The 5th Quarter - Cowboys
The Redskins came into this week looking to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They were also looking to end the string of losses the team has experienced at the hands of the Cowboys and that Coach Gibbs has suffered at the hands of Bill Parcells. Alas, both will have to wait until next season as the Redskins lose a heartbreaker to the Cowboys in the process of being eliminated from playoff contention.
The passing game continues to improve with each game. Ramsey seems to have his rapport back with Coles in addition to his budding relationship with Chris Cooley. On the first drive, Ramsey was a perfect 7 for 7 until tight end Brian Kozlowski dropped a first down pass which was intercepted.
In the second half, Ramsey had another perfect drive, going 7 for 7 en route to a touchdown pass to Robert Royal. Royal doesn't get the ball very often, but when he does he makes it count, catching 3 touchdown passes in the last 4 games.
The running game was basically non-existent. Once the trademark of the Joe Gibbs offense, this unit continues to struggle. Portis had 32 yards on the day when he left the game in the first half with a bruised shoulder. Betts wasn't much better, running for 43 yards on 13 carries.
Until the Redskins get the deep passing game rolling, this will continue to be a problem for the team. When the offense only throws short passes and runs, the opposing team can stop both by stacking the line of scrimmage. "Doc" Walker said before the game, that the Redskins offense is only running at 50% and the passing game is only running at 10%. The Redskins need to get the whole offense in gear, or the team will never reach it's potential.
The defense came into this game talking of blocks on their shoulders after being disrespected by the pro bowl selection committee and played like it for most of the afternoon. Sean Taylor continued to dominate from his strong safety position and the entire secondary played well most of the afternoon, with Shawn Springs recording interception number 5.
The pass rush netted 5 sacks, including Ron Warner and Chris Clemons, who both added to their sack totals. Cornelius Griffin continued to dominate the middle of the line of scrimmage. The team allowed the Cowboys to drive, but kept them out of the end zone for most of the game.
Unfortunately, with the game on the line, the defense lost the game for the first time all season. With Smoot and Jimoh both injured on the sidelines, the Redskins were forced to line up with linebackers on wide receivers. As a result, Taylor was forced to help on Keyshawn Johnson and at the same time, Shawn Springs passed Patrick Clayton off to Taylor's zone, ending in a 39-yard score with 30 seconds left on the clock to seal another loss to the hated Cowboys.
Well, the Fifth Quarter was all set to rave about the emergence of Antonio Brown on punt returns this week, until the fumble negated everything positive we had to say. With his speed and his ability to find seams in protection, he has the potential to be a good punt returner, but if you can't hang on to the ball, you can't be that good.
The coverage units had a decent game, which hasn't been a given this season. Tom Tupa punted well most of the time, and Jeff Chandler kicked well, although he missed a 56-yard kick to tie the game in the fourth quarter; a kick that would have been the longest his career.
The officiating continues to be terrible this season. The Redskins have seen enough bad calls to make even Joe Gibbs question them. This reporter can't remember ever seeing a game in which an offensive face mask was called and a defensive holding call was made on a running play. Add in another phantom pass interference call and you have a typical Redskins game.
To be fair, both teams had terrible spots go against them. Horrible officiating, it seems, is the norm in today's league.
15 Yard Penalty For Roughing The Rule Book
Well, folks, Merry Christmas from theHogs.net. While we didn't get the win over the Cowboys we wanted, we did get a competitive team with a good, solid foundation for next season and seasons to come.
This article was released on 2004-12-27.
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