Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall voiced his displeasure with a decision by defensive coordinator Jim Haslett to blitz eight players and leave no insurance coverage downfield on third-and-21 with 2:20 left in the game and Washington up 16-15.
With Dallas quarterback Tony Romo lined up in shotgun, Washington sent the house, and Romo froze the defenders with a brief pump fake, scrambled out of the pocket and then fired the ball 30 yards downfield to Dez Bryant, who had beaten Hall.
Hall was flagged for a facemask penalty, tacking on an additional 15 yards and moving the Cowboys into field goal range. (Looking back at the replay, Hall’s hands actually were around Bryant’s collar rather than facemask.)
When asked about the play, Hall said the Redskins – who had experienced success with the blitz play earlier in the game – went to the all-out blitz one time too many.
“Sooner or later, somebody’s going to figure it out,” Hall said, disgusted. “You don’t have to be a ... rocket scientist to figure it out after a while.”
Hall added that the play was bad all around.
He called the facemask penalty “horrible.”
“I told the ref after the game, worst call of the game. He’s going to get some demerit points for that. That wasn’t no facemask. … But end of the day, you’ve got to keep points off the board, whether it’s touchdowns or field goals, we didn’t do that.”
Safety LaRon Landry was asked about Haslett’s decision to send eight men rather than play prevent defense on third-and-21, and he said, “We were put in some positions to execute and didn’t do that, but we can’t go against the call, can’t finger point. Whatever’s called, we’re not the coaches, we just have to execute.”
Coach Mike Shanahan defended Haslett’s decision, saying “You could go back and second-guess everything. At the end of the day, we had a chance to have the sack there, and he did a good job scrambling, made a play, and hey, it happens. That’s the nature of this game. … Hey, it didn’t work, and Romo made a play.”