Cowboys Versus Redskins at Fedex Field

Dallas CowboysWith a heart attack finale, a way to which their fans are already accustomed, the Dallas Cowboys won 19-16 against the Washington Redskins on Monday night breaking the streak of five consecutive victories at FedEx Field.

-14.That number represents the difference in turnovers the Cowboys have accumulated in the 13 weeks so far in the season. This speaks for itself, the team has a defense that keeps them in the game but that does not make any difference in victories, while the offense has been commissioned to turnover the ball on average 1.7 times per game. This time it was Darren McFadden who had two fumbles after not even a single turnover before this game.

To these, another fumble from Devin Street was added. Unfortunately for the team the only turnover in their favor came at the end of the game, within the rival 20-yard line, at the hands of DeSean Jackson, who gave them the opportunity to get to meet and change the momentum.

It’s not something we’re used to, but in this game the Cowboys’ defense was very aggressive with their blitzes. They were constantly sending linebackers to the middle of the line and safeties to the ends.The interesting thing is that they were not just carrying more people, but were trying interesting patterns such as zone blitzes and stunts.

Rod Marinelli was right that pressuring the Kirk Cousins, he would not be as effective and he was right. The result of the constant pressure was 3 sacks during the meeting and a forced fumble that Cousins himself ended up recovering. His throwing was constantly rushed, on his back foot and could not wait for his receivers routes to be completed. We’ll see if this aggressive style will stay with them or it was just a situational specific strategy for this match.

From the offseason, after the departure of Dwayne Harris in free agency, there was much talk of who would be the ideal man for the kick returns, but the issue had remained without a clear answer attempts with Lance Dunbar, Darren McFadden and Cole Beasley, and even Lucky Whitehead had kept the question unanswered. In the game against Washington, Whitehead took over permanently and showed explosiveness and good vision in the open field. His kickoff return in the last possession of the game, gave him excellent field position for Matt Cassel and only 20 yards away for Dan Bailey to connect the victory field goal.

Besides what he contributed on special teams, he contributed a pair of carries, one for 12 and one for 22 yards, plus a five yard reception. Although these numbers are not all that impressive, what speaks out is the player involvement in the overall game plan. We’ll see how he ends the season.

There is no doubt that DeSean Jackson can turn around any game with an explosive play, in various occasions we have seen this successfully. We have seen more 50 yard touchdown passes and improbable punt returns that have taken positive results and change the momentum and build of the games.

This time, with less than 2:00 to play and with a tied score, Jackson went with all his bombast and self-confidence waiting to receive the ball. Chris Jones, kicked the ball in his direction and the No. 11 received it near the his 15 yard and began looking to make a big play, the problem is that the big play was not there and he insisted on finding one, He returned almost to his own end zone and just around the corner found a contingent of the opposing team and he ended up dropping the ball.

Fortunately for his team, there are few corners (or players in general) in the league that can run step by step with him and in the next drive he beat Morris Claiborne in a deep path to score the touchdown that would tie the game. Part of being a great playmaker is to understand that the big plays do not always come when wanted and that important ability to distinguish when it is better to play the next down. Making a TD reception with less than a minute left is the kind of plays that make a great player, forcing a situation, as he did in the punt return, is making them scapegoats.

The results of week 13, all they did was tighten even more the NFC East standings with three teams with records of 5-7 and one with 4-8.

The Redskins, despite the defeat remain in the tip thanks to the second tiebreaker, which is a record in the NFC, where they are 5-4. In second, Philadelphia with the improbable win at New England threw itself into the fight. The Giants fell to third place after being defeated by the Jets. Finally, at the bottom the Cowboys, only one match away to go to the top of the division as having the same record as the others, it is they who the first tiebreaker would favor with a 3-2 record within the division.

The problem is that the results can be combined in many ways, all four teams are unpredictable and likely to have to wait at least two (or more) weeks to determine who will claim the title of this division.

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