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Week 12 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 23, Dallas Cowboys 31


What you need to know

Washington Redskins

Colt has to take care of the ball if Washington is going to have a chance to win. He offers some of the same tools to run the offense as Alex but Alex did a better job with ball security. The defense has played well enough to give Washington a chance and the offense has to provide more production. The run game has cooled off the last few weeks and that has been problematic as well. If they can fight through the offensive injuries and find the running game again this team can be dangerous moving forward.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys offense blended rushing and passing prowess to perfection in the divisional win over Washington on Thanksgiving. Ezekiel Elliott surged past 30 touches and 140 total yards while Amari Cooper had his best game as a Cowboy with high-level route-running and after-the-catch acumen. The absence of Geoff Swaim and no impact from Cole Beasley was hardly noticeable with Elliott and Cooper carrying the offense. As Dallas battles for the divisional title, critical games against New Orleans and Philadelphia loom the next two weeks.

Washington Redskins

QB Colt McCoy, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 38 - 268 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 5 - 28 - 0
Colt McCoy got off to a shaky start against Dallas and never really got in a rhythm. Colt battled all game as he made plays with his feet and arm. He threw two touchdowns on the day as he found Vernon on what seemed to be a post route for fifty-three yards. Then in the third quarter he found Trey Quinn for seven yard score. Three interceptions were the biggest factor in titling this loss as ball security was a major issue. Colt had a horrendous interception in the first quarter on a bad read. That turnover killed a nine play drive. Following the first interception, Colt attempted a screen pass that was picked off by a Dallas defensive lineman. It was telegraphed badly and DeMarcus Lawrence made an easy read to convert the turnover. He added five carries for twenty-eight yards on the day which helped extend plays. Colt didn't make as many'ěoff schedule' plays as his mobility would suggest. His aggression has to be more calculated to keep the turnovers at a minimum.

RB Adrian Peterson, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 35 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)
Adrian Peterson came into this game with a shoulder injury and never really got going. He was also dinged up in this game but eventually came back to play. Adrian totaled twelve carries and sat for majority of the fourth quarter as Washington was in comeback mode. Injuries and inconsistency along the offensive line led to him averaging a meager three yards per carry. Washington's ‘run first’ offense has cooled off tremendously and it directly effects Adrian's production as well.

RB Kapri Bibbs, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 17 - 1, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (3 targets)
Kapri Bibbs recorded three carries against Dallas and made them count with a touchdown. He also tallied three receptions but featured much on passing downs. He played a large part of the fourth quarter as the replacement passing down back. Kapri's roll will be reduced once Chris Thompson is back from injury.

WR Josh Doctson, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 66 - 0 (10 targets)
Josh Doctson tied his highest reception total of the season with six. He also had a team high ten targets. However, it didn't add up to much production as he only added sixty-six yards for the game. Colt missed Josh on two chunk plays that could have inflated his yardage and overall production. Colt missed Josh on an endzone attempt as well. Josh's inability to gain separation in coverage is still an issue and results in target inefficiency. Considering he is a big target it was encouraging to see him more involved the last couple of weeks.

WR Trey Quinn, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 26 - 1 (6 targets)
Trey Quinn managed to score a seven yard touchdown but otherwise had a quiet game. He tallied five receptions for twenty-six yards on six targets. His redzone touchdown displayed his knack for getting open in tight spaces but he is too low on the passing totem pole to provide consistent production.

WR Maurice Harris, 36 offensive snaps (5 targets)
Maurice Harris did not record a catch while receiving five targets. He has been very involved the last couple of games but due to the tight end production versus Dallas he was held in check.

TE Jordan Reed, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 75 - 0 (8 targets)
Jordan Reed continued his uptick in production as he led Washington in reception yards. He also tied for the team lead in receptions. It seems Colt's mobility has put him in sync with the passing game. Jordan had eight targets on the day and the depth per target was noticeably further down field. He made multiple chunk plays that were lacking earlier in the year. Jordan didn't score a touchdown in this game but his yards after catch has come back to life. If these last two games are a sign that Jordan has regained some of his health that will be a huge plus moving forward.

TE Vernon Davis, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 73 - 1 (4 targets)
Vernon Davis recorded two catches on the day but the highlight was his fifty-three yard touchdown. Vernon can still stretch the field and he split two defenders across the field to catch his reception in stride. He won't give consistent production but he is still very capable of splash plays throughout the game. As the backup tight end his isn't featured but it might be beneficial for Washington to utilize him more with the lack of receiving weapons.


Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 31 - 289 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 18 - 1
Prescott played a clean game, his third straight effort without a turnover, and benefitted from quick throws and quality pass protection. Sacks stalled two drives, but Prescott also kept drives alive with his mobility and play making. Prescott’s highlight plays including a completion to Michael Gallup on third down while being dragged down by a defender and later eluding two rushers, scrambling for a goal line touchdown to nearly ice the game in the fourth quarter. Prescott faces a mammoth task next week with a duel against Drew Brees and the red hot Saints in Dallas as the Cowboys push for a divisional title.

RB Ezekiel Elliott, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 26 - 121 - 1, Rec: 5 - 22 - 0 (6 targets)
Elliott’s hot streak continued in the home win over Washington. For the third straight game Elliott had 140 or more total yards and at least 25 touches as the Cowboys’ offensive centerpiece. Elliott had tough sledding for much of the middle two quarters of the game after a hot start and was stuffed on fourth-and-one in the mid-fourth quarter with a chance to ice the game. Elliott’s best runs were finding cutback lanes and exhibiting a strong combination of power and agility to gain leverage on defenders in one-on-one situations. The Saints are a stingy running back matchup in Week 13 for Elliott.

WR Amari Cooper, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 180 - 2 (9 targets)
Cooper lived up to his investment by Dallas as a trade acquisition with a monster game against division rival Washington. Cooper showed his after-the-catch ability on two long touchdowns, both times making defensive backs look slow in transition at the top of his routes. Cooper was impactful on his other receptions as well with three third down conversions early in the game. Cooper rendered the rest of the Dallas pass-catchers irrelevant this week as the next highest yardage total was Blake Jarwin with 25 yards. Cooper has another exploitable matchup in a showdown with New Orleans next week.

WR Michael Gallup, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (6 targets)
While Gallup saw a hearty six targets against Washington, he was invisible for the second straight week in terms of impact. Gallup converted a third down and snatched a low pass from the turf on his other reception. The acquisition and emergence of Amari Cooper has left Gallup with a low floor each week and relying on scraps even as Dallas was without starting tight end Geoff Swaim this week.

WR Cole Beasley, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)
After Beasley’s promising seven targets a week ago, he sagged down to irrelevant status against Washington with a mere two looks from Dak Prescott. Beasley logged a short hitch route in the first quarter and Prescott underthrew an open Beasley later in the game. Beasley also drew a third down holding penalty on a defensive back beyond the box score. After averaging 50 yards-per-game before Amari Cooper’s addition, Beasley’s production has been nearly cut in half (27 yards-per-game) in the four games since.