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Game Notes

Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Blog - Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins 5

The Dallas Cowboys have been in offseason mode for almost two days now, and things are exciting regarding 2016 and the future of this team.

We're going to take a few looks back at 2015 over the next few weeks here at Inside The Star and we'll start right now with the final chapter in that book... the season finale loss against the Washington Redskins.

The Cowboys lost 34-23, but they made some plays in the process. That's why we're all here (not so we won't get fined). Let's discuss.

Jason Witten's Extra Effort Equals A Touchdown

With just under four minutes left in the first half of the contest Kellen Moore had the Cowboys in striking distance.

Cowboys Blog - Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins

While the score was already 24-0 in favor of the Redskins the Cowboys were, supposedly, playing for pride. Jason Witten damn sure was.

Big Wit caught Kellen's clunky pass and reached his pythons over the goal line for the score. Witten was actually ruled down at the one, but Jason Garrett threw his red challenge flag better than any Matt Cassel pass this season.

The referees went under the hood to figure out just exactly was going on with Witten. All of us at home went to the replay not to see the status of the touchdown, we all knew it was one, but to see what in the world Terrance Williams was doing laying down in the endzone.

Cowboys Blog - Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins 1

After some careful deliberation the officials determined that Witten did in fact break the plane. Hooray!

This was the first time that the Cowboys got on the scoreboard for the day, and it was a play that injected some life into an almost-dead offensive unit.

All Jason Witten does is make plays and this is just another golden star on his perfect football resume.

Cole Beasley Scores In The Final Seconds Of The First Half

With just under 30 seconds left in the half the Cowboys were knocking on the door again.

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On first and goal Cole Beasley gave his defender a shake-and-shimmy move that has become normal for a receiver of his caliber.

Cole broke open in the endzone all by his lonesome and Kellen Moore found him. Sha-bam!

This reception gave Cole the team lead in touchdowns on the 2015 season, but spoiler alert he wasn't done yet. More on that later.

We've Got A Safety!

Early in the fourth quarter, with Washington up 34-14, the Redskins picked off Kellen Moore near their own endzone. Boo.

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Shortly after Colt McCoy handed off to Alfred Morris and things turned bad for them. Yay!

This whole play is made possible by the pressure generated by Tyrone Crawford - he quietly had a very productive season for a solid defensive unit.

As a result of the pressure by Crawford, Morris has to cut back inside... where J.J. Wilcox and DeMarcus Lawrence were waiting with their arms wide open.

Huzzah for a safety!

Cole Beasley Doubles Up On Touchdowns

The final points of the 2015 season for the Dallas Cowboys happened with just over four minutes left in it.

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On 3rd and Goal Kellen Moore looked to his right, his non-dominant side by the way, and saw a familiar face.

Cole Beasley had parked himself right smack dab in the middle of three Washington Redskins and was in the perfect spot to place the football.

Kellen threaded a needle, as far as Kellen is concerned anyway, and got it to Cole for six.

This gave Cole Beasley the an even larger lead on the club in touchdowns for the season. Beasley has played well all things considered this season so it was great to see him end on a high note.

RJ Ochoa on Fancred

What did you think the best plays were from the game against Washington? Tell me what you think! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Top Plays From The Dallas Cowboys Loss To The Washington Redskins" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Game Notes

Cowboys, Redskins Week 7 Injury Report

Jess Haynie



Cowboys, Redskins Week 7 Injury Report
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Though it's still early in the 2018 season, the lead in the NFC East is up for grabs when the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins meet this Sunday. Both teams would like their full roster available for the game, but the Week 7 injury reports indicate that won't be the case.

Here are the players either confirmed to be out of action tomorrow or are otherwise listed by Dallas and Washington:

Dallas Cowboys

  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
  • LB Joe Thomas (foot) - OUT
  • CB Chidobe Awuzie (ankle) - Questionable

The Cowboys are getting healthier, with Sean Lee finally off the injury report and set to return to action. Not only will Dallas get their elite linebacker back, but it means a deeper rotation while the team remains without Joe Thomas.

Tavon Austin elected to skip season-ending surgery on his injured groin, but his should be out a few weeks. That will put Cole Beasley on punt returns and perhaps create more offensive opportunities for Deonte Thompson and Brice Butler.

Awuzie remains limited in practice but has played the last few weeks despite the ankle injury. There is no reason to think he won't suit up in Washington.

Washington Redskins

  • WR Jamison Crowder (ankle) - OUT
  • WR Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee) - Doubtful
  • S Troy Apke (hamstring) - Doubtful
  • RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, shoulder) - Questionable
  • RB Chris Thompson (rib, knee) - Questionable
  • G Shawn Lauvao (calf) - Questionable
  • CB Quinton Dunbar (shin) - Questionable
  • CB Danny Johnson (forearm) - Questionable

It's a rough time for Washington's offensive weapons. They will definitely be without slot receiver Jamison Crowder and likely starter Paul Richardson, who current lead all WRs in receptions. Josh Doctson will put into a major role, as will veteran Brian Quick off the bench.

Peterson and Thompson both practiced this week and should play, but have nagging injuries that could slow them down. Washington is already missing Rob Kelley and rookie Derrius Guice, who are both on injured reserve.

Starting left guard Shawn Lauvao is also nursing a lower leg injury, but practiced in a limited capacity all week. His backup is undrafted rookie Casey Dunn out of Auburn.

In the defensive backfield, starting CB Quinton Dunbar was a Friday addition to the injury report with a shin injury. He did practice with it, though, so will likely play. Backup safety Troy Apke is doubtful with a hamstring issue.

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Game Notes

Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

Sean Martin



Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys are 0-3 on the road this season. Not only do you already know this, but they do as well, needing to build off a 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 6 at AT&T Stadium to claim first place in the NFC East at the Washington Redskins.

Although the Cowboys were given Monday and Tuesday off, they are focused on addressing one alarming reason why the team has struggled so much on the road -- particularly on offense.

Running Back Ezekiel Elliott pointed out the Cowboys lack of communication in early season losses at Carolina, Seattle, and Houston. "Seeing the same thing," was the issue Elliott addressed when discussing the Cowboys knowing their assignments in hostile territory.

Yesterday, Quarterback Dak Prescott told the media of a meeting between players and coaches that addressed this specifically.

David Moore on Twitter

Dak Prescott said players & coaches held a meeting before today's practice to "address the elephant in the room," which is poor communication among the offense on the road. "I know we'll take a lot from that conversation," The QB said.

Unlike Prescott's remarks about new "wrinkles" in the Cowboys offense prior to a 26-24 home win over the Lions, this has a tangible sign of progress for an offense that made scoring 40 on the Jaguars look impossibly easy. The Cowboys season high in total yards remains the 414 amassed against Detroit, after which Prescott confessed that he simply tells the media "things" that aren't necessarily true.

The Cowboys didn't necessarily do anything new against the Lions, but they most assuredly will this week against the Redskins, at least by way of signaling and remaining in sync on offense.

Prescott and Elliott's leadership is on full display here, and their on-field impact can be attributed as closely to the Cowboys successes or failures as any duo in the NFL.

Missing is a similar impact from Center Travis Frederick, who remains sidelined as he deals with GSB.

Joe Looney's play at center has been good enough to pave the way for Elliott's 586 rushing yards so far, second to Todd Gurley at 623 yards, but his ability to call checks for the offense is understandably much more limited.

Looney deserves all the credit in the world for his strong play in place of Frederick. The Cowboys have never asked for him to be anything he isn't, a reliable depth option that earned a second contract and with it the starting center job for the time being in Dallas.

He has the full support of his teammates, Frederick included. All of this is lovely to put down in writing until Looney and the Cowboys have been forced to step on the field with the crowd against them and attempt to sustain a drive, something Frederick will unfortunately not be a part of for a long while.

If the Cowboys offense isn't going to unveil new wrinkles in the scheme, there is one wrinkle worth mentioning that's new to the team's communication on offense this season. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan up in the box, his play calls are sent down to first-year Quarterback Coach Kellen Moore, who has been in the ear of Prescott ever since playing with him from 2016-17.

Sure, these are things that could've been addressed before the Cowboys managed only eight points in week one, turned the ball over three times in week three, or punted away their best chance at victory in week five. The best teams in the league likely already have these things down to routine, and few would consider the Cowboys anywhere near the upper echelon of the NFL.

Following sixty minutes of football at a division rival they've won four in a row against, with an even more impressive five game win streak at the Redskins, the Cowboys could control their own path atop the NFC East.

That feels truly incredible for such a young team faced with a steep learning curve early in the season, adjusting to it on the fly as they prepare to leave everything on the field before a bye week.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Focused on Improved Communication to Solve Road Woes at Redskins" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Game Notes

#WASvsDAL: Why This Game Holds Increased Importance

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Pass Rush Better than They're Given Credit For
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

It feels incredibly cliche to call the week 7 match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins a "must win." Especially for someone like me who values statistics, logic, and analytics in sports.

But when the analytics agree with the narratives, those narratives do tend to get my attention. And this week that would appear to be the case.

According to Brian Burke of ESPN, the Cowboys's week 7 game has the highest playoff probability leverage in the entire NFC, and is second to only the Houston Texans' big game with Jacksonville around the entire league.

Brian Burke on Twitter

Playoff leverage for week 7. DAL, WAS, PHI, CAR, MIN, CHI with a lot on the line in the NFC. HOU, CIN, and JAX in the AFC.

What does this mean? Well playoff probability leverage is pretty intuitive. Basically it is the difference between a win this week and a loss this week in terms of probability to make the playoffs.

For the Cowboys that number is at 27%, with a win over Washington catapulting their playoff probability over 50%. On the other hand, a loss would take a big hit to their playoff hopes just 7 games into the NFL season.

As you might expect, this game means a lot to the Redskins' playoff probability as well. Their playoff leverage this week is at 14%, but a win would mean "more" to Dallas than Washington based on the probabilities.

Fellow NFC East foe, the Philadelphia Eagles, also have a lot to gain/lose this Sunday, with their leverage sitting at 22%. According to Burke's model, the Eagles and Cowboys have the best chances of making the playoffs at this point, but if each team wins Sunday the Eagles will still have a higher percentage.

Of course a lot can and will change week to week, despite what the metrics say. The Cowboys still have two games remaining with the NFC East favorite Eagles this year, and will get another crack at Washington at home later in the season. Plus the Cowboys have a few NFC wild card and playoff contenders remaining on their schedule, such as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. (Yes, the 2-4 Falcons are very much alive in this crazy conference).

Still, the difference between 4-3 (2-0 in the division) and 3-4 (1-1 in the division) is huge, as is shown by Brian Burke's playoff probability leverage metric.

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