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Redskin Deadspin

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If this is your second time looking at this, you may have noticed I had my number's backwards.  It was the Giants that led the Redskins by 10 going into the half, 17 to 7.  So the Redskins are pretty much who we thought they were.  But as I will expound on further down, this game really mean's nothing, considering that they lost to the Giant's in the opener last year and still beat our beloved Cowboy's in week four last season.  Therefore, there really isn't much you can take from the stats compiled in this game; especially if you consider how mediocre our otherwise capable of being dominant, Cowboys defense played against the Bucs.

The running back that seem's to have broken the Redskins back was actually Ahmad Bradshaw, averaging 5 yards per carry on 12 attempts yielding 60 yards.  The perennial trash talker Brandon Jacobs was held to a measely 2.9 yards per carry with 16 touches totalling 46 yards.  Real quick side bar - the Cowboys, regardless of this next weeks meeting's outcome, should be able to shut Brandon Jacobs up, albeit temporarily. On the other side of the ball, Clinton Portis had the most yard's for the day, but was well below average in terms of production with 3.9 yards per carry on 16 attempts, 34 of which was on their first play from scrimmage; in other word's, after his first run, he averaged 1.8 per carry.  The big question here is, is Clinton Portis that poor of a runner, or is the Giant's run defense that stout.  Considering Portis' career average of 4.4 per carry, I'm leaning toward's the latter.  Of course, this could also be an indictment of the OL and/or coaching, but considering Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Barry Cofield, and Fred Robbins, with back-ups who could start for most team's such Chris Canty and Mathias Kiwanuka, I suspect it's mostly because the Giant's are just that good against the run.  But getting back to the team in question...the Redskins defense, looked stout throughout the majority of the game against the run, but came up short when stop's were crucial.  Of course, many fan's are pointing towards the play calling of Jim Zorn, whose three back-to-back unimaginative running play's following a goal line stand, gift wrapped a short field for the Giants, where the Giants eventually scored.

As I was digging for a description of the game, I happened upon the following, from an actual fan and since I have thing's I'd rather be writing about and the following is about as unbiased as you can get considering it's criticism from an actual fan, I'm going to steal it.  So, with out further ado...


"The Washington Redskins offense in week 1 looked pretty much like the Washington Redskins offense of the last two months of last season. The offense looked confused, discombobulated, and completely lacking in confidence. The team came out flat, completely unprepared to play an NFL game. That's very poor preparation. It would be shocking, but it happens so frequently that no Redskins fan could be shocked by it anymore.

Jim Zorn was determined to rush the ball, but the Giants would not permit it. After a 34-yard run on their first offensive play from scrimmage, Clinton Portis and the rest of the running backs did nothing, gaining 51 yards on 20 carries.

Jim Zorn can talk all he likes about his increased confidence in his quarterback and offensive line, but that's clearly a lot of nonsense. After the defense made a terrific stand to stop the Giants on 4th and 1 at the 2 yard line, the Redskins ran three meek running plays and punted, giving the Giants the ball at the 43 yard line and leading directly to a New York touchdown. In other words, the goal line stand by the defense made no difference. Why did Zorn run 3 obvious running plays when he clearly needed to pass his way out of the shadow of his own end zone. The only reasonable explanation is that he didn't trust his quarterback or he didn't trust his offensive line to pass block for his quarterback or, most likely, he didn't trust either his quarterback or his offensive line. No wonder the offense appears to lack confidence. It does lack confidence.

The fumble caused by Giants DE Osi Umenyiora can be blamed on Jason Campbell, not on Chris Samuels, who was blocking Umenyiora without help. Samuels moved Umenyiora deep, well past where Campbell should have been. However, Campbell held on to the ball far too long and then showed no awareness of the pass rush, carelessly holding the ball low and behind his body. He should have stepped up into the pocket, taking advantage of the great protection the line gave him on that play. Or he should have thrown the ball away. Either way, the strip and fumble were entirely Campbell's fault.

Redskins clock management was poor -- once again. Timeouts were called because the offense was confused, but that meant those timeouts were gone when they were needed late in the game. Zorn also elected to take a holding penalty against the Giants instead of a sack, meaning that the Giants went to 1st down and 20 instead of 2nd and 15. Taking the sack was the proper way to go since the Giants were just trying to run out the clock and kick a short field goal and moving them to 2nd down gave New York less time to kill the clock.

And what about those two timeouts taken early in the second half? The result of the play after the first timeout was taken was a rushing loss of 3 yards. The result of the play after the second timeout was taken was a sack of Jason Campbell. Clearly, calling a timeout and talking things over on the sidelines did not work. That reflects very badly on the coaching staff of the Washington Redskins.

The Redskins pass defense was shredded early by New York's undistinguished receiving corps and whenever the Giants needed a big play in the passing game, they got it from Kevin Boss or Steve Smith or someone else. The few times pressure was actually put on Giants QB Eli Manning, the defense got a good result, a fumble, an interception or a poorly thrown incompletion. But the pressure was rare and Manning had a lot of time to throw most of the time.

The tackling by the Redskins defense was poor. On the Mario Manningham touchdown [the easiest TD pass Eli Manning will ever throw], Fred Smoot missed the initial tackle, then DE Andre Carter and CB DeAngelo Hall missed tackles. Hall barely even seemed to make an effort on the play. Manningham should have been stopped short of a first down, instead he went 30 yards for a touchdown.

How Fred Smoot continues to be employed as a cornerback is a complete mystery. I've written about Smoot's poor tackling, 10-yard cushions and inability to cover even #3 wide receivers, but the defensive coaching staff likes something about him. What that something is, I honestly could not say.

I'm still waiting for Laron Landry to justify his lofty selection in the first round. He got another stupid personal foul penalty early in the game and late in the game he missed a tackle on TE Kevin Boss. Landry went for the big hit -- perhaps hoping to make ESPN's SportsCenter and end memories of being used as a speed bump by Brandon Jacobs in last season's opener [a play re-run endlessly on highlight shows]. Unfortunately, Landry mis-aimed his hit and bounced harmlessly off Kevin Boss, allowing the tight end to gain about 7 extra yards. Simply tackling Boss would have been the smart thing to do.

Albert Haynesworth played well, stuffing the run when the Giants went after him. On the whole, the rush defense was good, stuffing the Giants on two separate 3rd and 1 plays and a 4th and 1 play. The Giants running backs rushed for 106 yards on 28 carries, under 3.8 yards per carry. That's good defense against last year's top rushing attack. The problem was a very poor pass rush [again] and execrable tackling by the secondary.

So who was most responsible for the Redskins' loss to the Giants? Take our poll in the upper left hand corner of the screen!  (http://dcprosportsreport.com/2009/09/quick-hitters-deja-vu-all-over-again-in-week-1.html)."
Curious about that poll?  Here are the results out of the Redskins other 23 fans (lol):  Coaching 60% with 15 votes, Jason Campbell 12% with 3 votes, Pass Defense 24% with 6 votes, Wide Receivers 0% (please don't ask how many voted on this) and Other 4% with 1 vote.  There were actually 25 votes, but I voted for coaching and I'm sure the contributor voted accordingly.

For anyone planning on walking away from this thinking that's two more W's we can add to our win/loss ratio prior to the actual games, please note that regardless of how the Redskins play other team's, they always show up against the Cowboys.  For as long as I have been trying to predict what to expect from these Deadskins, the only thing I've been right about is to not underestimate them.

Furthermore, Albert Haynesworth, regarless of the apology and accepted apology exchanged between he and Andre Gurode, will be looking to be vindicated.  Why?  The storyline that you don't hear about, when the infamous face stomp is brought up, is why Albert was so frustrated he lost his temper.  The truth is, he was getting man-handled, Gurode refusing to give up any ground, despite Haynesworth pile-pusher reputation.  Any NT worth 100 million should draw double-coverage, especially from the Center.  If he doesn't against Gurode, the Redskins, as well the rest of the nation will know he is what we all think he is:  Vastly overpaid.

And then of course there is the Cowboy killer Santana Moss.  Newman shut him down in our last meeting, but the big question is will Newman remain healthy throughout the year?  (cricket's chirp)

All in all, the first game is somewhat of a waste of time to analyze, for several reason's:  First and foremost, there is no game tape from the previous game to study, for the exception of preseason, where most team keep it basic so they don't tip their hand.  Second, many player's, particluarly the younger one's, will get a mad case of the jitter's, likely taking a half to really get into the flow of the game.  Third, it's the first game the starters play for 4 quarters.  Not only are these players physically tested in terms of their conditioning, but their mind set changes when they know they have to maintain the same intensity for 1 hour.  It might not seem like much, given the relatively small amount of time transpired during each play, but with the excitement of playing and the concentration that has to be applied for each position, it can be very taxing on the body, mind and spirit of a given player.  Combine the above 3 and the result's will vary for team's.  The Cowboy's were fortunately able to reign in their collective focus and put together what most of us thought they could be as a team in the 2nd half against the Bucs.  The Redskins fell flat in their opener on the road, but by week 11, the first time the Cowboys and Redskins meet, will know alot more about this team and what they are capable of.




I am 35, married and a father of 2 boys. I have been a Cowboys fan since Jimmy Johnson took over; not because I had anything against Tom Landry, but because it just so happens I was old enough to start following and understanding football right as that new era began. Since then, I haven't missed games if I could help it.

Game Notes

Why The Seahawks Will Be Looking Into A Mirror Against The Cowboys Sunday

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

For the better part of the last decade one defense has reigned supreme over the NFC. One defense has continually put their offense and team in position to win big games, including a dominant Super Bowl win over one of the more productive offenses in recent memory.

That defense, of course, belonged to the Seattle Seahawks.

With a secondary deemed as the "Legion of Boom" and a defensive line which rotated through Pro Bowl level talent routinely, the Seahawks bolstered one of the best defenses the NFL has ever seen. A defense which perfectly complimented the physical, run first philosophy their offense lived by.

Players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, and Bobby Wagner will arguably be Hall of Famers one day, and they wreaked havoc on the conference for a strong 3-5 year stretch.

Now, however, things are changing.

Gone are many of the elite players which once bolstered the Seattle defense to top-tier status, and while some big names remain, the talent level simply isn't the same. The Seahawks missed the postseason a year ago, and now sit at 0-2 before their home opener today against the Cowboys.

Their window looks to be closed, while their opponent today is looking to build their defense (and team) in the mold of what once was in Seattle.

Former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard has come to Dallas and brought with him a more aggressive defensive philosophy, one which he deployed successfully with the Seahawks. Under Richard the Cowboys are blitzing more often on third down than they have in the past under Rod Marinelli, they're utilizing more single high safety looks, and they are allowing their long and talented corners to do what they do best in coverage.

The Seahawks once leaned on a deep pass rush and long, physical secondary. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

The Seahawks once leaned on a mobile quarterback to make plays with his feet while relying on a strong running game and one of the league's best backs. The 2018 Cowboys are looking to do the same thing.

Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie look like they were molded in a 2013-Seahawks lab as cornerbacks, and DeMarcus Lawrence is as productive as any pass rusher those defenses had. Of course, we aren't able to say the Cowboys have the consistent front four depth that those Seattle teams did or that they have the single high safety of Earl Thomas' caliber, but the preliminary pieces are clearly in place.

Today the Cowboys look to improve to 2-1 with a conference road win. But, they also look to bury the Seahawks in the past and take another step towards cementing themselves as one of the elite defenses in the NFC.

It won't happen over night, but anyone can see that the potential is there.



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Player News

Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Sean Martin

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Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is out for Sunday's game at the Seahawks with a sprained knee, further opening the door for Datone Jones to earn his spot among the "Hot Boyz". The moniker given to the Cowboys front seven this season, the team's depth up front has been a strength in totaling nine sacks through two games.

Last season, Datone Jones was a part of this rotation late in the year. Coming on strong at the 3T position while Maliek Collins played at the 1T, Jones is the type of versatile defender with veteran experience that Rod Marinelli can get the most out of.

Returning from a knee injury himself, Jones may take some time to be the disruptive interior player we saw at the end of 2017. Through two games, the Cowboys had played Collins at his original position of 3T, with Antwaun Woods doing more than enough to continue playing at 1T.

This potentially makes Collins and Jones two players fighting for one spot. Collins followed up his performance at the Panthers with a sack of Cam Newton by constantly playing in the Giants' backfield last week.

John Owning on Twitter

Guessing that means no Irving, I'd say Tyrone Crawford then Antwaun Woods. I have high hopes for Datone Jones once he returns though. https://t.co/9frjFK2J9J

A player determined to not let his team's misuse slow down his progress, after an incredible rookie season at 3T, Collins is returning from his second broken foot in three years.

Through his five years in the NFL, Jones has only played a full 16 games once.

The most games Datone has started in a season is four. Maliek Collins should like his chances of playing over Jones once both are healthy, and the Cowboys should be equally thrilled with the opportunity to keep both fresh in rotation.

Following Sunday's game in Seattle and next week against the Lions, the Cowboys can return David Irving from suspension to play all over their defensive line - his best position also being at three technique.

Without the wealth of talent they now have at all four positions up front, the Cowboys have had too many bodies to fill similar roles in the past. Thanks to the addition of Kris Richard along with strong edge play from Taco Charlton and rookie Dorance Armstrong, the Cowboys defensive line can do no wrong in 2018, and using Jones in week three and beyond should only add to this.

The Cowboys biggest key to success against the Seahawks will be containing Russell Wilson. Pressuring him in his face to collapse the pocket gives Dallas a chance to really slow the Seahawks offense, something they'll be relying on Jones to help them do as DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory also work with favorable match ups at defensive end.

Tell us what you think about "Could Cowboys DT Datone Jones Earn Starting Role with Maliek Collins Out?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Could a Cowboys Win VS Seahawks Spark an Earl Thomas Trade?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Done Pursuing FS Earl Thomas?

As we enter week 3 of the 2018 regular season, we might be entering the next important date in the Earl Thomas conversation. It's been such a wild narrative ever since the Seattle Seahawks' safety asked Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett to "come get him" and the end of this talk is not close. The trade deadline won't come until October 30th. Only then will we be able to put this conversation aside until the 2019 Free Agency arrives.

After all that's happened, including the Cowboys offering a second round draft pick for Thomas, it may come off as optimistic to expect Thomas will wear the Star in 2018. However, when the Dallas Cowboys visit Seattle today, a victory on the road could spark the trade we've been discussing since December. 

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys and #Seahawks haven't spoken about Earl Thomas since before he return. Some in the Cowboys organization hope to restart talks today. Seattle would have to be blown away to even consider it. https://t.co/dhbSNPeiiF

Ian Rapoport reported today that trade talks ended between both teams after Thomas returned to the team just before the season began. The Cowboys, according to the NFL Network reporter, "hope to restart talks today."

It only makes sense, right?

The Seattle Seahawks are not re-signing the All-Pro safety. It's not happening. Thomas is clearly unhappy with the situation and hasn't been afraid to show it in social media. Shortly after returning to the Seahawks, he went as far as posting that "the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten."

If the Seahawks lose today against the Dallas Cowboys, they'd be 0-3 in a division where the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are the favorites. It'd be really difficult to bounce back into the  playoffs if they open their year with three straight losses. Even more with a very bad offensive line.

If their season comes to a point where all seems lost, why keep Earl Thomas? Why would they wait until free agency next year to let him go instead of getting compensation now? The Dallas Cowboys have already offered them a second round pick earlier this month, according  to reports from ESPN's Adam Schefter. It'd be very hard to understand if they open their season with three losses and still refuse to trade him for a second rounder, considering they don't want to give Thomas an extension.

Kam Chancellor's Seahawks Career Ends, Will Earl Thomas be Next to Leave? 2

The Cowboys and the Seahawks' front offices will be in the same building today, making this even more intriguing. The Seahawks will have the Cowboys out of their way, meaning they wouldn't face their All-Pro safety if they trade him after today's game. This is without a doubt a very important chapter in the Earl Thomas' trade discussion.

So far, the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked legit, ranking as the NFL's third best in points allowed. However, the team is familiar with losing in key moments against elite quarterbacks. Thomas could take this unit to the next level, and put the defense in a very good position to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs and beyond.

For now, Thomas will wear a Seahawks uniform and play against the team in which he might eventually end up. As if the game that's going to be played on the field wasn't enough action, Cowboys Nation will be wondering what's being talked about by both front offices inside CenturyLink Field.

Tell me what you think about "Could a Cowboys Win VS Seahawks Spark an Earl Thomas Trade?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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