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It seems that if they don’t play each other, would be really difficult to hope to win a few games for the teams of the NFC East, the mediocrity of the division was clearly evident again yesterday in one of the classic rivalries in the NFL, between the Cowboys and Redskins. As for all the latest games played between these teams, there wasn’t any finesse, but it seemed more a real “street fight”, where at the end, one way or another, the two most crystalline talents of both teams were the architects of the result.
Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson, two exceptional players, often on the front pages not only for their great plays, but for their behavior, “passionate” or “harmful”, depending on the result at the end. This time the dumb thing was made by Jackson when decided to improvise a punt return in Hollywood style, which cost him the fumble covered by none other than the Punter Chris Jones. The game should have ended there, or better, a first down would be enough to force Washington to use their last two time outs, and grant Bailey to score the FG for the victory with time expiring.
But losing two fumbles in the game does not seem likely enough to McFadden, when he decided to go out of the field, stopping the clock. On the second run, again Run-DMC scored the TD for the 16-9, but the Cowboys have consumed only 12 of the 86 ” remaining, and the Redskins held two Time Outs in their pocket. It’s quite understandable that a player who almost caused the defeat of his team with two turnovers, strongly wants to redeem himself by scoring the victory points, but stay on the field on the first down and slide at 1 yard, would have granted the Cowboys to keep the ball ‘till the end.
And yet another special teams penalty, put the Redskins on the Cowboys 43 with over a minute and 2 TO’s. Cousins didn’t take long to find the other player in the end zone with something to be forgiven, Jackson beats Claiborne with his speed, and there would be much to opine on Marinelli’s choice to not to put a safety on that side, but this is what happened , and the tie comes with the extra point that leaves the Cowboys a little time to hope for a miracle.
Many, seeing Dwayne Harris Sunday return another kick for a TD, have thought that keeping him wouldn’t have been a bad deal. After a not very encouraging start of the season, Lucky Whitehead has gradually gained confidence and improved his game until yesterday that was probably his best game ever, with the return leading the Cowboys just before midfield. And here it comes the other “problematic” superstar” definitively into the game, after appearing for a large part of the game out of sync with his QB, openly demonstrating his displeasure on the sideline, takes care of the 20 yds necessary to put Bailey in FG range (not forgetting the wonderful reception that paved the way for the tie on 9-9). Having a Pro Bowl kicker is obviously a plus, and once again Dan “The Man” Bailey made no mistake with the 54 yds FG for the Cowboys win.
The well-known problems of this team continue to exist, and the guidance of a coaching staff that just has no intention to take risks and try to turn some FG into a TD, is probably something that we’ll have to get used to. The offense continues to be highly inconsistent, with a QB rather uncertain, and a running game that often is in trouble, as they were outnumbered at the point of attack. Only one first down in the first half with 89 yds of total offense, and only one third down conversion in the whole match.
On defense Marinelli continued to send pressure for much of the game, both in pass situations or with runs biltzes. Obviously it was hoping, in vain, to create turnovers. Yesterday he had to settle to create confusion and some sack, one must admit that Cousins was good at protecting the ball.
So thanks to a fumble recovered by the punter, the kick return of an undrafted free agent and the FG of our Pro Bowl kicker, they got a victory that still keeps the Cowboys as a legitimate contenders, in a crazy season on a really embarrassing Division. Still four weeks to find out who will finally take the lead for good, 4 games to play and to suffer, in this crazy, crazy NFC East.