Jamison Crowder, Rashad Ross and Ryan Grant each took advantage of increased playing time Sunday with touchdowns in a victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
After the Washington Redskins claimed their second NFC East title in four seasons last Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys had zero implications on playoff scenarios.
But as the Redskins weighed health against momentum, they used a sprinkling of starters with backups in Sunday’s 43-23 victory at AT&T Stadium.
For the team’s three youngest wide receivers – Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant and Rashad Ross – that meant an increase in playing time. And all three made the most of their opportunities.
On the Redskins’ second drive of the game, quarterback Kirk Cousins found Grant, who was playing in place of DeSean Jackson who was active but did not see action, for a five-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone one play after the Michigan State product linked up with Crowder for a 44-yard gain.
It was the second touchdown of the season for Grant, who was much more of a contributor on offense in his second season.
“It’s a good feeling, man,” Grant said. “I’ve matured a bunch since my rookie season and I feel like this entire team has matured as well. That’s why we’re 9-7 now.”
Crowder, meanwhile, would get his own touchdown reception with 19 seconds left in the first quarter.
Capping off an eight-play drive following Chris Baker’s forced fumble, the fourth-round rookie made defenders miss him en route to a shifty score.
“Just a confidence builder for me,” Crowder said of his touchdown grab. “I know when the playoffs come, your game has got to elevate, so that was definitely a confidence boost for me.”
Crowder would finish the day with five receptions for 109 yards, continuing to establash the Redskins’ single-season record for receptions by a rookie (59).
“I didn't know I was close to those records,” Crowder said. “But I knew that I looked up at the screen it said I had 99 yards. So on that last catch I had, I had told Colt, ‘Let me just get a catch so I can get over the century mark.’ But I didn't know that I was close to breaking the rookie receiving record and stuff like that. That’s pretty cool, though.”
Then on the first play of the fourth quarter, Ross found the end zone on a 71-yard score on a perfectly-thrown bomb by McCoy.
It was the first receiving touchdown of the Arizona State product’s career.
“Man, the play before me and Colt was talking and I was like, ‘Man, I got the go ball, just throw it to me.’ He’s like, ‘Alright, I’m going to trust you.’ And he was like, ‘Be ready.’ I was like ‘Alright, I’m going to go.’ And next thing you know, I beat my defender. I think they was playing trap. I look up, the ball in the air, and I caught it.”
As the Redskins head back to Washington, D.C., tonight, Ross said he’ll make sure to tune into the Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings Sunday Night Football matchup, which has direct implications on Washington’s playoff game at FedExField next weekend.
“I’m going to tune in, so I can get a little game study, how they play,” Ross said. “But other than that, I honestly don't care who win or lose. But I’m just tuning in to get a little pre-game study.”