As the season builds, each game seems to have increased importance. Sunday night versus the Dallas Cowboys is no exception.
With quarterback Tony Romo expected to return for the Cowboys after nursing a pinky injury and Redskins running back Clinton Portis’ playing status still uncertain due a lingering knee sprain that limited his ability to fully stretch his leg, oddsmakers have the Cowboys listed as the favorites for the nationally televised game.
“No one can ever replace Portis. However, whoever is in, if Portis doesn’t play, then that player must run harder than he has ever ran before,” Redskins defensive end Andre Carter said.
With Romo’s probable return comes the addition of cornerback DeAngelo Hall to the Redskins already talented secondary.
Hall, who is from Chesapeake, Virginia, was released by the Oakland Raiders after just eight games this season. He was acquired by the Raiders from the Atlanta Falcons for a two draft picks and signed a lucrative 7 year, $70 million dollar deal.
Now he is signed for the rest of the season by the Redskins and is hoping to shed a reputation he earned in Atlanta as a bad teammate. How have his current teammates in Washington taken him in?
“No one is worried. DeAngelo is another addition to the Washington Redskins and we have welcomed him with open arms. No, we didn’t hug him. Like any other team in the NFL, teams bring in a player during the midseason. Its life,” Carter said.
As to how he himself has taken to Hall, Carter had this to say:
“I honestly haven’t had a chance to speak to him in depth. I introduced myself and told him if he needed anything I was glad to help. As for the defense, the coaches and players have brought him along when it comes to the way we practice and play. He is understanding the philosophy of our defense.”
The Redskins already have veteran leader Shawn Springs along with an improved Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot at cornerback, so the addition of Hall gives the Redskins even more of a security blanket in the secondary.
“We have more depth at conerback. You can never have too much depth, especially in this business. It still amazes me how much talent we have on this team,” Carter said.
Hall’s arrival meant someone else’s departure. That came in the form of cornerback Leigh Torrence, one of the most respected guys on the team.
“It is unfortunate that Leigh Torrence was released. It’s a part of the business that us as players dislike, however, it’s the nature of the business. Leigh was funny and well educated. He majored in political science from this sorry school called Stanford. Yeah, I said it,” Carter, who attended rival University of California, said in response to Torrence’s exit from Washington.
“I had an opportunity to hang out with him and talk about life. He is a great person. When you establish a relationship with a teammate, it hurts to see a good friend let go. We are happy that New Orleans picked him up. It’s a blessing for him,” Carter said.
Following these moves during the bye week, the Redskins are looking ahead to a difficult task in the Dallas Cowboys.
Another reason the Redskins are playing an underdog role (according to the oddsmakers) is because, despite Washington’s three consecutive victories at FedEx Field against Dallas in which the Redskins outscored the Cowboys 84-32, the home-field advantage seemed to be lost two weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers when an onslaught of black and gold was witnessed by a national audience.
With so many tickets available for the game and given the population of Cowboys fans in the DC metro area, will Sunday night’s crowd resemble the crowd from Week 9?
“I hope it doesn’t happen. That was an experience that I would not like to endure ever again,” Carter said.
Considering the magnitude of the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry, Andre does not want to see silver and blue throughout the stadium and has some words for Redskins fans.
“I want to see Burgundy and Gold throughout the whole stadium. We feed off the fans and enjoy every moment of it. Please continue to come to the games and show us love.”
Will the fans have a rejuvenated team to cheer on following a tough loss at home and an aptly timed bye week?
“The Monday night game has been long forgotten. After a bye week, we consider it a ‘new season’. We look at ourselves as having an understanding of how we want to finish this season. It is up to us to go out and win,” Carter said.
“I feel that the majority of us have come to grips about the loss. What’s done is done. It’s November and the best teams finish strong in November. The slate is clean and it’s a new beginning after the bye week. It’s time to play Redskins football,” Carter continued.
After beginning training camp before any other team and playing in the first preseason and regular season games of the season, the Redskins are looking ahead to a tough stretch of games to end the season after a much needed week off, which happened to be during the last week byes are given to NFL teams.
“I think the bye week was helpful for everyone. It was an all-out grind from training camp, to preseason, to the regular season. The Cowboys and the Redskins were the last two teams in the NFL to have a bye week. It came at the perfect time,” Carter said.
So how does the team look after the by week?
“The team looks fresh and rejuvenated after an enjoyable bye week. We are ready to go,” Carter said.
Under the Helmet:
THN: What was your last job before you committed to football?
AC: The last job I had before committing to football was… school. My dad told me to go to school and don’t worry about work. He always told me that one day I will step into the real world and work for a living. Back then, school was more important then finding a job.
THN: Where do you feel the country is headed with Barrack Obama elected as the new president?
AC: I pray that the country will be headed into the right direction with our new president. In due time, our economy will be better and brighter. Hopefully these rough times will end soon.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell