Former Washington Redskins halfback Terry Metcalf was arrested yesterday in Arlington on cocaine possession and other charges after a row with county police traffic officers, a police spokesman said.

Police spokesman Tom Bell said Metcalf, whose full name is Terrance Randolph Metcalf, was arrested at about 4:10 p.m. in the 3800 block of Lorcum Lane.

Bell said Metcalf refused to give his registration to Officer Debbie Altman, who had stopped his car after radar indicated it was speeding, and began yelling. Metcalf was arrested by Officer Ernest Foltz, one of two officers called to help Altman.

A subsequent search of Metcalf's car disclosed "one gram of suspected cocaine" and a knife in a door pocket, Bell said. He said Metcalf was charged with possession of cocaine and carrying a concealed weapon.

Metcalf was also charged with disorderly conduct and reckless driving, accused of driving at 56 miles an hour in a 30 mile zone, Bell said, and was released after promising to appear in court today.

Metcalf, 34, who lives at 2019 N. Brandywine St., Arlington, was a star player for the St. Louis Cardinals. He retired before the 1982 National Football League regular season after one year with the Redskins as a spot-player. Attempts to reach Metcalf by telephone last night were unsuccessful.