The Washington Post

Shanahan defends first-half clock management

Mike Shanahan argues with officials after a recovery on a punt was overturned. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

ARLINGTON, Tex. — Coach Mike Shahanan defended the Washington Redskins’ clock management at the end of the first half during their loss here Sunday night to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins got a 29-yard completion from quarterback Robert Griffin III to rookie tight end Jordan Reed to the Dallas 17-yard line in the final minute of the half. They opted not to use either of their remaining timeouts at that point and didn’t take their next snap until there were 20 seconds left in the half.

After two incompletions and a three-yard run by Griffin on third and 10, the Redskins got a 32-yard field goal by place kicker Kai Forbath as time expired in the half. The Redskins did use a timeout after Griffin’s second-down incompletion, with the clock already stopped.

“It was third down and seven” before the completion to Reed, Shanahan said. “Once we completed it, we had plenty of time. We had two timeouts. What you want to be able to do is have two or three plays that you can run. And that’s what we did. The unfortunate thing was it was incomplete. That’s when you usually use your timeout. So if we had completed those pass plays, we would have used the timeout and we would have been in excellent field position.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

● Follow-up blog posts from Texas in the morning and an Outsider review.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

Redskins fall to 1-4 with a 31-16 loss to the Cowboys | Game summary

The Takeaway: Bye week was not a cure for the Redskins’ woes

Special teams struggles continue | Defense allows 213 yards, but loss stings

Wise: Griffin is going through growing pains

D.C. Sports Bog: Best and Worst from Redskins vs. Cowboys

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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