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Week 13 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 14, Dallas Cowboys 38


What you need to know

Washington Redskins

Washington is very inconsistent offensively and offensive line injuries in compounding the problem. The entire year Washington has been shaky on third downs and red zone efficiency. Kirk is susceptible to games like this from time to time but he has to play better under pressure. The offense is what drives this team but a few injuries and overall inconsistent play keeps is their biggest obstacle.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas finally found a running game rhythm in the second half of their comfortable home win against Washington, keeping them alive for an NFC playoff spot. The Cowboys defense was the key unit as well as the line of scrimmage-controlling offensive line over the final 30 minutes. Alfred Morris staked his claim to the lead role after Rod Smith outshined him a week ago. Dak Prescott struggled overall outside of a handful of key throws, but his impact was not needed this well as the game script was overtly positive for Dallas.

Washington Redskins

QB Kirk Cousins, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 37 - 251 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 6 - 0
Kirk Cousins had an abysmal night against the Dallas Cowboys. The quick rhythm passing game was out of sync and too many turnovers were a problem. Kirk finally got a touchdown on the board at the end of the first half to salvage an otherwise awful two quarters of play. The offensive line didn't help Kirk out much either as he saw constant pressure all game. The first interception for Kirk was somewhat unlucky as his pass deflected off his receiver's hands and into a defender. Kirk lost one of the two fumbles he had as ball security was problematic while standing in the pocket. He often looked overwhelmed by the pressure and couldn't convert under duress. The third down efficiency wasn't good for this offense which also made for inconsistency. Kirk only managed fourteen points on a night that he attempted thirty-seven passes. It was a disappointing evening against a porous Dallas secondary.

RB Samaje Perine, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 38 - 0, Rec: 3 - 31 - 0 (3 targets)
Samaje Perine came into this game running hot, but got held in check against Dallas. Washington's inability to sustain drives and playing from behind all night made Perine a non-factor. He had twelve carries on the night with his longest going for fifteen. He also added three receptions as the bell cow back in this offense. Samaje is a volume based runner and this game was too off script to get him established.

RB Byron Marshall, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 12 - 0, Rec: 5 - 24 - 0 (6 targets)
Byron Marshall had nine total touches as the backup running back. He snap count increased in this game as they often played from behind and his receiving ability was needed. However, he had minimal impact on this game.

WR Ryan Grant, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 76 - 1 (9 targets)
Ryan Grant had his most productive game this season against the Cowboys. Ryan's five receptions and seventy-six yards receiving were season highs. He also caught one of the only two touchdowns Washington scored on the evening. Ryan scored at the end of the first half as Kirk found him on the edge of the end zone. His longest reception went for twenty-four yards and Ryan was able to gain separation all night. The attention being given to Jamison Crowder opened some opportunities for Ryan to make plays. Ryan doesn't consistently have productive games like this but he has shown a penchant to make plays when his number is called.

WR Jamison Crowder, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 67 - 0 (7 targets)
Jamison Crowder was tied for the most receptions in this game. He biggest play came on a reception he took thirty-three yards up field as he bailed out Kirk Cousins. He was relatively quiet in this game as Washington's offense was stagnant majority of the evening. Jamison was still heavily targeted which illustrates his importance moving forward.

WR Josh Doctson, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 1 (5 targets)
Josh Doctson only had three receptions in this game, but caught one of the two touchdowns for Washington. Josh had less than thirty yards but once again showed his red zone prowess. Kirk targeted Josh on a few shots downfield but was unable to connect. Kirk must find a way to get Josh more involved as he has great ability to high point the ball. He has a great catch radius as well but Kirk seems to still have trouble getting him going.

TE Niles Paul, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 12 - 0 (3 targets)
Niles Paul had three receptions but was a non-factor as the backup tight end. He hasn't been involved much all year and plays as a low priority in the passing game.

TE Vernon Davis, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (2 targets)
Vernon Davis tallied two catches for fifteen yards in this game. He was basically non-existent as the Dallas linebacker core held him in check. The offense was stuck in neutral all night and made it difficult to get in a rhythm with the passing game. Vernon hasn't been getting the splash plays for big gains the last couple weeks and has left him with very pedestrian numbers.


Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 22 - 102 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 28 - 0
Prescott was in ball control mode this week in the key home win against Washington. Dallas was fortunate their offensive line began dominating in the second half and the defense led to a comfortable margin as Prescott was not sharp in obvious passing situations in the first half. Prescott missed two throws and took a sack on the first four drives of the game, all punts for Dallas’ offense. Prescott nearly threw an interception on an in-breaking route to Dez Bryant before finding some sense of rhythm on a touchdown drive. Prescott threw a laser to Jason Witten on a red zone slant for the score. Prescott’s other touchdown came on a jump ball to contested play expert Dez Bryant through defensive pass interference. Prescott also added a key scramble for more than 10 yards to convert a third down when little was working for Dallas’ offense in the first half. The Giants and Raiders the next two weeks offer matchups for Prescott and the passing game to find more success than the last month of comparative struggle.

RB Alfred Morris, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 27 - 127 - 1 (1 targets)
Morris logged his highest rushing total since 2013 this week against his former team, the Washington Redskins. Morris saw strong volume as the clear lead back early in the game but with minimal success. Dallas’ offensive line struggled to control the line of scrimmage and Morris was not creating on his own by eluding the initial defender. In the second half, however, Dallas’ offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage at their highest level since the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott began. Morris’ reads were solid to open running lanes and to cap off his successful game, Morris plunged in for a goal line touchdown to ice the victory. Morris quelled concerns about being in a committee with Rod Smith this week as the unquestioned starter in snaps, touches, and impact.

RB Rod Smith, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 27 - 1 (1 targets)
Smith played a secondary role in the huge game by Alfred Morris against Washington. Smith’s snaps were minimal until the fourth quarter, only converting a red zone option run of note through the first three quarters. Late in the game, Smith paired together an easy perimeter run in the red zone and a goal line touchdown to support much of his cumulative stat line. Outside of a negative game script as seen in Week 12, Smith is the clear No.2 back outside of Alfred Morris faltering with the lead role.

WR Dez Bryant, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 61 - 1 (7 targets)
While no other Dallas receiver accrued even 25 yards, Bryant managed a decent performance by finding the end zone and collecting 32% of the team targets. Bryant’s few unsuccessful targets were hardly his fault as he drew an end zone defensive pass interference penalty and two poor throws by Dak Prescott. Bryant skied for a high-point touchdown, through defensive pass interference, as Dallas began to roll in the fourth quarter to the comfortable victory. Bryant broke a tackle for more than 20 yards on a third down in-breaking route for his other notable reception. The Raiders and Giants offer two promising matchups up next as Bryant still seeks his first 100-yard game of the season.

WR Terrance Williams, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (3 targets)
Williams optimized his sparse involvement in the Dallas offense against Washington. Williams did not see a target until well into the second half, showing outstanding urgency on a deep comeback route on a softer throw. Williams continued to work back to Dak Prescott and shield the defender from making a play on the pass. Williams also converted a third down late in the game when Dallas was rarely putting the ball in the air as their run game dominated Washington’s defense.

WR Cole Beasley, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (3 targets)
Beasley was a clear ancillary target against Washington, a common theme for the slot maven this season. Beasley’s third down reception was short of the sticks despite a strong fight for the first down on Beasley’s part. Finally, Beasley drew a defensive pass interference penalty beyond the box score.

TE Jason Witten, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 1 (5 targets)
Witten struggled to separate for much of Dallas’ comfortable home win over Washington. Witten was the recipient of one of Dak Prescott’s better throws on the day, a laser red zone slant for a touchdown. Witten’s waning production continues this year as his yards-per-catch marks a career low (8.6) and he has a single reception in 5-of-12 games.