Cowboys vs. Redskins: Dallas Tries To Right A Wrong

Travel back in time all the way to the beginning of the 2010 season. Our hopes were high, the Dallas Cowboys were one of the NFC favorites to end up in the Super Bowl to be played at Cowboys Stadium. Remember those heady times? Yeah, a very distant memory now. The Cowboys disaster of a start to the 2010 season started with an abysmal loss to the Washington Redskins, 13-7. Going into that game, it was thought the Redskins would struggle as they adjusted to a new coach, Mike Shanahan, and a new quarterback, Donovan McNabb. And they did struggle. Only problem was that the Cowboys struggled even more.

That game was defined by two plays, each coming at the end of a half. The Redskins were leading the Cowboys 3-0 towards the end of the first half when Dallas decided to run a play instead of taking a knee. One short pass to Tashard Choice, one fumble by Tashard Choice, one fumble-return for a touchdown by DeAngelo Hall made it 10-0 going into halftime. That play came to symbolize the Cowboys frustrating first half to the 2010 season. Why didn't we take a knee? Why didn't Choice simply fall down after realizing he wasn't going anywhere? Who was to blame, Wade Phillips or Jason Garrett?

The Cowboys defense managed to hold Dallas in the game, and the combination of Tony Romo-to-Miles Austin put seven points on the board in the second half, and then moved the Cowboys in position to win the game, down 13-7 towards the end of the second half. Dallas then apparently scored the winning touchdown on a pass from Romo to Roy Williams. One problem, holding on Alex Barron who was subbing for an injured Marc Colombo, and the Cowboys went down to defeat. The 2010 season was on its way into a downward spiral. I wonder if things would have been different if Dallas had won that game?

Move ahead to the present. The Cowboys have righted their season under the tutelage of Jason Garrett. Despite losing on Sunday to the Eagles, Dallas is 3-2 under Garrett and their two losses have come against good football teams by a combined six points. The Cowboys are competitive again, they're moving in the right direction.

On the other side of the field will be a football team beset by controversy and poor play. The Redskins had some quality wins early in the year over good football teams; they beat Philadelphia, Green Bay and Chicago and at one point stood at 4-3. Then the bottom fell out. The Redskins have lost five of their last six games including an embarrassing blowout by the Eagles. Albert Haynesworth has been suspended, Donovan McNabb was unceremoniously benched at one point, and there's been a lot of finger-pointing going on. Last week, the reached a new low when they missed a tying extra-point, and two short field goals, in losing to Tampa Bay 17-16.

The good news for Washington is they got Ryan Torain back at running back, and he exploded for 172 yards last week. Dallas will need to control the running game and force McNabb and the Redskins receivers to carry the offense.

Even though Dallas looks to be heading up, and the Redskins look to be heading down, Washington still has the better record at 5-8 compared to Dallas at 4-9.

It's Redskins week. An old rivalry tries to re-gain steam. More than anything, though, the Cowboys just need a win.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (5-8) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (4-9)

SERIES

REDSKINS

COWBOYS

SERIES LEADER

 

59-38-2

STREAKS

 

3 of past 4

COACHES VS. OPP.

Shanahan: 4-1

Garrett: 0-0

LAST WEEK

L 17-16 vs. Buccaneers

L 30-27 vs. Eagles

LAST GAME

9/12/10: Cowboys 7 at Redskins 13.  Washington QB DeAngelo Hall returns fumble 32 yards for TD on final play of first half to propel Redskins in head coach Mike Shanahan’s debut. 

LAST GAME AT SITE

11/22/09: Cowboys 7, Redskins 6.  Trailing 6-0 late in 4th-quarter, Dallas QB Tony Romo finds WR Patrick Crayton for 10-yard TD for decisive score in Cowboys win. 

BROADCAST

FOX (12:00 PM CT): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa (Field reporter).  SIRIUS: 152 (Was.), 125 (Dal.).  XM: 102 (Dal.). 

STATS

PASSING

McNabb: 275-472-3,377 (2C)-14-15-77.1

Kitna: 172-261-1,945-13-10-88.7

RUSHING

Torain: 115-563-4.9-3

Jones: 146-572-3.9-1

RECEIVING

Moss: 71-884-12.5-4

Witten (TE): 72 (3C)-771-10.7-6

OFFENSE

338.2

364.6

TAKE/GIVE

+1

-3

DEFENSE

394.8

367.1

SACKS

Orakpo: 8.5

Ware: 9.5

INTs

Hall: 6 (T2L)

Sensabaugh: 3

PUNTING

Smith: 40.5

McBriar: 48.2 (1C)

KICKING

Gano: 88 (22/22 PAT; 22/32 FG)

Buehler: 89 (35/36 PAT; 18/24 FG)

NOTES

REDSKINS:  QB DONOVAN MC NABB has 4,122 yards vs. Dal., his most vs. opponent.  Needs 123 yards for 3rd consecutive season with 3,500…RB RYAN TORAIN rushed for career-high 172 yards last week.  Had 121 rush yards in 1st quarter, most in NFL since TIKI BARBER (121) on 12/31/05.  RB KEILAND WILLIAMS ties for 2nd among rookie RBs with 5 TDs (3 rush, 2 rec.).  Is only rookie with 2+ rush (3) & 2+ rec. (2) TDs…WR ANTHONY ARMSTRONG has 9 catches for 180 yards (90 per game) & TD (33 yards) in past 2 vs. division.  Has 35 receptions for 672 yards & averages 19.2 yards per catch, 2nd highest in NFC.  WR SANTANA MOSS aims for 7th meeting in row with 5+ catches.  Has 4 100-yard games vs. Dal.  Had 7 catches for 82 yards & TD last week.  TE CHRIS COOLEY had career-high 3 TDs vs. Dal (12/18/05).  Ties for 2nd among NFL TEs with 62 receptions…LB BRIAN ORAKPO has 6.5 sacks in past 9.  CB DE ANGELO HALL had FF & 32-yard FR-TD in last meeting.  LB ROCKY MC INTOSH had sack in last game vs. Dal… 

COWBOYS:  QB JON KITNA has completed 103 of 149 (69.1 pct.) for 1,196 yards with 9 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 102.1 rating in past 5…Incl. playoffs, RB FELIX JONES has 10 career TDs (8 rush, 1 rec., 1 KR) & averages 45.1 yards per TD (451 yards).  In past 3 vs. Was. with 15+ att., RB MARION BARBER has 276 yards (92 per game) & 2 TDs.  RB TASHARD CHOICE needs 25 rush yards to reach 1,000 in career…WR MILES AUSTIN has 19 catches for 238 yards (119 per game) & TD in past 2 meetings.  Needs 174 yards for 2nd consecutive 1,000-yard season.  TE JASON WITTEN leads NFL TEs with 72 catches.  Needs 5 catches to become 4th TE in NFL history with 600…LB DE MARCUS WARE has sack in 7 of past 9 meetings.  DT JAY RATLIFF has 4 sacks in past 4 vs. Was.  Had sack last week & aims for 4th home game in row with 0.5+ sacks.  LB ANTHONY SPENCER had only career INT vs. Was. (11/22/09).  CB TERENCE NEWMAN has 8 INTs vs. Was., his most vs. opponent.  LB BRADIE JAMES had INT in Week 14 vs. Phi. 

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