June 18, 2019

Washington Redskins pound Cowboys with multiple record-breaking performances

The Washington Redskins arrived at Jerry World with nothing to gain in the standings with a victory. That being said, Jay Gruden had the “intent” of winning a football game with the healthy bodies he had available. Facing off against the Dallas Cowboys and their fourth quarterback of the year, the Redskins got everything they wanted out of the game as a great tuneup before the playoffs. Washington continued momentum and Kirk Cousins broke some records on the way to a 9-7 record via a 34-23 win against the archrival Cowboys.

Dallas started the game off with a three-and-out thanks to a drop on third down even though Will Blackmon fell down in coverage against Cole Beasley. Washington punted after a single first down picked up but saw Jordan Reed break Chris Cooley’s franchise record (83) for most receptions in a single season by a tight end. Kirk Cousins also joined Jay Schroeder and Brad Johnson as the only people to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single-season. The Redskins offense got the ball back after Kellen Moore went three-and-out again because of hurried throws from a strong pass rush.

Sean McVay seemed to get away from the Jamison Crowder screen game after the beatdown of the Saints, but returned to the trick up his sleeve against a woeful Dallas defense. After a great fake by Cousins to the other side of the field and open field blocks by Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses, Crowder scurried for a 44-yard gain. On the next play Ryan Grant had a walk in touchdown on an alley screen off of a Cousins bootleg. With that 7-0 lead, Cousins became the first quarterback in Redskins history to throw for a score in every regular season game.

(Photo by: FOX)

(Photo by: FOX)

Ryan Kerrigan recorded his 47 1/2 career sack, behind only Dexter Manley (91) and Charles Mann (82) on the Redskins franchise list, and Will Compton recorded his first interception of his young career on an overthrow from Moore. The tough part was that Kyshoen Jarrett left the game with a possible concussion and shoulder injury prior to the interception. On offense, Cousins decided against throwing the ball away under pressure but stepped up in the pocket faced with third-and-6. The Michigan State product fired a dart down field to Pierre Garcon for a 39-yard touchdown.

The Cowboys continued to be a mess. Moore fumbled the snap on the second play of their next drive which was recovered by Chris Baker. After Alfred Morris got the Redskins in a goal-to-go situation, Cousins hit Crowder for another walk-in touchdown thanks to a busted coverage by Dallas. After not scoring a touchdown following a turnover all season, Washington did it twice.

(Photo by: @Redskins)

(Photo by: @Redskins)

The Tony Romo-less Cowboys punted again after converting just one first down. This meant Cousins broke the Redskins single-season passing yardage record early in the second quarter with a beautiful 28-yard touch pass to Jamison Crowder. With the drive ending in a field goal, Jay Gruden sat Kirk Cousins up 24-0, even though he had a chance to break both the franchise touchdown record and finish the season with 70 percent completion. All in all, it was a great regular season performance including 21 touchdowns and three interceptions over his last 10 games.

Kellen Moore methodically moved the Cowboys down the field on his way to a touchdown pass to Jason Witten. The rough part was another Redskins injury on the drive, when Dashaun Phillips was carted off the field with an apparent neck injury. The gunner specialist on punt return coverage took a nasty shot from Darren McFadden when the running back illegally, although not called, lowered his helmet prior to contact. Phillips, on his birthday, was transported to a local hospital but was reported to have movement in all of his extremities.

Colt McCoy wasn’t pretty in his opening snaps of the game. McCoy overthrew an open Rashad Ross deep and then got sacked trying to make something happen on third down. Moore led another touchdown drive prior to halftime with short and intermediate passing. DeAngelo Hall, returning after one play with a shoulder stinger, was beaten by Beasley on a throw to the end zone. Washington still held a 24-14 halftime lead.

McCoy did not find anyone down the field on third-and-9 as Washington went three-and-out to begin the second half. After McFadden ripped off a 30-yard run to continue Dallas’ comeback, Chris Baker fought through a double team to end the Cowboys drive. Swaggy’s sixth sack of the season triggered a performance bonus that he will use towards his daughter’s college fund.

With the Redskins facing a third-and-17, it seemed like they might not be able to break the .500 mark on the season. Then Sean McVay dialed up a second Jamison Crowder screen that worked to perfection. With Dallas only rushing three, Crowder had an escort from multiple bodies on his way to a 24-yard gain. With that reception Crowder tied the great Art Monk for second most receptions by a rookie in franchise history — he later moved into sole possession of second behind only Gary Clark. Strong running from Alfred Morris, possibly his best since a Week 1 performance, got Washington a second field goal to go up 27-14. Morris’ ability to shed tacklers allowed the Redskins to kill 8:21 of the half in a single drive.

Washington’s reserves kept getting after it on defense as it was Frank Kearse‘s turn to record his first sack of the season. That forced yet another Cowboys three-and-out and allowed the offense to continue melting the clock into the fourth quarter. McCoy was unable to run off too much clock, as he threw a career long 71-yard bomb to Rashad Ross for another Redskins touchdown. The go-route was undefended after a communication issue between Brandon Carr and Byron Jones for Dallas.

Bashaud Breeland did not have one of his better games, as Moore was seemingly targeting the Clemson product. Breeland gave up 56 yards on two big catches to Terrance Williams, which helped the Cowboys get into the end zone. Will Blackmon came up with a Malcolm Butler-Super Bowl play on the edge of the goal-line by intercepting the delayed slant route. The Redskins were incorrectly called for false start, a neutral zone infraction that would have given the ball at the six instead of half-yard line, and Alfred Morris was tackled for a safety on the next play.

Dallas was seemingly ready to score a touchdown again, following back-to-back 20-yard gainers through the air. Then, Darren McFadden was on his way to a walk-in touchdown thanks to a well designed running play, but Blackmon continued to have none of it. While DMC was trucking Blackmon into the end zone, the crafty veteran knocked the ball out and forced a touchback — which had been a frequent nightmare for Redskins fans in recent history.

Morris had an impressive 23-yard rush by breaking multiple Dallas tackles. Unfortunately, the former phenom in 2012 has not had enough of those plays this year. The Florida Atlantic star had just his second 100-yard performance of the season so hopefully Morris can keep the ball rolling in the playoffs. Following another Tress Way punt, the Cowboys continued to rack up the stats against a prevent and beat up defense. Moore finished with 428 yards, Darren McFadden had 145 total yards, while Terrance Williams had 173 yards receiving. Dallas added on a garbage-time touchdown, but fell 34-23 to the NFC East Champion Washington Redskins.

We will have to wait until the conclusion of Sunday Night Football tonight to find out who the Washington Redskins will host in the first week of playoffs. The chances of facing the Vikings, Packers, or Seahawks can be found here.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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