Despite several attempts to make a comeback, the Washington Redskins had their Thanksgiving celebrations unceremoniously dashed by a Dallas Cowboys team that made fewer mistakes. In the end, the Redskins missed opportunities would haunt them, as they fell 31-26 to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
Once again, Washington’s Red Zone woes would prove to be their demise. They settled for field goals twice in the first half – one on a 10 play, 75 yard drive, and the other on an 11 play, 73 yard drive. Their failure to capitalize resulting in a 17-6 deficit at the break.
So when the Redskins finally did respond with a major of their own in the 4th quarter, being down 11 forced them to go for 2 to try and push the game to a field goal’s difference – which failed – and left the game at 17-12. It doesn’t sound like much, but if the Redskins convert even one of those first half rRed Zone chances, they’re at 17-13 after the score and kicking an extra point to draw within 3.
Truthfully the Redskins played decently. You can’t fault Kirk Cousins (or the rest of the offense) on their performances outside of the Red Zone or for a lot of the night – he was a sizzling 41 of 53 for 449 yards and 3 touchdowns.
DeSean Jackson led all receivers with 118 yards on just 4 catches, largely on the strength of a 67-yard touchdown pass. The man is greased lightning even when banged up. Jordan Reed was a monster despite separating his shoulder during the game. He had 10 catches for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Trying to piece together how exactly the Redskins have the Red Zone issues they do, when they have Reed, has proved a brain buster. He’s so hard to cover coming off the line of scrimmage – where it is on the field shouldn’t matter.
Washington ran the ball less than 20 times (19) but much of that was due to those failed Red Zone chances in the first resulting in having to play-from-behind in the second half.
Dallas on the other hand, ran the ball more effectively. Washington did a decent job of limiting Ezekiel Elliot and kept him just under 100 yards (20 carries for 97 yards), but he still managed to score two touchdowns.
Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott also ran for a touchdown, and threw another one. His numbers weren’t impressive with less than 200 yards passing (195), but he also carried the ball 8 times for 39 yards, and did enough to put the Cowboys in a position to win.
After the game, a scuffle broke out between Josh Norman of the Redskins, and Dez Bryant of the Cowboys. While it may have appeared to just be game tempers boiling over, Norman revealed in a later press conference that Bryant had come up to him and said that, “Where I’m from, we unload the clip.” Norman obviously didn’t take too kindly to the trashy gun violence reference.
Bryant had some inflammatory things to say about Norman after the game as well in the dressing room – talking about how the Redskins should get their money back for the money they spent on Norman.
That’s pretty ironic from a top tiered receiver who only managed 3 receptions and 32 yards when lined up against Norman. That’s actually a pretty lock down performance against a receiver of Bryant’s calibre. In fact, Bryant only had 72 yards total in the game – again, actually a pretty good job of holding him to minimal damage.
At the end of the day, it’s a Redskins versus Cowboys game. There should be no love loss between the two. The Cowboys took this latest win, their tenth in a row, and swept the 2016 season – that’ll sting the Redskins and the Redskins faithful enough. If Bryant wants to provide fuel for a future fire, then so be it. You can rest assured that the next time the two of them meet, they won’t have forgotten what happened on Thanksgiving.