The Washington Post

Redskins-Cowboys best and worst

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Best Quote: “It feels like the end of the world, but it’s not the end of the world,” the head coach said. Ok, the coach was Bruce Boudreau, not Mike Shanahan, but still. Which leads us to.

Best Silver Lining: Hey, Miami won. That’s a team that needs a quarterback, right? The Dolphins are now tied with the Redskins at 3-7. The Redskins were entertaining, they were competitive, and they got better draft position. If you’re grasping, that’s all I’ve got.

Worst Streak: That makes six losses in a row, giving Washington its longest losing skid of the Snyder Era, and longest since 1998. That one went to seven games, as did losing streaks in 1994 and 1963. Before that, you have to go back to the 9-game losing streak during the horrific 1961 season that I seem to keep referencing.

Worst Play: The Jason Witten 59-yard touchdown catch was crushing, but the real soul ache came on the 26-yard completion to Dez Bryant on 3rd-and-15 in overtime, setting up the game-winning field goal. Dez Bryant seems to have a habit of showing up on late-game 3rd-and-long situations against Washington. Maybe watch out for that next year, guys.

Worst Timeout: Just before that field goal, the Cowboys were about to either get penalized for a delay-of-game, or penalized for calling a timeout they didn’t. Instead, Mike Shanahan called timeout, an icing that didn’t ice.

Best Celebration: Rex Grossman’s 17 fist pumps after his last-minute game-tying touchdown pass to Donte Stallworth even had me fired up. John Beck can’t fist pump like that. Don’t think he can throw the fade pattern quite like that, either. On that amazing drive, Grossman completed his first six pass attempts for 79 yards.

Worst Look: Rob Ryan. Dude got more air time than Jason Garrett or either Shanahan, and is amazingly unsightly. Get off my screen, sir, and take your unruly locks with ya.

Worst Luck: Ryan Kerrigan, who does everything, nearly intercepted Tony Romo in the fourth quarter. Instead, he tipped the ball, and Martellus Bennett hauled in a one-handed grab for a first down. A few minutes later, the Cowboys scored what was then the go-ahead touchdown.

Best LaRon Landry Impersonation: With Landry sidelined by an injury, I was concerned the Redskins might not have anyone to talk trash to the Cowboys after they gained first downs. Luckily, DeAngelo Hall stepped up on Dallas’s very first possession, getting in DeMarco Murray’s face after Murray ran for a first down. Hall was shown either jabbering or gesturing repeatedly throughout the game.


Worst Offensive Debut: End-around, end-around, short pass/fumble. That’s how the Redskins started on offense. “The play script should be shot so many times,” Danny Rouhier observed. The Fox broadcast crew reported that it was the fourth time the Redskins have turned the ball over on their opening drive this season.

Worst Personnel Decision: I just don’t understand why Ryan Torain is still starting. I just don’t get it. Roy Helu makes something happen every time he’s on the field. Torain doesn’t. Torain and Tashard Choice finished with 13 touches for 15 yards. Helu had 10 for 38. There didn’t seem to be any comparison.

Best Reappearance: Hey, Brandon Banks! Welcome back. A week after he was pilloried for yet another mediocre-to-bad appearance, Banks had punt returns of 32 and 55 yards, both of which gave Washington the ball in Dallas territory.

Best Reappearance, Part II: Not long after getting released and then re-signed, Stallworth had 3 catches for 33 yards and the tying touchdown on Washington’s final drive of regulation. He also had an 18-yard grab in overtime.

Worst Possible Sentence: “Hey, Ryan Kerrigan just headed to the locker room.” Honestly, I think that’s about the worst sentence you could write for the 2011 Redskins, with the possible exception “Hey, Sav Rocca just headed to the locker room,” or possibly “Hey, John Beck just refinanced his Ashburn mortgage.” Kerrigan returned without missing a snap, and even got yet another sack, but still.

Best Former Teammate Observation: “Every time I see a catch by the opposing team, the same guy is in the frame,” Phillip Daniels tweeted, writing about a certain Redskins cornerback.

Worst Decision to Stop Just Before the First-Down Marker: Jabar Gaffney. Didn’t quite get that first-half maneuver of his. It almost turned into a disaster when Rex Grossman’s subsequent third-down sneak led to a fumble that was overturned on review.

Worst Non-Throwaway: Just before Graham Gano missed his overtime attempt, Grossman slid out of the pocket and lost a yard. Had he thrown it away, the field-goal attempt would have been one yard shorter. Couldn’t have hurt.

Best Offensive Explosion: The Redskins scored 14 points in the second quarter alone. That was more than they had scored in four of their past five games. It was also the first time they scored back-to-back touchdowns all season. It was also extremely odd.

Worst Clock Management: Following the Andy Reid theory of clock management, the Redskins nearly ran out the play clock with 16 seconds left in the first half, then had to burn their final timeout to prevent a penalty. Weird. “That’s unacceptable,” Daryl Johnston said, although Washington scored on the next play.

Worst Field Goal Execution: There have been all sorts of things that went wrong with Redskins field goals recently, from blocks to weird holds to whatever else. Still, the fact is, Gano has missed 19 field goals in the past two seasons. It’s too many in a league defined by close results.

Best Punting Transaction: Sav Rocca punted 63 yards to pin the Cowboys deep. Then Mat McBriar answered with a 23-yard shank. That led to Washington’s first touchdown, which finally reversed dreadful momentum.

Worst Fan: A tie between every Cowboys fan wearing a Yankees hat to FedEx Field, and every Cowboys fan wearing a Lakers hat to FedEx Field.

Best Sign of Hope: Post editor Lindsay Applebaum reports that it’s just 157 days until the NFL Draft.

(Evan Vucci/AP)
Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


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