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Posted at 11:10 PM ET, 09/11/2011

Chris Cooley sets career record for catches by Redskins tight end

Tight end Chris Cooley, who started in the Washington Redskins’ season opener despite not playing in the preseason, moved atop the franchise’s all-time catch list for tight ends.

His first catch of the game – a 15-yard, second-quarter pass from Rex Grossman – was Cooley’s 421st career reception, tying him with Jerry Smith for first. Smith played for Washington from 1965 to 1977.

Cooley later made a six-yard catch for his 422nd career reception, which gave him first place to himself. At the same time, Cooley moved into fifth on the Redskins’ all-time receptions list. That group includes receivers, tight ends and running backs.

“I think it’s so cool in today’s NFL to play with a team long enough to have a record like that. obviously, I understand it’s not 800 catches. But it’s cool. It’s a big accomplishment for me. It wasn’t consuming my thoughts, but i’m proud of it.”

The 422nd catch also put Cooley into the top 20 on the NFL’s all-time tight ends receptions list. He is now tied with Jay Novacek and Bob Tucker.

But Cooley was more excited that his team finally defeated the Giants, who had beaten the Redskins in nine of the 10 previous games.

“It feels so good to beat those guys,” said Cooley, whose Redskins hadn’t defeated the Giants at FedEx Field since 2006. “We’ve watched film over the last few years and thought it was a game we could win. Obviously, they’re very good. I can’t express how good it feels to get a win today. They’ve been such a nemesis for us. To get that off our back was huge.”

By  |  11:10 PM ET, 09/11/2011

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