The better team won.
the better collection of talent. Jerry Jones has pieced together an
excellent mosaic of individual talent. They are big and fast on
defense, quick and sharp on offense.
Redskins aren't as impressive under the stop watch or doing the bench
press. They sent three players to the Pro Bowl, 10 fewer than did
Dallas, and one of them was their long snapper.
in the fourth quarter of a six-point game, the Redskins got it done and
the Cowboys didn't. The Skins came together as a team while Dallas was
focused on one tile in its mosaic.
took possession with 10:48 after the Redskins had taken that six-point
lead. Washington had turned Chris Horton's interception of Tony Romo
into a field goal. Romo, of course, is one of the NFL's glamour boys
while Horton is a rookie seventh-round pick. But the rook jumped the
route and picked off the Pro Bowler.
the Redskins go back on defense with some of their backs sidelined with
cramps and other muscle ailments. The Cowboys go three and out with all
three plays being passes going to a tightly covered individual, one
Were the three
attempts to TO an response to "give me the ball" complaints on the
sideline, an effort to prevent a blowup by #81?
As far as I know, nobody
asked those questions.
any case, the Redskins took over at their own 34 after a punt. What
followed hasn't been talked about much, but if this turns out to be a
special season for the Washington Redskins the 12-play, 6:54 drive that
followed will be one of those moments to remember.
in the prime of The Hogs, game-clinching drives like this one were
accomplished primarily through brute strength with the offensive line
blasting back a tired defensive front and a big back slamming in behind
This drive was achieved by
using a combination of brains and brawn.
it again and breaking it down, I noted that on a few occasions Dallas
was in a pass-defense alignment, with only five in the box, when it
seemed apparent that the Redskins were in a running frame of mind. This
was a result of Jim Zorn's play calling in late-game situations over
the last two weeks when he has shown a willingness to pass in
(10:16) 26-C.Portis left guard to WAS 37 for 3 yards (94-D.Ware).
Dallas has the two outside
linebacker crowding the line with an inside linebacker five yards off
(9:38) 26-C.Portis up the middle to WAS 48 for 11 yards (25-P.Watkins).
two outside backers are again at the line with the two inside LB's
within five yards. The safeties both are fairly shallow, about 11 yards
downfield. The offensive line gets about three yards of push and
Sellers clears the way for Portis to break for the last five yards.
(8:58) 26-C.Portis right end to DAL 39 for 13 yards (55-Z.Thomas).
Dallas defender except one safety is within five yards of the line.
There isn't as much surge by the line this time but a large hole opens
between Jansen and Thomas. Portis shakes off an attempted tackle by
Bradie James (who was expending an awful lot of energy preening and
celebrating earlier in the game) and breaks loose for five more.
39 (8:18) 17-J.Campbell pass short right to 47-C.Cooley pushed ob at
DAL 33 for 6 yards (98-G.Ellis). Pass complete off play-action and roll
Only six in the box
this time, a pass defense alignment. Cooley sets up as if to block for
a moment and Greg Ellis and a safety are fooled. Cooley slides into the
flat and catches Campbell's throw off of the bootleg.
(7:43) 46-L.Betts left tackle to DAL 31 for 2 yards (94-D.Ware;
55-Z.Thomas). Timeout #1 by WAS at 06:58.
Three linebackers crowd the
line and the line gets no push.
31 (6:58) (Shotgun) 26-C.Portis up the middle to DAL 31 for no gain
(94-D.Ware). PENALTY on DAL, Defensive 12 On-field, 5 yards, enforced
at DAL 31 - No Play.
defenders are within five yards of the line with nine of them on the
line. I'm not sure how Wade Phillips could be paying attention and not
see the mistake. As you know, it wasn't one of these situations where a
player is caught running off the field at the snap. They were all right
there, seven crowding the middle, two corners in press coverage and a
linebacker and a safety—apparently the extra
defender—five yards back.
(6:32) 26-C.Portis right end to DAL 25 for 1 yard (96-M.Spears).
Dallas has six in the box.
The Redskins get no push and Marcus Spears gets penetration and trips
up Portis before he got going.
(5:52) 46-L.Betts left tackle to DAL 18 for 7 yards (72-S.Bowen).
is where it looks like the fact that Zorn has shown that he's willing
to call a pass in what normally would be a running situation pays off.
The safeties are 10 yards downfield, the corners are playing seven
yards back from Moss and Randle El, and Zack Thomas is six yards
downfield. So in a situation where the other team is pounding the ball
down your throat and is in an I formation with a tight end, the Dallas
D is lined up just like it would be in the second quarter of a 7-7
game. The offensive line gets a nice surge and Betts follows the pile
for seven yards.
(5:07) 46-L.Betts right guard to DAL 16 for 2 yards (99-C.Canty;
entire Dallas defense is within eight yards of the line this time.
Betts disappears into the pile at the line of scrimmage and finds
enough daylight in between three Dallas defenders to get just enough
for the first down.
(4:22) 46-L.Betts left guard to DAL 16 for no gain (96-M.Spears).
The defense is bunched at
the line, Betts has no chance.
(3:37) 26-C.Portis right guard to DAL 12 for 4 yards (55-Z.Thomas).
Timeout #2 by DAL at 03:30.
Again, the Cowboys are
playing loose. Only six defenders are within five yards of the line.
(3:30) 26-C.Portis up the middle to DAL 11 for 1 yard (97-J.Hatcher).
Timeout #3 by DAL at 03:26.
got the defense spread out by lining up with four wide receivers, but
the line couldn't get any push despite a 5-4 man advantage. The run up
the middle kept the ball in the center of the field for Suisham's
4-5-DAL 11 (3:26)
(Field Goal formation) 6-S.Suisham 29 yard field goal is GOOD,
Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at RealRedskins.com and he is the author of the upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. You can reach Rich by email at firstname.lastname@example.org