Week 2 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 10, Dallas Cowboys 27
What you need to know
Washington’s offense continued to display ineptitude, with the running game ineffective without Clinton Portis in the lineup. The passing game was equally bad, as Mark Brunell suffered under an intense and unrelenting Dallas pass rush. Brunell’s numbers were actually better than he played, as his stats were padded by a couple of late game drives against a soft Dallas defense that was protecting a lead.
The only touchdown scored was a 100 yard kickoff return by Rock Cartwright. Otherwise the only scoring drive was early in the game and resulted in a John Hall field goal.
The running game was led by Ladell Betts, who ran hard and for a decent average. He didn’t get many touches though, as the Redskins didn’t have many sustained drives, and when they did they were mostly dropping back to pass. T.J. Duckett saw some action as well and performed well.
Santana Moss was shut down for most of the game, but saw his targets, receptions and yardage increase on the last drive of the game, as he caught two balls for 20 plus yard gains. Most of Brunell’s targets went to running backs and tight ends, especially Ladell Betts who led the team in targets out of the backfield. This was indicative of the conservative play calling of the Redskins, as well as the effectiveness of the Dallas Cowboys’ defense.
Terrell Owens broke the ring finger on his right hand and will have surgery Monday. He’ll miss two to four weeks. Owens had a disappointing night, finishing with less than 20 yards receiving and dropping several passes. Terry Glenn was the true star of the passing game, as he led the teams in receptions and yards.
Drew Bledsoe appears to have silenced his critics who have been calling for Tony Romo, as his performance was more than enough to lead the Cowboys to a resounding defeat of their archrival Washington. Bledsoe completed 50% of his passes for 237 yards while distributing the ball well amongst his wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs. He connected with Terry Glenn and wide receiver Patrick Clayton for touchdowns.
Julius Jones had a good outing, gaining nearly five yards a carry over his 19 rushes. He didn’t break off any 20 plus yard gains, but he consistently gained solid yardage against the Redskins’ defense. Marion Barber III saw some touches as well and looked solid. He scored the Cowboys’ only rushing touchdown of the game, which came on his fourth consecutive carry in a goal line package.
The Dallas pass rush was determined to get to Mark Brunell, and they were successful in that goal. Brunell was sacked six times and hurried or knocked down numerous others. The pass rush combined with excellent coverage and solid run defense to hold the Redskins’ offense to only a field goal in the entire game.
What you ought to know
|QB Mark Brunell, Pass: 18 - 33 - 197 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 15 - 0|
Brunell faced consistent pressure from the Dallas pass rush, and his totals reflected it. He was sacked six times and knocked down many more. Brunell finished with just less than 200 yards passing, although this number was padded by increased late game passing. He looked his best in the two-minute drill, where he made excellent decisions and crisp throws. He made a couple of plays running the ball as well. His favorite targets were Ladell Betts and Santana Moss.
|RB Ladell Betts, Rush: 11 - 40 - 0, Rec: 7 - 57 - 0 (8 targets)|
Betts got the starting nod in starter Clinton Portis’ absence. He was effective carrying the ball, but didn’t get enough carries to really get anything going. Betts was targeted frequently as a receiving option out of the backfield. He led the team in receptions thanks to converting a vast majority of those targets. He had a good game, but his effectiveness was limited by the overall ineptitude of the Redskins’ offense.
Duckett got five carries in the game, and ran powerfully. He had a nice 15 yard gain for his best play.
Sellers was a solid target out of the backfield, turning both his looks into first downs.
Cartwright scored the only Redskins' touchdown with a 100 yard kick return.
Portis was inactive with his injured shoulder. It was revealed that he suffered an injury to his rotator cuff in last week’s game. This is a different injury than the shoulder injury he suffered in preseason where he partially separated his shoulder.
|WR Santana Moss, Rush: 1 - 19 - 0, Rec: 4 - 69 - 0 (6 targets)|
Moss was shut down for the vast majority of the contest, but got loose with some big gains on the last drive of the game, making his finishing totals a bit more palatable. He also busted off a 19 yard rush on a reverse.
Randle El had two short completions, as he was targeted on wide receiver screens where the Redskins hoped to utilize his quickness. He had one rush, a reverse where he lost five yards. He was also the Redskins’ primary punt returner.
Lloyd made one catch and was a non-factor in the game.
Fauria made one grab on the game’s final possession.
Cooley was one of Brunell’s preferred targets, but only managed to haul in one pass. He was Brunell’s target on his lone interception.
Hall was perfect, making a 39 yard field goal and his only PAT.
The Redskins’ rush defense gave up a little less than 150 yards and one score. Julius Jones continually found open room to gain five-plus yard gains, and Marion Barber III succeeded at finding the end zone; although he only managed to do so on his fourth straight goal line attempt. The rush defense wore down as the game went on, and started to give up more yardage as the Cowboys attempted to eat up the clock.
Considering all their injury woes, the pass defense wasn’t that bad. They did give up two scores: a short strike to Patrick Crayton and a long bomb to a wide open Terry Glenn, but for the most part they played well. Defenders made several plays to knock the ball away from targeted receivers, including a sure touchdown that was knocked out of Terrell Owens’ hands. The pass rush only got to Drew Bledsoe for one sack.
Bledsoe managed to silence his critics, at least temporarily, by leading the Cowboys to a decisive victory over NFC East rival Washington. His offensive line did a good job of keeping the Washington pass rush away from him, and he responded with accurate throws and two touchdown passes. Bledsoe easily should’ve completed more of his passes, as Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, and fullback Lousaka Polite each had multiple drops. His two touchdowns went to Patrick Clayton and Terry Glenn. Terrell Owens was Bledsoe’s favorite target, although they only managed to hook up for three receptions.
Jones played the role of primary back well in this game, running hard and earning a good per carry average. He regularly found holes in the Washington defense for gains of five or more yards. He didn’t have any huge runs, but was consistent and moved the chains for the Cowboys. He had a great run after catch called back on a penalty.
Barber filled his normal role as third down back, but he also saw extensive action as a goal line carrier. His lone touchdown came on the fourth straight rushing attempt inside the Redskins’ ten yard line. The Cowboys showed they have faith in him there at the goal line opting to go for the score on fourth and goal instead of kicking a field goal. He was targeted several times in the passing game, although he only managed to snag one, as he was regularly missed or dropped the pass.
Thompson got a few carries but was mostly a non-factor.
Polite was targeted twice but dropped both of them.
Glenn led the team in catches, yards, and hauled in a long touchdown strike from Drew Bledsoe. He was wide open on the play, a result of both poor coverage and a double-team of Terrell Owens. He also saw a few looks on wide receiver screen type plays.
Owens broke his ring finger on his right hand and will have surgery Monday. He’ll reportedly miss from two to four weeks. He had a touchdown reception in his grasp but didn’t secure the ball and a Washington defender knocked it away from him. He drew consistent double coverage, and wasn’t able to successfully defeat it. Drew Bledsoe seemed intent on getting the ball to Owens and at times even seemed to force the ball to him when he wasn’t really open.
Crayton did well with his targets, including a four yard touchdown reception. With Terrell Owens sidelined with his broken finger, Crayton should have an opportunity to show what he can do.
Witten dropped a few of his targets early on, but settled in nicely and finished as one of Bledsoe’s favorite targets.
Fasano saw most of his targets early in the game, and proved to be a solid second tight end receiving option behind Jason Witten.
Vanderjagt made his regular season Dallas debut in style, knocking through both a 26 and a 50 yard field goal as well as all three of his PATs. Shaun Suisham handled kickoff duties and not Vanderjagt.
Suisham handled kickoff duties as Vanderjagt kicked the field goals.
The Cowboys’ rush defense did a good job of keeping Ladell Betts and T.J. Duckett from getting into any kind of a groove. The held the Redskins to less than 100 yards on the ground, and made them abandon the rush for the pass. They also prevented the Redskins from scoring any rushing touchdowns.
The Cowboys’ pass defense was excellent, and would have looked even better had it not been for some cosmetic receptions made by Washington on their final drive. The effectiveness of this squad started up front, with the pressure of Mark Brunell. They got to him several times throughout the game, finishing with six sacks. Roy Williams picked off a Brunell pass near the goal line, changing both the possession and the momentum. The Cowboys turned that interception into a 99 yard scoring drive.