Dallas Week Is Here!
By: Bernie Marshall 
Posted: 2008-09-25
Category: Washington Redskins News
The Washington Redskins will make their final regular season visit to Texas Stadium Sunday; kickoff is at 4:15 p.m. ET. The Redskins will continue their long-standing rivalry with a team that is currently tied for first place in the NFC East after defeating the Green Bay Packers last Sunday to improve to 3-0. Tight End Jason Witten was quarterback Tony Romo’s top target with seven catches for 67 yards as Romo finished 17-of-30 for 260 yards with one touchdown and a interception. Wide Receiver Santana Moss and Tight End Chris Cooley combined for 147 yards on 14 catches as the Redskins handed the Arizona Cardinals their first loss of the season 24-17. This will be the 97th time these two teams have faced each other since their storied rivalry began, the Redskins have won four of the last six contests but trail in the series 38-56-2

News, Notes, and Quotes:

-- "I was a little scared about that and didn't quite understand why it had to be done so suddenly, I kept telling the doctor, 'Let's wait until the sun comes up and let me talk to some people,' and they kept stressing how important it was to get it done right away. It's all a matter of how well the body responds to the surgery and the nerve issue and all that. Day-to-day for me; in a perfect world I'd play Sunday, but it would be tough to get off crutches on Wednesday and tee it up. I want to play as soon as I can. I don't know. ... It could be a week or a couple months. You never know." — Defensive End Jason Taylor commenting on having an emergency procedure done after being diagnosed with compartmental syndrome.

-- Over the last few years the Redskins have been known for not playing well in the fourth quarter, during their four-game losing streak in 2007 the Redskins were outscored 43-23 in the fourth quarter, After 3 games quarterback Jason Campbell's fourth quarter passer rating of 125.9 (ranked second in the NFC and fourth in the NFL) is his top rating for any quarter this year and the Redskins have outscored their opponents 21-7 in the fourth quarter. The Redskins offense has picked up 21 first downs while the Washington defense has limited the opposition to just eight.

-- Cornerback Carlos Rogers who is notorious for having stone hands, not only had an interception that he held on to but his fumble recovery against Arizona was the first of his Redskins career.

-- "It's definitely a setback for the defense, If I know I'm going to be the guy on Wednesday, I'll definitely do some things differently. As a backup, you kind of watch the game from the sideline and when you go in, you know how they'll attack you. But once you're a starter, you're in there from play one and they'll probably attack you differently." — Defensive End Demetric Evans on filling in while starting End Jason Taylor is sidelined.

-- Last week’s Redskins versus the media battle was between Clinton Portis and radio talk show analyst Brian Mitchell. This week’s conflict involves Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato and Washington Post writer/blogger Jason La Canfora. On Monday, co-host George Michael (of Cerrato’s new weekly radio show) disclosed that Jason La Canfora asked the NFL whether Cerrato would be penalized for tampering due to things said on Friday during a discussion with Adam Schefter of NFL Network regarding rumors linking Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin to Syracuse. The National media took this as Vinny Cerrato accusing La Canfora of trying to get the Redskins into hot water. So much so that Washington Post Editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz chimed in with a statement (released by JLC) saying: "Jason did not "charge" anyone with anything. He called the NFL's public relations staff last week to ask how the league's anti-tampering rules would come into play if Vinny Cerrato answered a question during his new radio show about a player or coach under contract to another team. Sports radio hosts are often asked these sorts of questions, and we were curious whether Cerrato would be limited in the way he could respond by virtue of his position as a team GM. Jason did not make any sort of complaint whatsoever. He referred to Cerrato's questions about Raiders coach Lane Kiffin only to provide context for the question he was asking. He did not write about the issue." It’s hard to tell if La Canfora was trying to research a story or create one, however one might ask why he would call the NFL about something that he's not writing or blogging about.

Here's what NFL spokesman Michael Signora had to say: "Jason LaCanfora called our office and said that Vinny Cerrato was talking in specifics on his radio show about the Raiders' coaching position. Jason wanted to know if that could possibly be a tampering issue. Jason has been told that there is no general prohibition against publicly talking about another team's players or staff. It routinely occurs throughout the league."

-- Former Redskins linebacker Matt Millen was recently fired by the Detroit Lions. The team replaced him with another former Redskin when Lions’ owner William Clay Ford, Sr. named former Redskin defensive back Martin Mayhew as General Manager of the team. Mayhew started 48 games with 321 tackles, thirteen interceptions and one touchdown during his four years in Washington (1989 to 1992). Mayhew joined the Lions as one of Matt Millen’s first appointments in 2001. He was promoted to Senior Vice President of Administration and Legal affairs in 2003 and was given the title Assistant General Manager in 2004. As General Manager, Mayhew will run the on-field activities of the Lions. Mayhew is the second ex-Redskin to be named to a NFC North front office. Former Redskins safety Mark Murphy was named President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers in December 2007.

-- "That was the game that put me on the map, that showed people who always wanted me to be a downfield threat what kind of player I could be in that moment, "I'd had a 1,000-yard receiving season already, but people kept waiting for me to be the guy I was at Miami who caught all those downfield throws. That night, everybody's perception changed." — Wide Receiver Santana Moss on his performance at Texas Stadium in 2005

-- "I thought I had been having a good game, For one play to decide whether I start or not, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to prepare like I'm the starter. If not, I'll be a starter on special teams and try to make an impact that way." — Safety Reed Doughty who made his first start last November against this week’s opponent when asked if he is still the starting safety for Sunday’s game

-- Defensive End Jason Taylor’s consecutive games streak comes to an end this Sunday. Taylor is sidelined with a calf injury. He started 133 consecutive games, including three with the Redskins, before suffering the injury. The streak was the seventh longest in the NFL.

-- Wide Receiver Santana Moss has had some of the best games of his career against this week’s opponent; he has caught 33 passes for 602 yards--an 18.2 yards-per-catch clip--and four touchdowns in six games against them. His best game was in 2005 when he caught two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 70-yarder from Mark Brunell, to help the Redskins come from behind to win 14-13. In the two meetings last year, Moss caught 17 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns.

-- The Redskins lead the National Football League with a +5 turnover ratio. Washington has intercepted four passes and recovered two opponents’ fumbles, while the Redskins lone turnover on the season is a fumble on special teams. Both of the fumble recoveries were on loose balls forced by Rocky McIntosh, who is tied for the NFL lead in forcing fumbles.

Comparing the Team Leaders:

-- Coach Wade Phillips’ team is lead by QB Tony Romo who has a QB rating of 103.2 with 892 passing yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions; Jason Campbell is leading the Redskins with a QB rating of 100.1 with 647 passing yards and has thrown five touchdowns and no picks.

-- Marion Barber leads Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett’s ground attack with 285 yards on 62 carries and averaging 4.6 yards per carry and four touchdowns while Clinton Portis has 65 carries, averaging 3.8 ypc, with 248 yards and three touchdowns.

--Terrell Owens is the team’s top receiver with 193 yards and three touchdowns on ten catches. The Redskins top receiver is Santana Moss averaging 14.5 yards per catch on 19 receptions for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

-- Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart’s unit is lead by Ken Hamlin with nineteen tackles; Demarcus Ware leads the team with three sacks. No one on the team has recorded any interceptions. MLB London Fletcher continues to lead the Redskins in tackles with 31 while Chris Wilson, Andre Carter, Jason Taylor, and Cornelius Griffin each have one sack and Chris Horton leads the team with two interceptions.

Complete Tale of the Tapes:

-- Total Offense: Washington is ranked 14th with 329.0 yards per game and this week’s opponent ranks 1st with 440.0 ypg.

-- Rushing Offense: Washington is ranked 12th with 123.0 yards per game and this week’s opponent ranks 9th with 150.7 ypg.

-- Passing Offense: Washington is ranked 15th with 206.0 yards per game and this week’s opponent ranks 3rd with 289.3 ypg.

-- Total Defense: Washington is ranked 13th, giving up 305.7 yards per game and this week’s opponent ranks 9th with 292.0 ypg.

-- Rushing Defense: Washington is ranked 16th, giving up 108.3 yards per game and this week’s opponent ranks 6th with 84.30 ypg.

-- Passing Defense: Washington is ranked 15th, giving up 196.3 yards per game and this week’s opponent ranks 19th with 207.7 ypg.

Injury Report:

Malcolm Kelly (Ankle) is Out
Kelly’s participation was limited in practice this week. Redskins coach Jim Zorn said Thursday that Kelly will not be ready to play Sunday

Jason Taylor (knee) is Out
Taylor was diagnosed with compartment syndrome which occurs when blood builds up in the body and puts excessive pressure on the muscles. After having blood released from his left calf muscle he will not be ready to play Sunday.

Clinton Portis (Neck) is Probable
Portis participated fully in practice. He is dealing with some neck soreness, but is expected to play in Week four

Fred Smoot (Hip-Pointer) is Probable
Smoot’s participation was limited in practice this week. He is still bothered by the injury he suffered in Week one, he played sparingly in Week three.

Injured Reserves:

The following players are done for the 2008 season:

-- DE Alex Buzbee (Achilles Injury)
-- DE Phillip Daniels (Knee Injury)
-- LB Matt Sinclair (Back)
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