August 14, 2022

Washington Redskins: Will Jay Gruden rest his starters against the Dallas Cowboys?

“Right now, we have the intent of playing our guys that are going to be healthy” said Jay Gruden on if he plans to play starters against the Dallas Cowboys or let them rest.

(Photo by: Getty Images)

(Photo by: Getty Images)

On the one side you want to keep the momentum Kirk Cousins has built up over the last three weeks and keep it going. On the other hand the Washington Redskins are a little bit banged up right now. If the Skins rest players who would otherwise play in a real game doesn’t that take away from the momentum? It is one of the ultimate dilemmas in sports, but I guess one of the problems in having to deal with success.

“It’s important for us to be healthy come playoff time but it is also to have some kind of momentum also going in.” – Gruden elaborating

Gruden plans on playing it “by ear” on deciding which players will play. It sounds like a decision has not been made yet as a staff. The coaching staff will adjust personal groupings once they clamp down on who is and is not available.

Like DeAngelo Hall, Kirk Cousins thinks it is a “coaches’ decision” when it comes to the debate about maintaining momentum or resting starters. The Michigan State product is willing to defer to Gruden’s judgment but wants to play in order to “continue to develop and get a rhythm.” Hall shared a similar perspective with his new safety responsibilities.

The interesting dilemma might come with Trent Williams. If you take away your best offensive linemen, who is banged up with a knee and foot injury, do you feel comfortable with Cousins dropping back to pass 20-30 times? We did see what happened to Robert Griffin III against the Lions in the preseason when dreadful Willie Smith was tasked to protect his blindside.

Speaking of RG3; if Cousins is rested and Colt McCoy starts at AT&T Stadium for the second straight year, then who is the backup? Do you risk Griffin having to see game action knowing that you are on the hook for $16 million if he gets hurt and cannot pass a physical? If Cousins is utilized as the backup then there is clear evidence that Griffin is wasting a roster spot and it is likely Dan Snyder who cannot let go. Hopefully it does not come to this because Washington had enough drama at the beginning to last a lifetime.

“We’re preparing to play the Dallas Cowboys and try to win the football game with the healthy bodies that we have.” That mentality from Gruden is absolutely correct. To me you rest those players who are feeling less than 75% and take out the rest of your starters at the first sign of trouble (i.e. Cousins is under constant duress). Use the game as a first round bye but also as a tune up to get valuable in-game experience.

UPDATED (12/31/2015 at 1 pm): The likes of Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed will both start for the Redskins against the Dallas Cowboys, but the number of snaps will be determined as the game goes on.

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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