1. I am really taking advantage of this NOT being a Monday following a loss. The world is kind of our oyster today, and I am not going to let anything get in the way of the positive energy we all need to be sending to Dallas for tonight's game.
2. Just so everyone knows how hopelessly lost I am, I wanted to give you the following update: the Redskins are three games out of a wildcard spot. I know...I hate myself too. There is considerable traffic between us and that spot, but a win tonight would subtract a half-game from our task. Just sayin'.
3. Whenever we play Dallas, it feels like something is on the line no matter where we are in a season. That is because THERE IS SOMETHING ON THE LINE WHENEVER WE PLAY DALLAS. As I have said before, beating Dallas is its own reward. It just doesn't matter that our season is slipping away from us, or that their season is blasting off into the stratosphere. When we turn on the television this evening, the game will have as much interest as a postseason contest to each of us. Should we emerge as the victor, the feeling will be similar to that of a playoff win.
4. It is almost fitting that we are taking on the 6-1 Dallas Cowboys...on national television...on the brink of absolute disaster...with Colt McCoy at the helm. Over the years, some of the biggest stars of this game have included backup players. Hell, even the replacement players during the strike-shortened 1987 season became famous partly because of this game. All Clint Longley stories aside, I'll throw out a guy whose name comes to mind when I think of best performances in a backup role in this series. There are TONS, so please help us out and add yours in the comments section. Signed as an undrafted free agent hailing from the University of Maryland, Nick Novak made two huge plays that stand out in the minds of Redskins fans from games against the Cowboys. (Yes, a kicker, I know...I am saving the best ones for you guys!) In 2005, after hitting an extra-point to take the lead in a season-opening Monday Night Football game, he made a game-saving tackle on the ensuing kickoff. Simply huge. THEN...some of you may recall a certain blocked Dallas kick that ended up in the hands of a certain Sean Taylor that led to a certain game-winning opportunity at FedEx Field against the hated Cowboys. He trotted onto the field with no time left, thanks to a facemask penalty on Dallas that mandated an "untimed down." When he made that kick, it was like Christmas and New Year's all at once.
5. I am really fighting hard to figure out what this season is truly about, and what it can be truly about before all is said and done. None of us is conceding the playoffs, but in terms of this discussion, perhaps we can agree to at least search out alternative, achievable goals. More than just a win total, I think there are some very concrete things we can aim for, and I'll give you two of mine. The first one is some kind of validation of the choices we made at the top of the most recent draft. We are going to find out a lot about Trent Murphy going forward. To me, Spencer Long and Morgan Moses also need to show at least something before the end of this season. I understand that Moses is buried at the moment, but some time at swing tackle, perhaps as an additional blocker in certain packages would go a long way toward building the team's confidence in its ability to find guys who can actually play in this league. If both Long and Moses are on the bench next year after contributing nothing materially in 2014, I think we should all have some pretty huge questions about our front office. Some teams can afford to draft players in the third round who may or may not ever work out. We can't.
6. These questions already exist about our front office of course, but I don't consider our team to be in the position to make an in-season move there. We have a new coach, we are on our third quarterback and we have lost two defensive starters (DeAngelo Hall and Brian Orakpo) that we had expected to carry that unit. I don't see Dan Snyder surveying this landscape and pinning everything squarely on Bruce Allen's shoulders. There is a big decision for the organization coming up and I am happy to hear that the decision seems to be made. That decision is: If Griffin gets healthy when the season is all but lost, should he play at all? My answer to that question is a resounding YES. I believe that is the way the team sees it as well. With all due respect to Robert Griffin III, he is not Peyton Manning. We are not protecting a living legend from not being able to complete yet another record-breaking season next year. Griffin needs playing time. He needs to work with his teammates on Sundays. He needs to work with Jay Gruden to get comfortable with the manner in which Gruden calls plays. Griffin needs to help the coaches get comfy with the manner in he executes those plays. Winning games would be a treat, but we can make progress on offense in wins and losses. I don't think we can afford to "protect" Griffin from the field any longer. The team is getting closer and closer to having to make a long-term decision on RG3, and that decision needs to be based on game film. We have to wait until he 100% healthy of course, but assuming he is, we are past having the luxury of sitting him to avoid further injury.