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Likes, dislikes, and more from the 38-14 loss to the Cowboys.

Good:

  1. Nick Rose. He was 2 for 2 on PATs and had 3 nice kickoffs.
  1. Cousins didn’t get hurt. Under siege most of the night even on the lone bootleg they ran, Cousins took several big shots throughout the night.  It was fortunate that he didn’t get hurt.
  1. Trent Williams can go to IR. He’s played hurt…it’s time he goes to IR.  He’s a very good player who needs to be protected.
  1. Early defense. Dallas’ first 4 drives generated 12 total yards but the offense & special teams gave away scoring opportunities while setting up others for their opponent.

Bad:

  1. Early self-inflicted damage. The list of early mistakes is long and all of them set the tone for the night.  Dallas needed to be jumped on early and they would’ve likely gone quietly.  There was a chance to do it but it got ugly quickly.  First, a Doctson drop.  Followed by a Crowder drop/INT.  Then a Crowder fumbled punt.  Those three alone cost the Skins a minimum of a 6-0 lead; maximum of a 14-nothing lead.  Then it was a Cousins sack/fumble; an 83-yard punt return allowed, and at some point mixed in there were two penalties that forced a drive to start at their own 2-inch line.  The Skins were lucky they didn’t have two more turnovers in the first half (Cousins fumbled/recovered by Skins & Crowder nearly had another fumble).
  1. Pass protection. Two 3rd-stringers and a back-up playing out of position finally caught up with the Redskins.  There was quick pressure, interior pressure, and exterior pressure.  DeMarcus Lawrence had his way with Nsekhi and anybody else they put in front of him.  Dallas has a very good pass rush.  The Skins were one dimensional which never helps when your O-line is outmatched. 
  1. Special teams. Fumbled punt and a punt return for TD allowed.  If that wasn’t enough, Mo Harris had a chance to put one foot out of bounds and field a kickoff at the 3-yard line which by rule would have resulted in a penalty on Dallas for a kick out of bounds.  It cost them 20+ yards in field position.  There was a muffed kickoff return by Fuller which he picked up before getting nailed at the 12-yd line.
  1. 2nd half defense. They got run over by Alfred Morris and couldn’t cover on 3rd  down.  Norman got beat.  Breeland was flagged twice…both times in the end zone.  Kerrigan overran Morris 2-3 times in the backfield.  They didn’t come close to forcing a turnover against a team that had committed 7 of them in 3 weeks.
  2. Red-zone defense.  One of the worst in the league this year…they allowed 4 for 5 tonight.

More:

  1. Kirk Cousins. He didn’t do enough but he didn’t have enough.  His ball protection was the biggest negative of the night.  He fumbled twice, lost one.  It was lucky as much as he got hit that he didn’t turn it over more. Neither interception was his fault.  Crowder dropped the first….the 2nd was tipped by pass pressure.  He extended several plays with good throws.
  1. Samaje Perine. With little room to do anything, he had a couple of nice runs (including a safety-saving run out of his own end zone). 
  1. Another head-scratching timeout. Jay Gruden really doesn’t know how to manage a clock at the end of the game or half.  On the Skins late 2nd quarter touchdown drive, Gruden called a quick timeout with 1:32 left after the 3rd down/under pressure throw to Crowder.  The ball was at the Dallas 26….the clock was NOT going to run out on him before having a chance for a touchdown or FG.  All he did by calling the timeout was give Dallas more time when they got the ball back.
  1. Playoff chances done. The Skins weren’t mathematically eliminated tonight but for all intents and purposes, their playoff chances are near over.
  1. Changes coming? Every Redskins’ season that ends before December begs an historically-justified question….who’s future employment is in jeopardy?  Just a guess but my gut tells me everything is in play.
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