Here’s five takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 34-23 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
After having already clinched the NFC East title last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, head coach Jay Gruden expressed his desire to see his team continue the hot momentum that had led to three straight wins heading into Sunday’s game against the Cowboys – particularly on offense.
On the very next play, Cousins found second-year wide receiver
Cousins would throw two more touchdowns in the quarter – to Pierre Garcon and to Jamison Crowder – and, entering the second quarter, the Redskins had taken a commanding 21-0 lead.
McCoy, meanwhile, overcame a slow start to complete 7-of-11 passes for 128 yards with a 71-yard touchdown pass to
The Redskins need Morris at the top of his game in the playoffs for Cousins’ play action game to be at its best, so, with the No. 1 offense clicking on all cylinders, the Redskins appear in good shape in that regard heading into the postseason.
2. Goal 2, accomplished – somewhat: The Redskins stayed mostly healthy throughout the game, giving them a decently full roster heading into the postseason.
This is marked “somewhat” because two young members of the Redskins’ secondary – defensive back
So those injuries certainly affect the depth of the team’s secondary. Depending on how much time, if any, they’re expected to miss, the Redskins might have to turn to their practice squad or to free agency to fill those holes this week.
Washington is hoping to get two key veterans back for the beginning of its playoff run: center
Also due to return for the playoffs is rookie running back
3. Jamison Crowder can be really, really good.
With their No. 1 receiver,
So the Redskins can rest easy knowing they have plenty of depth at the wide receiver position, now and for years to come.
Crowder had the best overall performance of the three on Sunday, catching five passes for a caree-rhigh 109 yards – his first career 100-yard receiving game.
Crowder, who recorded a career-long 44-yard reception on that aforementioned first-quarter bubble screen play, recorded his second receiving touchdown of the season in the first quarter, becoming the first Redskins wide receiver with multiple touchdowns in a season since Rod Gardner in 2001.
The Duke product finishes his regular season with 59 receptions, passing Art Monk (58 in 1980) for the most by a rookie in team history. It’s the second-most by a member of the Redskins in his first NFL season, trailing only Gary Clark, who had 72 receptions in 1985.
“Just a confidence builder for me,” Crowder said. “I know when the playoffs come, your game has got to elevate, so that was definitely a confidence boost for me.”
4. The Redskins’ defense continued its trend of forcing multiple turnovers.
Getting Cousins going offensively has been a huge component of the Redskins’ end-of-the-season run to an NFC Championship, but the team’s defense has been opportunistic, as well.
The two interceptions were by linebacker
One fumble was recovered by
Blackmon has been a huge pickup for the Redskins’ secondary. The play on McFadden was his career-best third forced fumble of the season.
“He was running and I saw the lineman come at me, so I’m not just going to sacrifice a body for a body,” Blackmon said about the play. “And I remember Earl Thomas made a similar play against the Rams last year at the red zone, so that’s what I went for.”
On another note, the Redskins also recorded four or more sacks for a third consecutive game for the first time since Weeks 5-7 of the 1992 season.
5. A 9-7 record sure looks and feels a lot better than 8-8.
Yes, the Redskins had already wrapped up the division and a No. 4 seed in the NFC playoffs, but there was some pride on the line Sunday in North Texas.
The Redskins more than made up for that on Sunday in Arlington, Texas, getting the job done by using a majority of their starters only the first couple quarters, and then finishing the job with several backups in the second half.
The win also gave Washington its 39th winning season in team history – its 24th nine-win season, specifically – and its first since 2012. The Redskins also have now posted four consecutive wins since winning seven straight to close out that 2012 season.
Also, with their win on Sunday, coupled with their overtime victory last season in Dallas, the Redskins posted victories in North Texas in consecutive seasons for the first time since winning three straight against Dallas from 1987-89.
The Redskins’ 4-2 NFC East record this season is its third-best divisional record since divisional realignment in 2002. The team went 5-1 in NFC East play in 2005 and 2012.
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