Quick thoughts and then I'm off to bed. As I doubt no Cowboys fan likes to write about losing to the Redskins, no Redskins fan likes to talk about losing to the Cowboys. I'm brief because I hate the territory.
- The offensive play calling was not good. Normally when we convert 3rd downs I have some sense that it was due in large part to a well designed play. This entire game, barring one screen pass which I thought was well timed, when we converted on third down (so, really, the other four times, as we went an awful 5 of 14 on the most important down) it felt like great individual effort by the players. It is never fair to blame exclusively the coaching staff, or the players, for a loss, but this one felt like coaching.
- Clinton Portis is a man. He came out and ran despite injury and I respect him more and more as this season moves forward. His pockets are, indeed, straight.
- 3.6 yards is how many we had per passing attempt. I read a lot of box scores post-Redskins games and I cannot recall the last time that number was lower. That includes sacks, but even without we're well below 5 yards per attempt. That's just dog meat. How many times does the well have to come up dry before you stop lobbing to the sideline. If it doesn't work the first two times -- and by doesn't work I mean getting tackled for a loss or somewhere around there -- it's not going to work. Even when that play is working you shouldn't go there more than 3-4 times a game. They watch game tapes, ya know?
- I hate when the Cowboys succeed at anything, but I appreciate the logic in going for it late in the game with a 4 point lead. Wade Phillips had guts for doing that and I respect him for it. One of the reasons I love Jim Zorn is because he's not afraid to go for it, so I can't well criticize the other bastard for sharing similar sentiments, especially when they succeed. We went for it on 4th and 4 with 6 minutes left. I imagine many of you are going to have something to say about that decision. I loved it, we didn't convert, that sucks, but I thought it was the right call.
- 228 yards of offense? On an average day, the worst offense in the league (Bengals) gets 240 someodd yards. That just sucks and it tells the entire story of the game, which probably wasn't as close as the score.
- The defense played better than I'm feeling about them right now. Fresh in my mind is Marion Barber and company running down our throats seemingly at will, but the box score looks fine. 315 yards drags the Cowboys' season average down, two turnovers, nothing ridiculous on either yards per rush or passing attempt... A slightly high third down percentage (5/11, lower, actually, than the Cowboys' season average) is the only thing bothersome I see. You should've stopped them at the end, defense, but why do we deserve to win any games if we can't score more than 10 points? We'd be 0-9 this year with 10 points per game.
Congrats Dallas, etc. I'm not in panic mode just yet, but we looked strong at the beginning of the season and progressively worse since. Getting demolished by the Steelers, beaten by the Rams, and struggling to beat the Lions and Browns is not good. I don't know where that week two through five team went, but I miss them.