Holding Their Own, The Redskins Spark a Ray of Hope in 24-27 Loss To Cowboys

"It's a Momentum Thing"

Fans took notice when the Tony Romo pass to Dez Bryant early in the first quarter put the Cowboys on the scoreboard first, leaving doubt as to whether the Redskins could hold their own.

But they did.

Rex Grossman, looking confident against the Cowboys.

Thankfully, Mike Shanahan saw the light and returned Rex Grossman to his position as quarterback against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.

After running in for his own four yard touchdown (his first rushing touchdown since Nov. 9, 2008), and a spot on 53 yard TD pass to wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, the Redskins looked like a football team -- something fans hadn't seen perhaps since their 3-1 win record before the Bye Week, icing the Skins' win streak.

But the Redskins ran on all cylinders Sunday. Credit the defense, and the offense, and special teams, all working in tandem to give viewers a heck of a game to watch.

"All three areas played well", said Skins' defensive lineman Barry Cofield.

"When we can force some turnovers and the offense can move the ball, and special teams can make big plays and everyone can contribute, we can be a team that can be reckoned with", he told us.

Credit the Skins' defensive stylings of London Fletcher, Ryan Carrigan (posting his sixth sack of the season), and Brian Orakpo who proved supreme in the 24-27 loss.

Fletcher had 16 tackles on the day and his third quarter sack gave him 34.0 sacks for his career.

We asked Cofield if his his comments last week served as the impetus for how competitive the team looked against Dallas.

"I hope it did", he said. "As depressed and as frustrated as I was then, I have a lot of hope now."

With the team having so much trouble scoring any major points, especially in the end zone, the team scored more points in Sunday's game than they have in their last five.

Grossman completed 25-of-37 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns. His Miami college mate, Jabar Gaffney, finished the game with 115 yards receiving.

Grossman connected with Gaffney again, this time in the second quarter, for a 16-yard touchdown.

"The just came to me and I was trying to make plays whenever I could", said Gaffney who caught the ball a career high eight times.

Overall the team seems to be glad about Grossman's return. Especially with a four-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left in regulation to Donte Stallworth that tied the game 24-24, sending it into overtime.

Donte Stallworth catches a TD, his first since being resigned one week earlier.

A great feat for Stallworth who had just been released, and resigned with the Redskins, one week earlier.

When asked if that was the Rex he was used to, Gaffney responded, "That's the Rex. That's the Rex from training camp, and the first couple of games. Hopefully he can build off of that and we can build off of that as a team."

While the quarterback factor looked renewed, the kicker factor was a major one. Although it wasn't Gano's fault that the team couldn't set him up for better field goal position, Gano did miss the 49 yard field goal that would have given the team the needed win in overtime.

Gano successfully kicked a 59 yarder in Week 9 against the San Francisco 49ers.

"We're not down on Gano", said returner Brandon Banks, who had his own major play on the day with a 53 yard return, crediting the team's blocking.

"I'd ride with him any day of the week."

Shanahan, on the other hand, just might not share those same sentiments.

“Like everybody, you have to perform and you’re hoping that he performs at a high level,” Shanahan said of Gano. “If you don’t advantage of those opportunities, then you don’t kick in the National Football League very long.”

Hmmm. Does the same apply to coaches? Performing at a high level, and taking advantage of opportunities, that is.


Quote of the day:
"The fact that even though we would give up a score the special teams would pop a long run. That gives some momentum back to us. The fact that the offense converts on third down, that gives us some momentum. The fact that we were able to get sacks and force turnovers, that gives us some momentum. All those things the energy and the momentum that those things create, can change the outlook of a game. Can change the way the game is going. The biggest thing is that in each phase of the game had some confidence and we were able to feed off each other, and that's probably why we played our best game in a long time."
- Barry Cofield direct quote to DC UrbanSports on Sunday's game against the Cowboys.