There were a lot of good, even great, performances from Redskin players in their 26-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Were any of them better than those of Carlos Rogers and Shawn Springs?
For most of the day, the job of trying to stop Terrell Owens fell to Springs; but when Springs strained his calf, Rogers took over. By game’s end, Owens did have seven catches for 71 yards, but Tony Romo threw the ball in his direction 18 times. I’m not even going to get into how ridiculous I think it is to pander to a receiver that much (and of course, T.O. didn’t think getting 1/3 of the team’s offensive looks was enough anyway).
Both Springs and Rogers accomplished their task by playing T.O. very physically. There was a lot of post-game griping from Cowboys Nation about contact after five yards, but in reality, the Redskins just out-worked the Cowboys receivers. Washington pressured the receivers at the line and then brought a safety over the top, and the Cowboys were just unable to put together any of the big plays that their offense is capable of.
“They do a good job in their man-to-man coverage. Their corners are physical, they climb up all over the receivers,” Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said.
Climb up all over the receivers?
When the Redskins weren’t bumping the Cowboys receivers at the line, they were blanketing them downfield anyway. Owens wasn’t getting any separation against either Springs or Rogers. The Redskins ability to cover T.O. with man-to-man coverage freed up other defenders to do other things as well, like make sure Marion Barber did nothing (8 carries for 26 yards), and provide occasional help on tight end Jason Witten.
While experts will point to a million different scenarios and reasons as to WHY it happened, the truth is that Rogers and Springs flat out played better ball than T.O. did.
Considering that Rogers has sometimes struggled to cover a team’s number one guy, I thought that it was one of his best games in the burgundy and gold. Congratulations Carlos.
Springs stayed in Dallas to be with his father (who is in a vegetative state). It isn’t hard to figure out where he drew his inspiration from on Sunday.