The Washington Redskins enter todayâ€™s game against the Dallas Cowboys with nothing at stake, but one of the teamâ€™s leaders insist that despite their terrible record, he and his teammates remain highly motivated for a number of reasons.
â€śItâ€™s a little bit of obviously embracing the spoiler role, itâ€™s a little bit of we donâ€™t like them and they donâ€™t like us,â€ť cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. â€śItâ€™s the rivalry itself, itâ€™s pride, itâ€™s London Fletcher. There are a lot things that are supposed to be able to get you motivated. The next game, to get [win] No. 4. Itâ€™s been a tumultuous season to say the least, so thereâ€™s a lot of things to play for. If you canâ€™t go out there and give your best after the kind of season weâ€™ve had, you donâ€™t deserve to put on a jersey, period. I feel like our guys will go out and fight tooth and nail.â€ť
The Cowboys at 7-7 remain in the hunt for the NFC East title. But they need wins against the Redskins today and the Philadelphia Eagles next week to win the division.
Meanwhile, Redskins team captain London Fletcher announced earlier this week that he expects to retire following the season. That means that todayâ€™s game represents his final performance in front of his home fans.
Thatâ€™s why Hall mentioned Fletcher among the reasons the Redskins will bring their best effort.
â€śI think we all just want to go out there and fight in general. But with this being his last time against Dallas with this group of guys, youâ€™re going to get everything in this locker roomâ€™s got,â€ť Hall said. â€śItâ€™s for each other, itâ€™s for the win, itâ€™s for the fans, itâ€™s for the rivalry. But just knowing itâ€™s the last time out there with Fletcher, absolutely, it gets you more excited to go out there and hit somebody and make a play and celebrate the win. â€¦ As much fun as weâ€™ve had on that field together, itâ€™s definitely going to be different not seeing him out there.â€ť
But Fletcher isnâ€™t the only player that could be making his final appearance at FedEx Field as a Redskin. Eight of the 11 defensive starters â€“ Hall and three other defensive backs included â€“ all have expiring contracts, and additional overhaul moves are possible on offense. So this team will likely look rather different next season.
The salary-cap-strapped Redskins released Hall this past offseason because he was owed $8 million, and then Hall re-signed for a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. He did so because he considered this to be his home, and he believed Washington was capable of following up last seasonâ€™s 10-6 campaign with another special year.
Things havenâ€™t panned out for the 3-11 Redskins, but Hall himself has had one of the best seasons of his career.
When asked if he wants to re-sign with the Redskins again, he said he hasnâ€™t allowed himself to shift his focus to the offseason.
â€śIâ€™ve got two more games left to play. Weâ€™ll cross that bridge when we get there, but itâ€™s going to be an exciting offseason for a lot of different reasons,â€ť Hall said. â€śFor this team, to get some of the cap money back, for some of the guys in this locker room, to see what direction we go in, for myself to figure out where I land, for [Brandon Meriweather], E.J. [Biggers], for Josh [Wilson]. Itâ€™s going be a lot going on for a lot of guys in this locker room for the offseason. Itâ€™s pretty interesting. Definitely pretty interesting.â€ť
Hall has confidence in the body of work that he has produced this season. He has 70 tackles with three interceptions, and three touchdowns (two off interception returns and one off of a fumble recovery return). Because of that, he isnâ€™t worried about his future.
â€śNot at all. I think Iâ€™ve done enough,â€ť Hall said. â€śI think a lot guys in this locker room have done enough to get a job somewhere â€“ whether weâ€™re playing for the Washington Redskins or another one of the other 31 teams in the NFL. But weâ€™ll cross that bridge when it comes.â€ť
For in-game updates, analysis, photos and the best of social media, plus a place to talk with fellow Redskins fans, visitÂ our live blog, from two hours before kickoff through the post-game news conferences.
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