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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 11/22/2011

Cowboys de-feet Gano and the Redskins in D.C.

Dez Bryant makes a long third down grab to set up the game-winning drive for the Cowboys. Graham Gano misses clutch field goals. Trent Williams gets hurt. Laron Landry is inactive. The running game is out of gas. These Redskins recaps are getting easier and easier to copy/paste than ever.

The shame is that it was the most complete game the Redskins have put together since beating the Giants, and the kicker is the one who blew it: twice.

The offense looked better — compared to just showing up. The defense played well. Brandon Banks reignited the return game. Sav Rocca once again punted his Aussie boots off. And then there was Gano.

No other player on the Redskins receives as much faith from Mike Shanahan as Gano despite doing so little to deserve it. Shanahan’s decision to kick a field goal in overtime from 52 yards, instead of pinning Dallas deep in its own territory (as we all know Rocca would have) and letting our defense make Dallas march down field, lost the game. Shanahan commented in the post-game presser that he didn’t even consider punting. Don’t the punter and defense deserve a bit more confidence than the kicker? After all, they’ve earned it.

I was no Shaun Suisham fan, but he was making 88 percent of his kicks when he was cut in 2009 after missing a field goal to defeat the undefeated and future Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. In came his replacement: Graham Gano.

In 2010, Gano was the only kicker in the NFL not to make at least 70 percent of his attempts. Dead last in the league. He missed two from 20-29 yards, missed nine more from 30 and beyond. This season, Gano is down to 66.7 percent. He’s more accurate beyond 50 yards than between 30-39. He also hit a 59-yarder, which broke a franchise record, but the replay indicated his eyes were closed (unofficial replay, that is).

The worst fact in this mess is that it was at home. A kicker should be automatic at home. Automatic. Why is he kicking in Ashburn, Va. during the week? Send him off to Fed-Ex by himself with a towel boy and make him kick until his nose bleeds.

Beating Dallas can make a losing season feel like a winning season with a better draft pick. The Redskins didn’t look great yesterday, but they coulda shoulda woulda won that game if it weren’t for No. 4. Looking 4 work? Kicking, what’s it good 4? Look out 4 Wide Right? Un4tunate?

Will anyone in the locker room tell him to his face how awful he is? No. Kickers have the softest egos in the room. I could care less that there’s no one else out there that’s as “talented”. I could care less that Shanahan doesn’t want him getting picked up elsewhere to beat us in the future. This guy lost to Dallas by missing two kicks at home.

Gano has also put the franchise in a difficult spot because Snyder can’t step in or he’ll break his back seat streak. Shanahan won’t cut him because he’s enamored by the size of his thighs. The players must hate this guy more than the fans do. All the fans get is the hangover. Imagine how their bodies feel on Monday. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any messier, Shanahan is bringing the drama back. Even if it is soft-core kicker drama.

By Evan Bliss  |  12:40 PM ET, 11/22/2011

Tags:  Redskins, Evan Bliss

 
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