When turning on this game, fans would have hoped to have seen a team that didn’t just go into the bye week confused and disoriented, they wanted change. Unfortunately, there was disappointment abounding for the loyal fans of the Burgundy and Gold as a cruise missile was fired into their hearts from Dallas. The fans bleed from their hearts tonight as frustration mounts and the bandwagon grows steadily lighter.
Patrick Ramsey was sacked 4 times and looked hesitant and confused. In an unfortunate, yet not totally unusual development, when he looked to the sidelines for help, they looked confused too. Spurrier obviously is out to get Ramsey killed trying to look for the deep ball first when the opposing team is sending 6-7 men to attack the quarterback. Even when Ramsey was alone in the backfield to throw the ball, it seemed as if he still had a mental flinch. It looked like the second year quarterback was expecting to get hit at any time and with good reason. A stat shown during the game showed Patrick Ramsey being by far the most harassed quarterback in the league. It is easy to see why. With the offense sending every receiver, back and tight end out right away to hit Dallas with Spurrier’s version of “shock and awe”, what fans heard were the dull thuds of Ramsey hitting the ground, usually leaving a dent. The receivers were open, if only slightly, but the pressure kept Ramsey from seeing them. Tim Hasselbeck gets our Hog Nose for willingly walking to the huddle the first time without security escorting him and without the aid of valium in his system. He was 2/3 for 20 yards and he looked like he actually understood what he was doing. If Spurrier doesn’t change his plans, and radically, it is a good thing that Hasselbeck is looking sharp, because they are going to need him.
Well, Morton looked good for the two quarters (one against the Bills and one against the Cowboys) that he was able to play before being injured. He was able to make good gains against a previously stingy Cowboys defense. Rock Cartwright, the fullback turned Walter Payton, came in and performed very admirably in his stead. The problem was the passing attack, or lack thereof, that left the Cowboys with little to do but to invade the backfield on short yardage situations looking for a running back to stop short of the first down. Sultan McCullough also had a 9 yard run in his only rushing attempt, in which Patrick Ramsey was then summarily dumped (again) and injured. After that, Spurrier seemed even more disoriented, leaving the running game completely and returning primarily to the passing game. The body bags mount in the running back corps of the Redskins, and one might hope that the Skins start getting back some of the injured before the roster loses all of their options.
What looked to be a good outing for the defense was truly a poor outing by the Cowboys. This point can be proven by simply looking at the second half and how the Skins were summarily dismissed from consideration in the game by Carter and the Cowboys. The pressure was non existent as George Edwards still will not rush more than 4 men, no matter how many teams show him how to do it. The linebackers are still lining up 7 yards off the ball and don’t move until the play develops, leaving them 3 seconds behind the play. The secondary is still playing so loosely that Jerry Jones and Parcells could have been open, lining up 6-7 yards from their receivers. The cover 2 does not work unless supported by a strong line and blitzing up front. This bend but don’t break, read and react defense should have been torched with Mike Nolan and banned from the D.C. area forever. Our talented players don’t look like they are, and the team even gave up a first down because they weren’t lined up when the quarterback had his hands under center.
John Hall couldn’t save the team today, although Barker’s punting was much better. The coverage teams could have done somewhat better, though covering Galloway under full steam is a chore most people wouldn’t want. Patrick Johnson did a very good job returning kicks with a 24.3 yard average, and while he didn’t break any, he handled the ball well. They did backslide a bit, but to no surprise against a team that has always been a very good special teams team.