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  • Social Media Killed The Message Board Star

    Forgive the overly cheesy paraphrased reference to a 1980’s one-hit wonder.  It does, however, cover the subject of the following ramble.  This won’t be yet another sports-related blog as the vast majority of those paying any attention to Washington Redskins content have taken a leave of absence until the regular season draws near.  And who could blame them?  Being a Redskins fan is exhausting.  It wasn’t the subject matter of the song but Stevie Wonder described what it’s like being a Skins fan in a few verses:

    You took me riding in your rocket, gave me a star
    But at a half a mile from heaven you dropped me back
    Down to this cold, cold world

    So, when fans exit message board forums stage left even at the first sign of the end of the Redskins season it’s not only unsurprising but understandable and expected.  It’s also unsurprising when forum staff do the same.  For them it’s not only the emotional drain but also the mental drain of months of (often) thankless work.  It takes a lot to keep a forum operational, much less to keep one active and growing.

    For website administrators the challenges are greater still.  There is no off-season for a website trying to survive and carve out a niche in what is an overly-saturated market.  There are, literally, tens of thousands of sports websites all trying to be unique in some small yet meaningful way.  That’s the result of competing with one another for traffic.  If competing with the specific niche of other Redskins sites wasn’t enough of a challenge the internet has recently presented a new one: Social Media.

    What used to be unmatched quality and ethics in print journalism has been replaced with instant gratification.  Print media is struggling to survive in a digital age.  Long form media is struggling to survive in a 140 character limit age.  Many would rather speak but not be spoken to or talk but not listen or digest information in bytes small enough for toddlers.  Social media leads old school journalists to believe the world is coming down with a severe case of attention deficit disorder.  If social media is any indicator the vast majority of people stopped reading this two or three paragraphs back.

    But social media serves a purpose.  It’s a manner of disseminating more information to more people more quickly than is possible even with huge, established sports media outlets.  Very few are concerned with the lack of ethics in social media.  Everything is regurgitated.  Nothing is vetted.  No one gives a crap.  Two seconds after they’ve read some complete nonsense they’ve moved on to the next hot topic.

    Ideally, the solution would be to combine the best of social media with the best of traditional print media and the best of message board forums.  Each has its merits and its caveats.

    Here is where it gets personal.  I’ve been webmastering and administrating websites for twenty-five years.  I began venturing into message boards back in the days of AOL and dial-up, even before the marvel that was the 56k modem.  I love everything about creating a site and equally importantly, creating the sense of community that goes along with it.  I love receiving member opinion on how to make a site better, although admittedly not all of it is practical or even possible.  I love working to make a site grow and adapt with the times.  Having said that, I’m at a complete loss for how to effectively counter the migration of so many good members to social media.

    If a site has social media in the forms of facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. will members actually spend any time reading the articles and blogs or posting in the forums?

    This site has lost quite a few members over the years to something else which has occupied their limited “me” time.  Any number of life circumstances may have contributed to their leaving.  This site isn’t alone in that.  Every sports website is suffering.  I’d like to know why.  Is it social media alone?  It it life circumstances such as marriage, children, job changes, etc.?  I’m reluctant to throw a poll up because I’d like some level of detail in the answers.

    If you’re spending less time on traditional sports media sites and you’d like to tell me why I’d love to know, not for the purpose of judging but solely for the purpose of knowing if it is possible to change and adapt a site to the social media age.  I don’t mind fighting lost causes.  I’ve been married.  I’m familiar with losing battles.  If it is impossible to meet the “needs” of the masses with a traditional website not to fret.  This one isn’t going anywhere.


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    Quick Hits: Roster Moves I’d Like To See

    NFL players typically have a limited shelf life.  Either their age becomes a limitation or their salary does or both.  The 2016 Washington Redskins are no exception and there are some roster moves that simply make sense now as opposed to later.  One of those was made in the last twenty-four hours with the release of Andre Roberts.  Here are a few others that we should hope to see if not expect to see between now and September.

    The starting offensive line should consist of Trent Williams, Arie Kouandjio, Spencer Long, BradonScherff, and Morgan Moses.  The backups should be Ty Nsekhe, Austin Reiter, Takoby Cofield, and Cody Booth.  This would make Williams the senior member of the offensive line at 27 years of age.  It would make the line considerably larger and more geared toward a power blocking scheme.  It would mean that, of the offensive linemen, only Williams and Scherff are earning more than $1.0 million per season.

    Find a legitimate nose tackle.  Relying on Golston, who has never been more than a situational rotation player, and Ioannidis, who is not only a rookie but also grossly undersized for the position is a poor strategy for a team virtually incapable of stopping the run on 1st downs last season.  If Knighton in the middle couldn’t stop opponents from gaining five yards on 1st downs then having a smaller and less experienced player in the nose tackle role won’t help.

    Neither will having Trent Murphy at defensive end.  Murphy got absolutely destroyed on running plays last season as a linebacker and he is the primary reason teams had monumental success rushing the football on first downs.  Moving him to defensive end won’t improve the rushing defense.  If you’re asking how anyone could possibly know this go back and watch the film from last season.  The team needs to roll with Baker, Paea, Reyes, and Jean-Francois and address the defensive line in the offseason.  It also wouldn’t hurt to scour the waiver wire.

    Start Compton and Foster at inside linebacker with Spaight and Stevens as the backups.  Riley was awful the last two seasons and isn’t improving with age.

    Give Kendall Fuller a shot at free safety.  He’s slightly undersized for the position but athletic and quick enough to close on the ball.  Deangelo Hall is a means to an end.


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    Wallpaper Wednesdays: Should They Make A Comeback?

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    Mind Reading: A (Too Early) Guess At The 2016 Washington Redskins Final Roster

    Yes, it’s early.  Too early.  The FNGs haven’t even been dragged through the week that is rookie camp yet.  Furthermore, anyone who witnessed the last two Washington Redskins drafts knows it’s impossible to read the mind of Scot McCloughan.  The first person who says they saw the Brandon Scherff pick last season or the Josh Doctson pick this season coming before it happened is the first liar.  So, admittedly, this is spitting into the wind.  Nevertheless, it’s the off-season and a) a Skins fan always needs something Skins to talk about, and b) trying to break in and get a feel for what draws interest during the season seems like a would-be exercise in futility.  With that in mind …

    Quarterbacks (3) – Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfield.

    Running Backs (4) – Matt Jones, Keith Marshall, Pierre Thomas, Rob Kelley.

    Tight Ends (3) – Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Vernon Davis.

    Wide Receivers (6) – DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross.

    Tackles (3) – Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe.

    Guards (4) – Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long, Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio.

    Centers (2) – Korey Lichtensteiger, Austin Reiter.

    And the Defense …

    Defensive Ends (4) – Chris Baker, Stephen Paea, Kendall Reyes, Ricky Jean-Francois.

    Defensive Tackles (3) – Kedric Golston, Jerrell Powe, Matthew Ioannidis.

    Inside Linebackers (5) – Will Compton, Perry Riley, Mason Foster, Steven Daniels, Martrell Spaight.

    Outside Linebackers (4) – Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Junior Galette, Houston Bates.

    Safeties (4) – Sua Cravens, Deangelo Hall, David Bruton, Duke Ihenacho.

    Cornerbacks (5) – Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Will Blackmon, Quinton Dunbar, Kendall Fuller.

    Kicker (1) – Dustin Hopkins.

    Punter (1) – Tress Way.

    Long Snapper (1) – Nick Sundberg.





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    Kirk Cousins By The Numbers

    When a team makes a player the highest paid player at his position for the year there are going to be high expectations.  When that team is the Washington Redskins and that player is Kirk Cousins we had better like that.  More importantly, Scot McCloughan had better like that or we’ll be back on the quarterback search trail.  But what does Cousins have to do for Scot McCloughan to like that?  There were things Cousins did exceptionally well last season.  But when you’re paying a player like a top five player at his position, even if it’s on the franchise tag, he needs to perform as such.  Did Cousins?  Let’s take a look.

    The Good:

    7th in Completions but outside top ten in attempts.
    7th in Passing Yards Per Attempt.
    5th in Passer Rating.
    Outside the top ten in Interceptions.
    8th in Adjusted Yards Per Pass Attempt.
    7th in Net Yards Per Pass Attempt.
    8th in Adjusted Net Yards Per Pass Attempt.
    10th in Pass Completions Per Game.
    1st in Pass Completion Percentage.
    7th in Sack Percentage.
    8th in Game-Winning Drives.
    10th in Comebacks.
    2nd in Fumbles Recovered.

    The Bad:

    7th in Completions but 10th in passing yards.
    Outside the top ten in Passing Attempts Per Game.
    Outside the top ten in Interception Percentage.
    Outside the top ten in Passing Touchdown Percentage.

    The Ugly:

    Outside the top ten in Passing Touchdowns.
    Outside the top ten in Passing Yards Per Game.
    Outside the top ten in Yards Per Completion.
    8th in Fumbles.
    Outside the top ten in Total Offense.

    What Cousins has to do to justify the Franchise Tag and command a long-term contract:

    Cousins threw 29 touchdowns last season. The top five quarterbacks threw an average of 35 touchdowns.
    Cousins’ touchdown percentage was 5.3%. The top five average was 6.5%.
    Cousins’ yards per attempt was 7.7. The top five average is 8.4.
    Cousins’ adjusted yards per attempt is 7.8. The top five average is 8.6.
    Cousins’ yards per completion average is 11. The top five average is 13.
    Cousins’ yards per game is 260.4. The top five average is 300.
    Cousins’ net yards per attempt is 6.99. The top five average is 7.7.
    Cousins’ adjusted net yards per attempt is 7.14. The top five average is 7.75.
    Cousins’ sack percentage is 4.6. The top five average is 3.0.

    One can gather from the above much improvement is expected of Kirk Cousins this season.  Not only should he have better passing protection thanks to the replacement of Josh (What’s the snap count, again?) LeRibeus but he also has an additional receiving weapon in 2016 1st round draft selection Josh Doctson and another red zone target in off-season acquisition Vernon Davis.  One has to assume the rushing attack will be better this season. (How could it possibly be worse?)

    Cousins will be on a long leash this season because when you’re paying a player over $1.0MM per game you’re not paying him to sit on the bench.  The only way he’s not playing is if he is injured.  That could be good for Cousins or it could be disastrous.  If he’s playing up to expectations expect him to get paid like a top five quarterback.  Before complaining about the potential cost involved take a moment to remember the quarterback history of the team over the course of the last twenty-five seasons.  If he’s not playing up to the level expected it’s going to be a long and painful season for him, for Scot McCloughan, who will have to begin scouting quarterbacks mid-season, for Jay Gruden whose job is balancing on Cousins’ performance, and for the fans.

    The real question is: If Cousins performs marginally well, as in top ten but not top five, what does the team do?  They almost certainly won’t tag Cousins again.  That gets very expensive.  If the Skins offer him top ten money but not top five money will he take it?  Or will he take his chances on the open market?  Is he really a team player?  If he is, I like that.

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    The Running Back Situation: These Colors Don’t Run (At Least Not Well Enough)

    If you’re among those who felt the running game had room for improvement last season stop reading now.  It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

    For better or for worse Scot McCloughan and Jay Gruden have all but etched in stone Matt Jones as the primary back for the upcoming season. Jones averaged eleven attempts per game last season behind primary back Alfred Morris, averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per attempt. He also fumbled the ball five times on 144 carries, for an average of one fumble every 28 carries. It’s clear the Redskins are expecting major improvement in these two critical statistical areas. The 2015 league average of 4.1 yards per rushing attempt will be a goal for Jones. He could potentially see twice as many rushing attempts per game as the primary back and will absolutely need to secure the football. Jones has the full faith and confidence of the team and the coaching staff but he will only have it to a point.

    Behind Jones is where the situation becomes precarious. As of this writing the primary backup is third down slash change of pace back Chris Thompson who averaged 6.2 yards per attempt last season in limited action. Thompson has never exceeded 35 rushing attempts in a season at the NFL level. Thompson is also a Shanahan era holdover. 2016 7th round draft selection Keith Marshall is very much the same type of back, with more pure speed. It’s reasonable to think only one of these two will be on the active roster. If it’s Marshall, Thompson’s days in D.C. are numbered.

    Last season’s third (and sometimes second) option was mid-season acquisition Pierre Thomas. In the four games he played Thomas averaged 4.7 yards per attempt on a total of 11 attempts. He also caught 9 receptions for 84 yards. By all accounts he is a team player and an asset to the locker room. Thomas is currently a free agent. He remains an option as of this writing.

    Mack Brown was signed as a free agent from the Houston Texans. Brown has a career total of 30 rushing attempts for 81 yards and 2 receptions for 16 yards. It is reasonable to assume Brown will not survive the final roster cuts. Not only does he have extremely limited experience but the roster now has three players of the (six feet if we’re being generous) and (215lbs. if we’re being generous) type of back. Brown would seem to be the odd man out.

    7th round draft selection Keith Marshall combines NFL size at 5’11” and 220lbs. with rare speed. Marshall, as many know, suffered a major ACL injury his sophomore season and missed nearly one and one-half seasons recovering. Going into the 2016 NFL combine there were questions about a loss of raw speed, one of Marshall’s most valuable assets. He put those to rest with 40 yard times of 4.31 and 4.33, the 4.31 being the second fastest time ever recorded at the combine. Marshall obviously has the raw speed to be the change of pace back but he lacks the collegiate receiving numbers to be utilized effectively in that capacity. He will have to demonstrate an ability to be effective as a receiver to be given an opportunity in that role. It is conceivable Marshall spends the season on the practice squad although any demonstration of the ability he showed in college will put him at risk of being signed by another team. It’s hard to say where Marshall fits as of now but make no mistake, he fits somewhere.

    Rob Kelley was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane. Kelley had a bit of a legal issue in August 2014 where he was charged with assault and battery of another student over a bicycle. Those charges were dropped. As a result, however, Kelley did not play as a senior. At 6’0″ and 220lbs. (notice a pattern here?) Kelley has prototypical size. He averaged 4.1 yards per attempt for his collegiate career and also caught 80 receptions for 694 yards. Kelley also averaged 20.4 yards per attempt on kickoff returns, making him a possibility in that capacity.

    Silas Redd is suspended (again) for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. His days in D.C. are done.

    It would be impossible to fathom the Redskins being entirely comfortable with the running back situation. Ostensibly they will give the verbal and visual cues to the media which indicate they have no qualms about the situation but that simply cannot be the case. The team lost Alfred Morris (by choice) and the only other change made to the rushing game from last season will be the return of a presumably healthy Korey Lichtensteiger at center.  That is a net loss by most accounts.  When a team drafts not one but two running backs, whose average NFL careers last less than four years, it isn’t for the future. Backs have the shortest shelf life of any NFL position.

    Because the team will not carry a fullback it is possible they will use the extra roster position to carry an extra back but it is more likely they will carry an extra receiver. Scot McCloughan is also not known for doing the expected. While personnel will undoubtedly be a joint decision between McCloughan and Gruden and possibly Sean McVay, Randy Jordan, and even Bill Callahan, ultimately “Scotty Mac” is making the decisions. He isn’t likely to cast aside his own draft selections and dismiss his own judgment for players brought in by another coach. Conventional wisdom might suggest Jones, Thompson, Marshall and Thomas making the final roster but, again, McCloughan is anything but conventional. With that in mind, expect to see Jones, Marshall, Kelley, and either Chris Thompson or Pierre Thomas (but not both) on the 2016 Redskins roster.

    Also anticipate a shift to a power blocking scheme.  With Matt Jones as the primary back there will be little to nothing in the way of cutback running.  Everything will be downhill.  On the positive side, every back on the roster will be looking to prove something.  They’re young and hungry and looking to earn and keep NFL jobs.  On the negative side, if Jones is either injured or ineffective there will be virtually no rushing game, placing even more pressure on Kirk Cousins and the passing offense than last season.

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    Flashback Friday: Joe Jacoby

    I posted this before, but when original Hog Joe Jacoby is announced as one of the 15 Hall of Fame finalists the night before…


    Best of luck Joe! All of #RedskinsNation is pulling for you.

    Follow him on Twitter @JoeJacoby66Hog and me @TheHogsdotNet.


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    The Loser Papers 2015 – Edition IX

    The regular season ended with a bang yesterday, as the Redskins downed the sad sack Cowboys in dominant fashion. To add to the fun, the beat-down came in front of several members of the Dallas ring of shame. Why they trotted out these has-beens to witness the end to the worst Boys’ season in nearly 30 years, is anybody’s guess. Let’s see if The Dallas Morning News has any ideas.

    Cowboys avoid doing something foolish, lock up high draft pick after miserable season

    Washington Redskins defensive end Chris Baker (92) mows over Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kellen Moore (17) to recover a fumble after Moore fumbled the snap in the first quarter during the Washington Redskins vs. the Dallas Cowboys NFL football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday, January 3, 2016. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

    Louis DeLuca/Staff Photographer

    Washington Redskins defensive end Chris Baker (92) mows over Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kellen Moore (17) to recover a fumble after Moore fumbled the snap in the first quarter during the Washington Redskins vs. the Dallas Cowboys NFL football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday, January 3, 2016. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

    By , Staff Writer 

    ARLINGTON — The problem with being your best regardless of circumstance, the danger of playing hard week in and week out with nothing at stake is that a team can stumble into an inopportune victory.

    Don’t worry. The Cowboys weren’t impulsive, efficient or good enough to compromise their draft status with something as foolish as a win in the regular-season finale.

    A miserable season ended on a fitting note Sunday afternoon as Washington beat Dallas 34-23. The latest loss at AT&T Stadium ensures the Cowboys own the No. 4 pick in the April draft. Tennessee and Cleveland are the only teams to finish with fewer victories than the Cowboys this season.

    “I’m just really taken aback by the fact that we’re sitting here with four wins after this year,” owner Jerry Jones said of his team’s 4-12 record. “This was never anticipated.”

    Only two Cowboys teams have finished with more losses than this star-crossed bunch. The eight-game drop from 2014 is easily the largest one-season decline in franchise history.

    “I thought we did one of the best offseason jobs of addressing our needs and really acquiring some serious talent where we had the most need,” Jones said.

    “Last year, you guys [media] made me the Executive of the Year. This year I think I’m on my way out. And I had it figured the other way. I thought last year was going to be the exit strategy.”

    How bad did it get?

    Let us count the ways.

    The Cowboys haven’t won a game at AT&T Stadium since they beat the New York Giants in the season opener. The seven-game losing streak at home is the second longest in franchise history.

    The defense forced a franchise-low 11 turnovers this season. That equals an NFL record of futility shared by the Baltimore Colts (’82) and Houston Texans (’13).

    “The season sucked,” defensive end Greg Hardy said. “You’ve got to win to be relevant, so we didn’t win enough.”

    The Cowboys did end a five-game streak of being held to less than 20 points.

    But the 275 points the offense scored is its lowest total in 13 years. Dallas finished with 26 touchdowns, tying for the third lowest total in franchise history.

    “It’s probably as difficult of a season as we’ve been a part of,” tight end Jason Witten said.

    Head coach Jason Garrett escaped the shackles of three consecutive 8-8 records last season by presiding over a 12-4 team. Following that up with 4-12 shows he’s inexorably drawn to .500.

    “We all have to be accountable for it,” Garrett said. “We’re all a part of it. We all own it.

    “No one owns it more than I do.”

    It was clear from the start that the Cowboys weren’t about to reverse their fortunes against Washington.

    Kellen Moore, who finished with 435 yards passing, threw an interception on the team’s second possession. He fumbled the snap from center the next time he took the field.

    Dallas trailed 21-0 entering the second quarter and never drew closer than 10 points the rest of the afternoon.

    Receiver Terrance Williams, who more than doubled his best output of the season with 173 receiving yards on eight receptions, stopped rookie Lucky Whitehead in the tunnel leading to the Cowboys locker room after the game.

    “We’re going to be back next year,” Williams told Whitehead. “This is going to make us stronger.”

    Garrett said afterward that a team must be built the right way to overcome the adversities that are thrown its way over the course of a season. These Cowboys weren’t built to succeed.

    “We’re not that team,” defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford maintained. “We have too much talent on this team to only have four wins.

    “It’s just unacceptable and we have to do a lot better.”

    Injuries to receiver Dez Bryant and quarterback Tony Romo began this unexpected turn of events. But this season exposed a number of deficiencies.

    “We all know that we’re short fundamentally,” Jones said. “We’re short on execution. We’re short in many ways of where we should be, not just at quarterback, but we’re short.

    “Can we correct that and is it possible to do that within this offseason? It is possible to do.

    “Yes. Yes. And we intend to go for it and try.”

    Cowboys trends

    The fans: Down

    Yes, it’s been a miserable season for the Cowboys. Fans have been forced to generate their own entertainment and excitement in most games at AT&T Stadium. But starting the Wave while Washington’s Dashaun Phillips lies motionless on the field before he’s carted off the field on a stretcher is the epitome of poor taste.

    Team first: Up 

    Sean Lee stood to earn a $2 million bonus if he took part in roughly half of the defensive snaps in Sunday’s game. But the linebacker told Jason Garrett before the game his hamstring didn’t feel right and he’d be unable to play. A lot of players talk about putting the team over themselves. Lee is one of the few who shows it in such dramatic fashion.

    First impression: Down 

    The final margin wasn’t obscene. But when a team goes into a game with nothing at stake, what happens in the first quarter tells you if they’re ready to play. Dallas wasn’t. A team that allowed only 45 points combined in the first quarter of the first15 games found themselves down 21-0 entering the second quarter of this one.


    As miserable season ends, Cowboys need to either get better players or better coaches

    At times, the Dallas Cowboys staff, including head coach Jason Garrett (center), couldn't bear to watch their offense play in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, January 3, 2016. The Cowboys lost 34-23.

    Tom Fox/Staff Photographer

    At times, the Dallas Cowboys staff, including head coach Jason Garrett (center), couldn’t bear to watch their offense play in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, January 3, 2016. The Cowboys lost 34-23.

    ARLINGTON — The Cowboys announced a crowd of 90,127 for their season finale against the Washington Redskins.

    That extended the Cowboys’ streak of consecutive 90,000-plus home crowds to 11.

    But, frankly, I didn’t see those 90,000, unless many of them came clad in white towels. The Cowboys draped a towel over every seat at AT&T Stadium hoping to drum up some hometown support in a building that lacks it. But by halftime, you could still see empty suites with towels on the seats plus rows of white throughout the upper decks.

    And, frankly, I didn’t feel those 90,000. I felt the 82,000 in attendance at the Cotton Bowl in this same building the other night. There was a passion for the game and the two teams involved. But there was little to no passion on Sunday, either on the field or in the stands.

    What little emotion there was in the stands evaporated by the end of the first quarter after Kirk Cousins had completed 8-of-10 passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns to stake the Washington Redskins at a 21-0 lead on the way to a 34-23 victory.

    A miserable season had come to an end. The Cowboys had gone from first to worst in the NFC East, from 12-4 to 4-12.

    Coach Jason Garrett took a different approach in his postgame news conference. Frankly, it was a welcome approach. He didn’t drone on about how hard his team had played and how the Cowboys would continue working to get better. He spoke of the mess the Cowboys had made of their season.

    “You have to own the results, every part of it,” Garrett said. “It’s a collective responsibility. It starts with me, every coach, every player, everybody connected with the football team. You have to be honest with yourself in the evaluations, and you have to grow from the experience. That’s what we intend to do.”

    Status quo didn’t work in 2015 — not after the injuries suffered by Pro Bowl playmakers Tony Romo and Dez Bryant that kept them out for chunks of the season. And status quo won’t work in 2016. There are problems on this football team beyond the health of Romo and Bryant.

    And that’s where the Cowboys must indeed be honest in their evaluations.

    Starting with the coaching staff.

    The Cowboys led at halftime in seven games this season. They were either ahead or tied in the fourth quarter of 11 games. Yet they managed to win just four times. That’s a coaching problem.

    Garrett and his coordinators were given lucrative long-term contracts last offseason to be difference-makers. It’s the job of the coaching staff to take the players they have and find a way to win with them. It’s their job to find solutions, not excuses. But this staff had no answers. Instead of finding way to win, this staff and this team found ways to lose.

    That was underscored Sunday when the Cowboys twice committed turnovers inside the Washington 1-yard line that cost them touchdowns in a game where a couple of extra TDs would have come in handy.

    Cole Beasley disappeared for stretches in Scott Linehan’s offense this season. So did Terrance Williams, and former second-round draft pick Gavin Escobar may as well have been a 16-week inactive. The best offensive line in football regressed. The Cowboys played 12 games with backup quarterbacks and the managed to win just once.

    Either get better players or better coaches.

    Rod Marinelli’s defense is designed to feast on sacks and takeaways. His Super Bowl champion defense at Tampa in 2002 collected 43 sacks, intercepted 31 passes and forced 38 turnovers. But his 2015 Cowboys endured a defensive famine — 31 sacks, eight interceptions and a league-low 11 takeaways.

    Offseason additions Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory were brought in to give this pass rush some teeth. They combined for six sacks. The starting secondary of Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox combined for one interception.

    Again, either get better players or better coaches.

    The owner also needs to be honest with himself. Jerry Jones saw the empty seats for the finale. That 90,127 was paid admissions, not actual fannies in the stands.

    Jones heard the booing in the first half and saw the waves of fans leaving in the third and fourth quarters as Washington’s scrubs were building on the lead. One of the symptoms of this 4-12 season was a 1-7 record at home. Jones needs to put a product on the field that can reward the home folk for their support and give them a reason to cheer.

    Until the Cowboys figure out how to win at home, rush the passer, force turnovers and survive injuries, winning will remain a challenge. So the general manager of the Cowboys needs to take a long look in the mirror and be honest with himself.

    Either get better players or better coaches.


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    You Like That: Wallpaper Wednesday

    That’s right, it’s Wallpaper Wednesday again, and while we may be playing the Cowboys this week…

    … it doesn’t matter because we’re going to the playoffs!

    Largely due to the play of Captain Kirk.

    We Like That.


    Click for the 1440×900 wallpaper size, and please feel free to share across your social networks.

    Hail #RedskinsNation!

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    Minion Monday: Playoff Bound!

    Winners of the NFC East…

    Playoff bound…

    Your Washington Redskins.



    Click for full size, and feel free to share across your favorite social networks!


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