Washington Redskins lose to Dallas, 17-0, to finish winless in the NFC East

The Redskins close out the home portion of their schedule with a loss to the Cowboys.
By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 28, 2009

Although it is debatable where the disappointing 2009 season ranks among the worst in Washington Redskins franchise history, this much is fact: The team had won at least one game against NFC East opponents for 14 consecutive seasons.

It didn't this season.

With a 17-0 loss Sunday night to the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field, the Redskins accomplished the dubious feat of going winless in the six division games. The Redskins failed to defeat their division rivals -- the Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles -- for the first time since the 1994 season and were outscored, 146-93, in those games.

Since the AFL-NFL merger, the Redskins have been shut out in the division only twice. The Redskins were shut out at home for the first time since the 2003 season, when they lost to the Cowboys, 27-0.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Redskins (4-11) were clearly outplayed from the start against an NFC East opponent in front of announced crowd of 88,221, providing fans with little to cheer. The Giants set the tone early during their 45-12 rout in Week 15, and the Cowboys (10-5) held a 14-0 halftime lead Sunday before a national television audience, in what was likely the last game on Washington's home field forembattled Coach Jim Zorn.

"I'm not going to concern myself at this particular time on speculation," Zorn said when asked if this was the end of the line for him. "I am going to try to push forward and lead the football team on this final season week."

The Redskins lost right guard Mike Williams (toe) and safety Reed Doughty (ankle) in the second quarter, and as has usually been the case this season, Washington's patchwork, ineffective offensive line again was not up to the challenge against the Cowboys' formidable defensive front.

"Did we even get in the red zone?" Zorn asked after the game. "The frustrating thing was their front four beat us. We couldn't mount any consistency with our offense. That was the big story for us."

The unit failed to provide adequate protection for quarterback Jason Campbell -- whose first-quarter interception helped Dallas score its first touchdown -- or consistently open holes in the running game. By halftime, the Cowboys had outgained the Redskins in total yards, 216-97. The Redskins had a 2.2-yard average on 11 rushes to that point. Overall, Dallas had 393 total yards. The Redskins finished with 218.

Campbell went 24 for 39 for 199 yards with the interception. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo completed 25 of 38 passes for 286 yards. He threw a touchdown pass and an interception.

With the Cowboys twice needing one yard on fourth down in the third quarter, the Redskins' defense, as it has done often, gave the ball back to the offense. But the offense did little, which helped the Cowboys clinch a playoff berth and kept alive their hopes of winning the division title. The Cowboys play host to the Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) in their regular season finale next week, with the winner clinching the NFC East championship.

Former Redskins place kicker Shaun Suisham returned to FedEx Field for the first time since being released Dec. 8. The Cowboys signed Suisham on Dec. 21, and he made a 23-yard field goal to give the Cowboys a 17-0 lead with 7 minutes 44 seconds left to play in the game.

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