Redskins v. Cowboys – Postgame, Several Ways of Saying the Same Thing


As noted, there wasn’t a lot to be said about this loss. The team didn’t protect Jason Campbell, didn’t get to Tony Romo, and just basically didn’t convert its opportunities. How many different ways are there to make that point?

At least a few. Here’s Coach Zorn’s effort. Wordy, and with his characteristic optimism (which was much-needed, as optimism was thin on the ground tonight):

    “We have to have an answer on some pressure. Our quarterback got hit a lot tonight, and we’ve got to have an answer there.

    “Two things: one, we have to put pressure on the opposing quarterback, and then we have to keep people off of ours. I think that was the issue in the game, somewhat. It affects playcalling, from my standpoint, and also it allows the opponent to— y’know, if we can’t get to the QB, it allows him to take a little more time. It puts pressure on the DBs to cover for a long time as well.

    “And yet, with all of that said, I thought we did an excellent job keeping their run game from breaking anything, forcing them to throw. And then our DBs and guys coming up with plays. We got picks tonight. We did what we needed to do on defense to win the football game. You won’t hear Greg Blache saying that, because they’ll notice some things we could do better as well, but I thought our defense battled hard.

    “We even did a nice job offensively in areas. Our run game wasn’t bad, we actually got some yardage in the run game. But when you’re trying to mix, it’s hard to mix thinking about what you really can do in the pass protection schemes.

    “And I think that’s where we really need to improve. Pass blocking and our route-running. If we could pass protect just a little bit more, honestly, get just a little more time, we’ll have some things open down the field.”

Most people’s assessments could be summed up much more briefly. Here’s Campbell:

    “We got the ball at the beginning of the game. We tried to control the ball more and pick up the momentum, but we never really got back into a rhythm and picked back up from where we had left off. A lot of it had to do with things we just weren’t doing.”

Here’s Pete Kendall, using a car metaphor:

    “We seem to be stalling a little bit, and we need to find a way to get it revved back up, that’s for sure.”

Rock Cartwright, stating the blatantly obvious but exceedingly true:

    “We just came up short today, and it’s kind of frustrating when you work that hard and put in so much work during the week and then come up short. We’ve just gotta score points. If we score points, we’ll win football games.

Chris Samuels, in very, very brief:

    Dallas played great. They executed when the game was on the line. They got it done and we didn’t.”

I asked Fred Smoot about what he said to Darrell Green in the pregame, and even that conversation landed in the same place.

    “I just told Darrell congrats. I also had to say to him, I had told him back before he was done with football that he was a first ballot guy, and he didn’t feel like that. So we were just talking and I was just telling him that I was gonna go out there and try to make some plays for him.

    “Evidently, I didn’t do enough.”


Redskins v. Cowboys – First Quarter Thoughts


  • There were a lot of nice moments in the ceremony presenting Darrell Green and Art Monk with their Hall of Fame rings, most of them presented with tremendous pomp and circumstance. But for me, the best image was of Fred Smoot breaking off from pregame practice and enthusiastically congratulating Darrell Green, and Green slapping him on the helmet in return.
  • I’m not going to lie — I was a little skeptical of the Redskins Rally Rags that they’re handing out this evening, but they really look terrific from field level. The fans seem to have taken the endless comments on the Steelers FedEx takeover to heart, and they’re really going nuts out there. Also, it’s Dallas, which always gets people here going. They haven’t even needed Video LaRon Landry to encourage them.
  • Oh, and Clinton Portis running out — after not practicing for a week — with the American flag and a Sean Taylor jersey. That got people fired up, too.
  • Fred Smoot, London Fletcher, and Chris Horton‘s hit on Marion Barber on Dallas’s first third down was one of those things you can literally hear on the sidelines, almost as startling as the pregame fireworks are. (Every time. Those things get me every single time.)
  • Zorn’s decision to go for it on 4th and 1 deep in Dallas territory on the first possession is the choice of a coach who is deeply, deeply sick of settling for field goals, and I absolutely love it.
  • Dominating performance by Portis on this drive. He may never be forced to practice again.
  • Jason Taylor is one excited dude tonight — he was halfway out on the field slapping guys on the helmet and the like after the touchdown drive.
  • I got a text message from a friend following DeAngelo Hall’s drive-killing interception: “Ten bucks says Carlos [Rogers] would’ve dropped that.” It’s the sort of thing that’s not really fair to say, but I’m sure it sums up a lot of people’s reactions. Guess I was a little hasty in assuring T.O. that he wouldn’t be matched up against Hall, huh?


Posing For Pictures: So Easy, Even blah blah blah

Guess who’s posing for pictures on the sidelines pregame. HINT: It isn’t Johnny Damon.


Today’s game is presented by GEICO, whatever that means, so the caveman is making appearances wearing a Jason Candle Campbell jersey. For what it’s worth, the makeup looks much better in person than it does on TV or in photos.

And, for those of you who made it down this far, I’ll confirm that it’s white jerseys on burgundy pants; Dallas is in the blue jerseys.

Gameday, Redskins v. Cowboys: Portis To Start; Springs, Kelly Out

Photo by Ned Dishman (again).

Photo by Ned Dishman (again).

Well, it looks like the early report on Shawn Springs was wrong, and it looks like the doom-n-gloom on Clinton Portis was also premature. Springs is out, Portis is slated to start at running back.

Malcolm Kelly is down, as Zorn promised

Fred Smoot will start for Shawn Springs, and Demetric Evans starts for Jason Taylor, although Taylor will play.

Here’s the complete Redskins inactive list:

    QB Colt Brennan (emergency third QB)
    WE Malcolm Kelly
    CB Shawn Springs
    OL Jason Fabini
    OL Chad Rinehart
    DE Erasmus James
    DT Anthony Montgomery
    DE Rob Jackson

Wednesday, November 12: T.O. Calls Out Redskins Fourth Cornerback

Photo by Ned Dishman.

Photo by Ned Dishman.

The headline on the Dallas Morning News Cowboys Blog sounds like serious bulletin board material, up there in big, boldface sans-serif type: “T.O. on DeAngelo Hall: ‘At the rate he’s playing, I’m looking forward to a big day'”.

This seems like an awfully roundabout way of saying “I hope the new guy is covering me, because the two guys they had on me last time really shut me down,” and Dallas blogger Tim MacMahon doesn’t hesitate to call him on it.

Of course, T.O. will probably see a lot more of Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers than Hall this weekend. And he didn’t fare so well the last time he saw them despite Tony Romo forcing 18 passes to him.

The Dallas Morning News blog, in fact, is just a constant ray of sunshine for the Cowboys. The titles of recent posts paint an exceedingly cheery picture of the current state of the team:

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Tuesday, November 11: It’s Washington Week!

Photo by Ned Dishman.

Photo by Ned Dishman.

It seems like every time the Redskins and Cowboys square off, there’s another round of articles and blog posts trying to figure out if the Skins/Boys rivalry is still alive and relevant. There’s been something of trend recently claiming that the Redskins (or at least their fans) take the rivalry vastly more seriously than the Cowboys (and their fans) do, sort of a professional football version of the “Not our rivals!” chant that Maryland gets from Duke in college hoops.

Earlier this season, in fact, Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog made a fairly compelling Google-based argument on that very point:

See, if you Google Redskins and “We Want Dallas,” you get more than 2,000 returns. If you Google Cowboys and “We Want Washington,” you get 60, and none are about fans chanting. The top return for a “Dallas Week” search is that Washington Post story about the Cowboys, although you also come up with stories about Eagles fans looking forward to Dallas Week. The top return for “Washington Week?” A link to Gwen Ifill’s Web site.


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Monday, November 10: Trying to Avoid a Repeat of the Steelers Fan Thing


Now that it’s a week after the fact, I didn’t feel like there was much left to the whole OMG STEELER’S FANS!!!111!!! thing from last Monday’s game. I mean, sure, I thought it was the main storyline of the game even while the outcome was still in doubt. But plenty was written about it afterward, and I felt like most angles had been pretty well covered. Heck, Chris Louis over at RedskinsHeads even wrote a song about it.

The picture above is from pregame in Dallas, but based on the numbers the Ahern Inquirer found last Tuesday, it might well be a preview of Sunday at FedExField. Here’s what they found when they searched the popular online ticket brokers to find out how many tickets are available for the Dallas game.

Craigslist DC (active only): 290 pairs.
Stubhub (active only): 1498 pairs. (active only): 501 pairs. (active only): 523 pairs.

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