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Other Week 17 Game Recaps

Week 17 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 34, Dallas Cowboys 23

What you need to know

Washington Redskins

Washington established some consistency down the stretch which ultimately helped them secure the division title. Kirk got in a groove offensively and they got healthy on that side of the ball at the right time. Consistency has been an issue all year and they finally strung together some good games. They shored up their road woes and pulled off some huge wins which were an issue for them as well. If they want to win a playoff game next week they will need to keep it up. They will need their bottom ranked run defense to be better next week as well as they will have the task of stopping Eddie Lacy. Kirk has been superb at home all season so it will be interesting to see how he performs on the big stage against one of the better teams. Green Bay is struggling but they will still be one of the better opponents Washington has faced. Especially when you consider majority of their wins have been against teams with losing records.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys finished out the season a shell of their Week 1 starting lineup, without Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Joseph Randle on the field against Washington. Darren McFadden has shown his mettle as the starting running back for most of the season, while a limited passing game did little to balance the attack. With a good sample size, Kellen Moore’s arm strength limitations have shown through where Dallas will need to seek greener pastures for a potential Tony Romo replacement for next year and beyond.

Washington Redskins

QB Kirk Cousins, 24 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 15 - 176 - 3 TD / 0 INT
Kirk Cousins only played one quarter but that was all he needed to stay sharp. He wasn't going to play much due to the fact that their playoff berth was already in stone. Kirk completed his first 7 passes and threw 3 touchdowns in 1 quarter of action. He went 12 for 15 overall and the highlight for him was a perfect 39 yard touchdown pass to Pierre garcon in stride down the sideline. He also connected with Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant on short touchdown passes in the red zone. Kirk ran the offense efficiently and looked ready for a postseason run based on how firm a grasp he has of the Washington offense. As usual, he was precise on the quick pass attack that seems to fit him well.

QB Colt McCoy, 41 offensive snaps, Pass: 7 - 11 - 128 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0
Colt McCoy started his outing for this game in catastrophic fashion by fumbling on a roll out pass situation. However, he regrouped well to manage the game. Washington kept the passing game to a minimum as they wanted to shorten the game and get out of Dallas without injuries. He completed 7 of 11 passes and threw a 71 yard touchdown to Rashad Ross on a busted coverage play. Colt wasn't asked to do much once he entered the game in the 2nd quarter as Washington went very conservative the rest of the way.

RB Alfred Morris, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 100 - 0
Alfred Morris had one of his more productive games of the year as he topped 100 yards with 19 carries. He was used primarily as a clock killer in a conservative game plan. Alfred ran with power and clearly has fresh legs based on the fact his workload has been so volatile from week to week. He failed to score a touchdown but his longest carry went for 23 yards as the Cowboys weren't interested in tackling this game. Alfred does deserve credit for displaying the hard nose running style we are accustomed to seeing. Alfred's workload is usually connected to game script and this game was in his favor based on the circumstances.

RB Pierre Thomas, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 30 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)
Pierre Thomas had 7 carries and 8 total touches in this game. He wasn't extremely productive but he remained involved while Matt Jones is out. His longest play was an 11 yard run but he didn't have much success statistically aside from that. His veteran presence is clearly trusted as the coaching staff leans on him for passing downs and protection. It will be interesting to see what his opportunities look like when or if they get Matt Jones back next week for the playoffs.

RB Chris Thompson, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 19 - 0
Chris Thompson was fairly quiet in this game as he had 7 carries but minimal impact yardage wise. He wasn't utilized as much in the passing game but the coaching staff also kept things conservative in this game.

WR Jamison Crowder, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 109 - 1 (7 targets)
Jamison Crowder was the busiest of all receivers in this game and also the most productive. He had five catches but went over 100 yards on the day. Jamison's first catch went for 44 yards on a screen pass in which he almost scored before being tackled at the 1 yard line. He also found the end zone as well on the 2nd possession of the game as Kirk Cousins continues to be on a good groove. Jamison played extensively in this game as the starters were out after the first quarter. That gave him a chance for a few additional looks even though Washington was run dominant majority of this game.

WR Ryan Grant, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 18 - 1 (4 targets)
Ryan Grant had 3 catches but he made his biggest impact on a red zone touchdown. Ryan wasn't really involved much in this game but he did get in the end zone for an 11 yard score.

WR Pierre Garcon, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 49 - 1 (4 targets)
Pierre Garcon played sparingly in this game but he left his mark with a 39 yard touchdown grab. Pierre is mainly used in the intermediate passing game but he caught his longest touchdown of the year going up the sideline for the score. It is rare for Pierre to catch touchdowns but he has found the end zone more often as of late. He totaled 3 catches in this game but made the best of it by scoring before exiting for good.

WR Rashad Ross, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 71 - 1 (3 targets)
Rashad Ross only had 2 catches but he had the biggest highlight of the game. He scored on a 71 yard pass play in which he took full advantage of busted coverage. The Dallas secondary got their assignments mixed up and Rashad practically skipped in the last 20 yards for the touchdown.

WR DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson did not record a stat in this game as he was under wraps with the playoffs coming up.

TE Jordan Reed, 13 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 45 - 0 (4 targets)
Jordan Reed had 4 catches for 45 yards in this game as Kirk wanted to keep their good chemistry flowing. Jordan didn't play many snaps but he made the most of his limited playing time. His longest play went for 26 yards and he was done by the end of the first quarter. He will be relied upon heavily next week when the playoffs start. He wasn't needed as much this week with they had things wrapped up in the division.

Dallas Cowboys

QB Kellen Moore, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 48 - 435 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0
The final stat line looks impressive for Moore eclipsing 400 yards and adding three touchdowns, however, the game was never in question against Washington. Moore logged plenty of production on underneath routes in the second half, trailing by multiple scores. Moore had glaring first half mistakes, only fueling Washington’s offense bolting out to a big lead. Moore airmailed Jason Witten on a third down pass over the middle, resulting in an easy interception. Moore also fumbled a snap under center, staking Washington in scoring range again. Down the stretch Moore made a handful of better throws than in previous weeks, including hitting Terrance Williams between defenders for a chunk gain. Overall, Moore has shown an NFL backup baseline level of ability going forward.

RB Darren McFadden, 61 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 92 - 0, Rec: 5 - 53 - 0 (8 targets)
McFadden capped off a rebound season as one of the few offensive highlights in a sound defeat at the hands of division rival Washington. McFadden ran hard with his signature burst, including a strong backside cut for nearly 30 yards. On McFadden’s best touchdown opportunity, getting to the perimeter on a third down carry, he was stripped just before crossing the goal line – one of many glaring errors by Dallas in the game. McFadden is under contract for 2016 and showed well (plus remained healthy) for more than two months as Dallas’ feature back.

RB Robert Turbin, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 6 - 0, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (1 targets)
Turbin saw minimal work against Washington to close the season. Dallas fell behind early and Darren McFadden dominated passing down work as the Cowboys offense was in catch-up mode. Turbin’s best chance for relevance in 2016 would be maintaining his primary backup role to McFadden, needing an injury for an expanded role.

WR Terrance Williams, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 173 - 0 (9 targets)
After miring through most games as Dez Bryant’s lead receiver replacement, Williams broke out for his best game of the season against Washington. While Dallas shifted quickly into catch-up mode with a big early deficit, Williams won perimeter routes with regularity. He reversed his field for 19 yards off a hitch route and gained separation on multiple deep routes. On one perimeter route, Williams was wide open and a better throw from Kellen Moore would have turned a long gain into a potential touchdown. For the first time all season, Williams strung together quality plays for an entire game – flashing more than situational deep threat ability.

WR Brice Butler, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 60 - 0 (10 targets)
While Terrance Williams dominated the box score, Butler continued to show progression as the No.2 option against Washington. Butler is the athletic upside option on Dallas receiver depth chart and he churned out yards after contact in the first half on two receptions. With Dallas trailing in the second half, Butler nearly hauled in a diving touchdown reception. A healthy Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams in 2016 limit Butler’s opportunities, however, Butler has emerged to play the best football of his NFL career to-date this season.

TE Jason Witten, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 58 - 1 (8 targets)
Witten ended his touchdown drought to close the season against Washington. Not finding the end zone since Week 1, Witten converted a goal line out route where upon review he got across the pylon. Witten held on down the seam through a big hit on another reception before two catches late in garbage time. Witten’s 9.3 yards-per-reception on the season marks a career-low as he rarely ventures downfield or breaks tackles.