Redskins' Rex Grossman proved many wrong with his play against Cowboys

With Grossman replacing McNabb at quarterback, the Redskins fight back to tie Dallas in the fourth quarter but lose to a Cowboys field goal.
By Mike Wise
Monday, December 20, 2010; 12:09 AM


For reasons partly of his own doing and the mean-spirited sports world we live in, most every Washingtonian, Chicagoan and, well, American had been trained to regard Rex Grossman as an enemy of the state, a starting quarterback for perverse reasons only - the NFL equivalent of feeding mice to snakes.

But now it's just past 4 p.m. in Dallas, after an absolute thrill-ride of a second half. And Rex Grossman, Jr., decked head to toe in burgundy and gold, has just bear-hugged his son, patting him on the chest of his pinstripe navy suit, telling him through an emotion-choked voice, "Best game you ever played. Best game you ever played."

And his mother is planting one on his right cheek. And his wife is sharing a private moment with her husband away from the folks.

And Everybody's Favorite QB to Eviscerate, an expendable infantryman in Mike Shanahan's dangerous game of Risk, is trying to hide a smile, say the appropriate things. Because he knows, likes and respects Donovan McNabb, and he doesn't want this to be Rex against Donovan, or Mike Shanahan against Apparent Football Logic.

"He just wants a chance," Chris Cooley said afterward, as the Washington Redskins tight end rubbed a towel through his damp hair. "My impression after today? Rex has two games to win a starting quarterback job with the Washington Redskins next season. I have nothing to back that up, no inside information. But that's my impression.

"Like I said, he just wants a chance."

However unseemly it was and whomever's ego was badly bruised, Rex got one.

And now he will rightly get another next Sunday against Jacksonville. And even if the last 25 minutes Sunday stand up as his best moments of the season, many of us need to issue a mea culpa to the most maligned quarterback in the history of the National Football League to ever play 1 minute 50 seconds and take fewer than 10 snaps a season before Sunday.

(Sorry, Rex. Same goes to Mr. and Mrs. Grossman, too. Apologies. I honestly didn't think he had it in him.)

The mouse didn't just survive the venomous jaws of Cowboys Stadium; Rex thrived, nearly engineering a surreal comeback, throwing for four touchdowns and 322 yards. Four for four on touchdown chances inside the 20-yard line, he found calm amid chaos in the fourth quarter.

If Santana Moss had not dropped one of Grossman's pretty sideline throws on the game's second-to-last possession, the Redskins very well could have won. And as far as historical Dallas scrums go, that comeback would have trumped Mark Brunell's two bombs to Moss in the final minutes that rocked the Cowboys in 2005.

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