Disappointment in Dallas: Cowboys over Redskins, 38 – 14

December 1, 2017

by Sean Conte

Another week, another dismal disappointment. The Redskins were hopelessly outclassed again on Thursday Night Football, giving up 38 points to the Cowboys in a game that looked suspiciously like their first bout back in late October.

What went wrong? Everything. The most egregious of all sins committed by this team last night were probably turnovers. Jamison Crowder simply cannot hold onto the ball, whether returning kicks or out catching passes in space. Kirk gave up two INTs, although it was hard to pin the blame on him too much for either one; at least one ball was tipped directly to a Cowboy’s defender.

Of course, we all know that the team that turns the ball over repeatedly is the team that eventually loses, and last night’s game followed that narrative. As my colleague Jamual Forrest pointed out, missed offensive opportunities were the real issue here, and made the defense look bad. I agree.

It’s getting hard to write these articles. The product we get on the field is the same from week-to-week, and as injury ravaged as this team has been it’s a little hard to assess our strengths and weaknesses. Kirk was on his heels all night in the face of a nasty Cowboys pass rush, and he took a sack late in the game last night that should have shattered every bone in his body. Still, he did enough to make anyone ready to cut ties with him think twice. At one point, desperately backpedaling against a sea or surging Cowboys, Kirk threw a beautiful across-the-middle laser to Jamison Crowder while falling backwards. Crowder came back to get the ball and turned the play into a 34 yard reception, but flashes like that are too little, too late.

And so, our inability to protect the quarterback or run the ball had implications again for our defense this week, who never seemed to get off the field. 38 points is a terrible point-total so let’s not let anyone off the hook, but 7 of those did come from an inexcusable special-teams collapse that saw the Cowboys’ Switzer run the length of the field for a score. While it’s true also that the defense needed to get some stops, many of those drives that came off of Washington turnovers or three-and-outs should have never occurred in the first place.

Ryan Grant had a TD last night, his fourth of the season. Josh Doctson continued to show that he can be a matchup and coverage nightmare, showing off his big leaping ability to snag a touchdown over a Cowboy’s defender. Crowder would have merited mentioning if it weren’t for those pesky drops and fumbles. There were good performances last night, they were just outshadowed by the bad.

The spectre of Kirk Cousins contract hangs over Washington now for the third offseason in a row. Bruce Allen, whom we’ve always acknowledged as being a smart contract designer, continues to bungle the situation by saying all the wrong things to the media. I just hope that he saw what I saw last night; a quarterback with no help outside of a few still-developing receivers and a third-string offensive line.

The Redskins are as out of post-season contention as they could possibly be without officially being eliminated. I ask you, though: what good is it if we win out and sneak in with a wildcard spot? If you’ve been watching this year, you know we’re not ready.

For the guys on the field, it’s time to focus on next week. With football still to play, they don’t have the luxury of looking beyond next Sunday. For me, though – and I suspect a lot of fans are in the same boat – the sights are already on next year.