health-wise and the situation of the game.”

Players have expressed mixed opinions, though most appear fine with playing. They like the momentum they’ve developed and want to finish with a 9-7 record and 4-2 mark in the division.

“If you've got a hot hand, keep it going,” Redskins end Ricky Jean Francois said. “Right now we have to keep the hot hand and keep playing. The only way we can finish the season strong is to beat the Dallas Cowboys.”