Redskin General Manager Bobby Beathard said yesterday he believes there are players on the football team who do not seem bothered by losing.
"I kind of agree with Mike Curtis, there don't seem to be many players playing agressively," he said. "It doesn't seem to me there are many players who care about winning right now.
"It doesn't seem to bother some of them that we're losing."
Beathard declined to name names or point accusing fingers in the wake of Sunday's 27-17 defeat to the Cardinals, the Redskins fourth loss in their last six games. Dallas is favored by nine points in Thursday's game against the Redskins in Irving, Tex.
"There's no question we are losing to teams that we should beat," he said. "If this is a true indication of type of some of the players we have, that they don't care about winning, then we have to get players in the future who want to win, that is means something to.
"I don't want to make it tough for Jack (Pardee) and I am not saying all of them don't care. But to win, you have to have all team players, guys who will do anything it takes.
"I don't want to say that we'll make changes. That would be jumping overboard and we're a good football team. This team has won a lot of games, they've proven they can win.
"Any player you have on your team has got to have pride. I don't know what you do to change that. But every guy out there has to look at himself and say, 'hey, we're got to win on Thursday' because it could be our last chance.
"The players have to pull themselves together. There can't be any self-centered griping. The team has to come first now, and they can't worry about what other people are thinking."
Fullback John Riggins says he will play agaisnt the Cowboys and had a message for his floundering and frustrated teammates, plus a retort for talkative Dallas Cowboy linecacker Thomas Henderson.
Riggins was not amused to read a Henderson quote "The turkeys (as in Redskins) are gonna' havt to come on in here and we're waiting for them."
"I know for a fact that Henderson is a Superman," he said. He is one of the best athletes in the league. But like Superman has his kryptonite, Thomas Henderson has his weakness, and you know what it is?
It's called mustard. I've never seen a hot dog that didn't need it."
Riggins started off his soliloquy with another reference to a Cowboy quote, this on from Harvey Martin: "I just hope they don't miss their plane Wednesday on the way down here," the Cowboy defensive end said.
Riggins picked up on the theme. "Everybody they can get to go on the plane to Dallas ought to get a medal for bravery," Riggins said. "We don't have a chance. Dallas is going to whip our butt every way you look. The only chance we've got is an act of God - like a tornado"
Riggins was asked several times during the interview if he was serious. "Well, just put two and two together," he said. "Dallas is playing good football, and we've been playing bad football. For some reason, ever since we played Dallas, we've just disintegrated. I wish I knew why.
"But then again, anybody who's played the game of football also knows the game isn't over until the gun's shoot in the fourth quarter, so we've got to go down there and fight for our lives.
"If we do have a chance other than a tornado or a hurricane, we're got to go down there for 60 minutes and play like renegades, use guerrila tactics to beat those guys. I know they are waiting for us and anxiously anticipating our arrival.
We're just got to throw everything we're got at them, not get tired, go as hard as you can for as long as you can. I don't see any other to be a massacre, and I mean that."
Coach Pardee, as usual, was taking a more low-key approach to his team's problems and the Cowboy game. He insisted, "I haven't lost faith in our football team," and he also down-played reports of dissension among his players.
"The only problem we have right now is losing," he said. "We need a good win. We've been caught short-handed with injuries, and everybody's got frustrated not playing at full strength. Everybody's trying to play hard, but we're not playing at full strength. Everybody's trying to play hard, but we're not playing like we did earlier. That's the biggest difference now campared to the first six weeks.
"The biggest thing is everybody keeping confidence in each other. We'll get some of those (injured) players back, may be a couple this week , and if we do, we'll play better.
"The day after a game like the Cardinals, everybody's tired and down a little. As we get into the Cowboys, last week will be history. We'll get over it. I wish we didn't have to go through it, but everybody does. You have to learn to live with adversity.
"Our season sure isn't over. We're going through some rough times. Everybody does. We're not playing a bad hand, and we're not playing a bust hand, either."
The Redskins were playing a sore hand as they assembled on the practice field yesterday. Coy Bacon was treated for a sore shoulder and hip.
That left the Redskins with only four down linemen on the field, so linebacker Dallas Hickman moved back to his old defensive and spot during several drills.
There was some good news. Riggins was able to practive for the first time since spraining his ankle against the Giants. And while he looked to be favoring his foot as he tried to cut, he insisted he will play Thursday. "It's not 100 percent." he said, "but I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve."
Safety Don Harris, a man the Redskins originally feared would be lost for Thursday because of sprained neck muscles, took part in the practice and said he would play. He will help on punt and kickoff coverage, as well as the nickel defense.
Talbert underwent successful surgery yesterday to repair torn medial and cruciate ligimants in his left knee . . . Team physician Stanford Lavine said Talbert will remain at Sibley Memorial Hospital for several days and will be in a cast for six to eight weeks. . . Jeff Williams and Jim Harlan alternated at right tackle during the two-hour practice, and Harlan is expected to start if his sore knee holds up . . . Pardee said he had planned to use running back Denny Malone against the Cardinals, but that he came up with a sore knee last week (lifting weights), and was not able to play to tailback . . . Perry Brooks moved into Talbert's right tackle position, and should see considerable action Thursday . . . The Redskins continued to work on their 3-4 detense, and are expected to use the four-line-backer alignment against the Cowboys, as well . . . The Redskins 211 yards of total offense against the Cardinals was their season low.