Poor Execution, Poor Officiating Cost Redskins
The greatest rivalry in sports pretty much produced a stinker on Monday night, as the Cowboys hung on for a 21-18 victory over the Redskins. Neither team had much to be happy with, but the Cowboys go away content to have moved to 2-1 and to have handed Washington their 13th loss in their last 14 meetings.
The game was marred by particularly bad officiating. The Cowboys first score of the game came as a direct result of a blown pass interference call. The officials flagged Walt Harris on Terry Glenn in the end zone giving the Cowboys a first and one on the goal line. Not only was Harris not guilty of the infraction, but he was probably interfered with himself by Glenn. The Cowboys converted, and had themselves a 7-0 lead. The officials also blew a big call later in the game when they DIDN'T flag Terrence Newman for pass interference on Rod Gardner in the end zone.
In the end though, it was poor execution that cost the Redskins Monday night's game... at least early on. Washington just couldn't get going in the first quarter. Their first drive was an anemic three and out, and though their second drive began in a more promising fashion, it came to a crashing halt with three straight incompletions to Laveranues Coles. Coles uncharacteristically dropped two very catchable balls in a row to force the Redskins to punt after having moved into Dallas' territory. The Cowboys next drive yielded the bogus interference call, and not only did Dallas have the lead; they had taken the sting out of a raucous Redskin crowd.
The Redskins next three drives would net just 3 total yards, and that's not good enough when you're trying to beat a division rival, let alone when you're playing your archenemy. Play by the Redskins during this time was ugly at best. Mark Brunell was overthrowing receivers, and the offense just looked completely out of sync. It wasn't the Cowboys defense that was stopping the Redskins; it was the Redskins stopping themselves.
Brunell finally got on a roll in the middle of the second quarter and managed to march the Redskins 92 yards down the field to the Dallas one-yard line. But again the Redskins sputtered and couldn't get the major in three attempts. They settled for the field goal and went into the half down 7-3 instead of being even at 7.
That was the sort of day it was for the Redskins... blown opportunities and poor execution. Sprinkle in the odd call against you from the officials, and the Redskins had the recipe for their second loss of the 2004 season.
This article was released on 2004-09-28.
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