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Skins Snaps & Stats: Redskins @ Cowboys

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A look at the snap counts and stats for every player on the Redskins in the team's Week 12 Thanksgiving day showdown with the Dallas Cowboys

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

OFFENSE

Snaps- The offense was on the field for 75 snaps against the Cowboys.  The 75 snaps was tied for the team's highest snap total in a non-overtime game since Week 4 of last season (75 snaps in Week 16 of 2015 too).

Even with the extra work, only 17 of the offense's 25 players took the field with Kirk Cousins and company.  Of the eight that did not see any time for Sean McVay's unit, five were inactive (Nate Sudfeld, Rashad Ross, Matt Jones, Blaine Clausell and Arie Koundijo), two only participated on special teams (Mack Brown and John Sullivan) and one was active but did not take a snap of any kind (Colt McCoy).  Four of the seventeen that did see action on offense only played on 18 or fewer snaps (Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, Derek Carrier and Vinston Painter), whereas, the other 13 took at least 32 snaps each.  Kirk Cousins is the only player on the team that has not missed a snap the entire year.

Turnovers- After having at least one turnover in ten consecutive games dating back to the playoff matchup against the Packers in January, the Redskins have now gone two straight games without giving the ball away.  Washington's 1.09 giveaways per game ranks 11th in the league this season.

Yards- The offense put up 500 yards for the second consecutive week (505 yards) and for the third time this season.  This was the first time in franchise history that the team has put up back-to-back 500-yard games.   The three 500-yard games in a season is also a new team record.  The Skins are also three games away from both breaking the franchise record for consecutive 300-yard games (15 currently) and 400-yard games in a single season (7 currently).  The 2016 squad is averaging an NFL-best 426.4 yards per game and is on pace to put up 6,822 yards of offense, a number that would shatter the previous of 6,253 yards (1989).  Yet despite all the yards, they still found a way to lose.

The Redskins became the fifth team in NFL history to lose a game in which they put up 500 yards and did not turn the ball over.  They were just the second team ever to do that without also giving up a sack.  And none of those teams outgained their opponents by as many yards as Washington did (152 yards).  We all know the reason for this.

Red Zone- Washington went 0 for 3 in the red zone in the first half of the game.  They rebounded by going 2-2 in the second half, but a 40% touchdown conversion rate is just not good enough when you're playing the team with the best record in the league and when the league average conversion rate for teams is 56%.  The Redskins' tie and three of their four losses have come in games in which they scored touchdowns on 40% or fewer of their red-zone trips (6 for 19 and a 32% conversion in those contests).  They've gone 3-1 in games where their conversion rate is above 40% (13 for 18 and a 72% conversion rate).

Two-Point Conversions- It also didn't help that the offense failed to convert on another two-point conversion.  They are 0-3 on the year and are one of seven teams with a 0% conversion rate on these plays.  The Titans are the only other team that has gone for two that many times or more (4 times) without a single conversion.

Quarterbacks (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Kirk Cousins * 75 100%
Colt McCoy 0 0%
Nate Sudfeld Inactive N/A
  • Kirk Cousins Stats- Kirk Cousins torched the Cowboys' defense with a stat line of: 53 attempts, 41 completions, 77.4% completion percentage, 449 passing yards, 8.5 yards per attempt, 0 sacks, 20 first downs, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and a 120.7 passer rating. 
  • Clutch Cousins- Cousins went 14 of 16 for 150 yards and 3 scores in the fourth quarter.  His 9.2 yards per attempt and 111.0 passer rating in the fourth quarter of games this season rank second and fifth respectively in 2016.  Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Derek Carr are the only ones with better numbers in one of those categories this season.  Tom Brady is the only QB to best him in both fourth efficiency metrics.
  • Single Game Record- With this effort, Cousins became the first QB since 1950 and probably ever to attempt 50 or more passes and complete 75% of his throws.  The 41 completions were the most by a quarterback this season and the third most by any QB in the last 14 seasons.  Cousins' 449 passing yards are a career high in a game that did not require overtime (458 yards in Week 8 versus the Bengals).  That is the second highest passing yardage ever in a Thanksgiving Day game (Troy Aikman had 455 yards in 1998). 
  • Redskins Records- Captain Kirk tied a team record with 350 yards in consecutive games (Jay Schroeder in 1986 and Sonny Jurgensen in 1967).  Cousins also became the first Redskins quarterback to throw for 400 or more yards in multiple games in a single season and is now the franchise leader in career 400-yard games, with three of them.  He also became just the fourth Washington QB to have ever thrown for 20 or more touchdowns in consecutive seasons (Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen and Joe Theismann).
  • NFL Record Setting Pace- The 28-year old Redskins signal caller is now on pace to throw for 637 attempts, 435 completions, 5,149 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  If that pace holds then Cousins' 2016 season will rank 8th in passing yards and 11th in completions all time.  If that happens and his 8.1 yards-per-attempt average hold, then he will be just the fifth quarterback to ever throw 600 or more passes with 8.1 yards per attempt or higher in a single season.  You might be familiar with the other four passers: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning.
Wide Receivers (6)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Jamison Crowder 60 80%
DeSean Jackson * 56 75%
Pierre Garcon * 52 69%
Maurice Harris 18 24%
Ryan Grant 13 17%
Rashad Ross Inactive N/A
  • Jamison Crowder- Crowder caught 8 of his 10 targets for 88 yards and 2 first downs.  The diminutive wideout from Duke has put up 88 or more yards receiving or scored a touchdown in seven straight games.  Crowder has a one game-advantage on most of the competition, but nevertheless, he still currently ranks 18th in receptions (55), 16th in yards (725) and 4th in receiving touchdowns, despite ranking 30th in targets (76).  He is on pace to catch 80 passes for 1,055 yards and 9 touchdowns this year.  No Redskin in their second year or that was 23-years old or younger has ever posted a single-season stat line like that.  Only 11 players in their age-23 seasons or younger have ever accomplished this feat.  I'll let you check out the list for yourselves.  I'm pretty sure you'll be impressed.
  • DeSean Jackson- DeSean Jackson's 118 receiving yards against the Cowboys was a season high.  It was the first time that he had gone over the 100-yard mark since Week 1 against the Steelers.  His two 100-yard performances this year already surpasses his single 100-game in 2015.  Most of those yards came on a 67-yard score in the fourth quarter.  With that touchdown, Jackson's 25 scores of 50 or more yards now ranks eighth all time.  With four more touchdowns of that distance he would move into a tie for second all time with Randy Moss (Jerry Rice ranks first with 36 50-yard TDs).  It was also his 21st career touchdown from 60 or more yards out.  He currently sits in second all time in this statistic and is only two 60-yard scores behind Jerry Rice for the all time record.
  • Pierre Garcon- Garcon caught all four balls thrown in his direction for 43 yards and 2 first downs.  The first downs came on a third-and-two and on a crucial fourth-and-two that would lead to a Redskins' touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.  Garcon is on pace to have the second most 50-yard games of his career in a single season (on pace for 10 such games).  If that pace holds then he would only have had more 50-yard outings in 2013, when he led the NFL in receptions.   Garcon has caught at least one pass in 97 straight games.  The only active players with a longer streak are Larry Fitzgerald (189 games), Brandon Marshall (154), Steve Smith (137), Jason Witten (130) and Michael Crabtree (105).
  • Other Wide Receivers- Maurice Harris hauled in two passes for 11 yards, but did not pick up a first down for the first time in three games.  Ryan Grant couldn't haul in his only target of the game.  Grant has now failed to catch a single pass in 25 of his 43 career games (58%) and in 7 of his 11 games this season (64%).  He was targeted in 7 of those 25 career games, which includes 4 instances this year.  I'm starting to wonder why Grant has been active and taken an offensive snap in every regular season game that he's been eligible to do so.
Tight Ends (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Vernon Davis * 45 60%
Jordan Reed * 37 49%
Derek Carrier 14 19%
  • Jordan Reed- Jordan Reed suffered an AC joint separation in the game, played on less than half of the offensive snaps as a result of the injury and still went off against the Cowboys by putting up the following stat line: 12 targets, a season-high 10 receptions, 95 receiving yards, a season-high 8 first downs and 2 touchdowns.  He did most of his damage after the injury too, with 8 receptions, 7 first downs, 80 yards and both scores.  His eight receiving first downs were the most by a Redskin in a game this year.  Reed is also the only Redskin with multiple receiving touchdowns in a game this season.  In fact, Robert Kelley's three touchdown outburst against the Packers last week was the Skins' only other multi-TD game of the year by another player.  Reed scored both of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter, making him only the third Redskin since at least 1991 to score two receiving touchdowns in the fourth (Santana Moss in 2005 and Leonard Hankerson in 2013).  His 93.4 PFF grade was the highest by any player in the three Thanksgiving Day games.
  • Other Tight Ends- Against Green Bay last week, Vernon Davis was only targeted once and failed to haul in a single reception for the second time this year (Week 3 versus Giants).  He bounced back against Dallas by posting the team's third highest target (7), reception (5) and receiving yardage totals (68).  His three first downs were tied for the second most by a Redskin on Thursday.  Davis has put up 50 or more yards receiving in 5 of his 11 games with the team.  His last set of five 50-yard games began in 2013, which was also his last season with five or more 50-yard games.  Coming into Week 12, Vernon Davis' yards-per-route-run average of 2.55 ranked second in the league behind only Rob Gronkowski's 3.29.  Martellus Bennett, Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham rounded out the top five.   Derek Carrier caught his first pass of year in the game, a four-yard reception on first down.  It was just the 27th career catch for the 26-year old.
Running Backs (3)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Chris Thompson 43 57%
Robert Kelley * 32 43%
Mack Brown ST Only 0%
Matt Jones Inactive N/A
  • Robert Kelley- After three straight games with 21 or more attempts, 87 or more rushing yards and a yards-per-carry average over 4.1, Fat Robert was only handed the rock 14 times and put up just 37 yards on those attempts (2.64 YPC).  And after picking up five first downs in each of the last two weeks, he moved the chains just twice against the Cowboys.  His attempt, yardage, first down and rushing average were all career lows for a game in which he has played on 32 or more snaps (Weeks 8-12).   
  • Chris Thompson- Thompson led all Redskins runners in snaps for the first time since the team's Week 8 matchup against the Bengals in England.  CT gained 17 yards and picked up one first down on the ground on four rushes (4.3 YPC).  He also averaged four yards after contact in the game.  He added 5 receptions for another 17 yards and a first down on 6 targets.  His 3.4 yards per reception was the fourth lowest clip of his career and his lowest average ever in a game with four or more catches.  Thompson has averaged 32.5 yards from scrimmage in his last four games, that's almost exactly half of what he was putting up in Weeks 4-7 (66 yards per game).
  • Redskins Rushing- Sean McVay only called 19 runs on 72 plays.  The 19 rushes and the resulting 26.4% rushing percentage are the offense's lowest numbers in both categories since Week 2.  That's quite surprising considering that the team was averaging 28 runs and a 43% rushing rate between Weeks 3 and 11.  The Redskins' 56 yards rushing was just one more yard than the season low 55 yards that they had in the Week 1 beating at the hand of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Their 2.95 yards per tote on Thursday was a season low.  Kelley, who between Weeks 1 and 11, only had a negative run or failed to gain a yard on 8% and 14% of his runs respectively, had negative yardage on 21% of his runs and failed to gain a yard on 29% of his attempts against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
Offensive Linemen (9)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Ty Nsekhe * 75 100%
Shawn Lauvao * 75 100%
Spencer Long * 75 100%
Brandon Scherff * 75 100%
Morgan Moses * 75 100%
Vinston Painter 4 5%
John Sullivan ST Only 0%
Blaine Clausell Inactive N/A
Arie Koundijo Inactive N/A
  • Offensive Line (Group)- The offensive line allowed just four hits and did not give up a sack on 53 passing dropbacks.  The four hits were the third fewest given up by the line and it was just the third time this year that the team did not allow a sack (Weeks 1 and 6 versus Pittsburgh and Philadelphia).  No other team has attempted more than 47 passes without giving up at least one sack all season.  This was also just the third time in history that a Redskins team has attempted that many passes without giving up a sack.  The only game in franchise history in which Washington attempted more passes without being sacked took place in 1949 against the Rams, when the team threw 56 passes and was intercepted four times.  Washington did not turn the ball over once on Thursday.  An NFL team has only thrown the ball 53 times without being sacked 53 times ever.  In all but six of those contests the team in question turned the ball over.  Those 53 teams averaged 2.2 interceptions and 3.2 turnovers in these games.
  • Offensive Line (Individual)- Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff were the Redskins third and fifth best players against the Cowboys according to PFF (78.4 and 76.3).  Ty Nsekhe was not the team's highest rated offensive lineman for the first time in the last three games.  He committed a false start and was flagged for holding just outside of the red zone (22-yard line).  Three plays after Nsekhe committed the holding infraction, Dustin Hopkins missed a 44-yard field goal.  Despite the slight dip in quality from Nsekhe on Thursday, it's still pretty amazing that he has yet to allow a sack in his three starts.  Backup/swing tackle Vinston Painter was used as a sixth lineman on four snaps.

DEFENSE

Snaps- The Redskins' defense ran 56 snaps against the Cowboys' offense in the game.  That's the third lowest snap total of the year.  The group was only on the field less against the Eagles (52 snaps) and Lions (53 snaps) in Weeks 6 and 7.  On those plays, Joe Barry sent out some combination of 20 of his 24 defenders.  Matt Ioannidis was the team's only inactive defensive player and the other three that did not play on that side of the ball, only saw time on special teams (Martrell Spaight, Greg Toler and Deshazor Everett).  Houston Bates is a defender, but for the second straight game his single snap non-special teams snap of the contest came as a fullback on offense.  Six of the twenty that played took 18 or fewer snaps (Cullen Jenkins, Anthony Lanier, Terence Garvin, Houston Bates, Quinton Dunbar and Will Blackmon), while each of the other defenders played on 26 or more snaps.

Quarterback Pressure- The Redskins only hit the opposing quarterback a season-low one time against the Cowboys, and that hit came on the team's only sack of the game.  Their previous 2016-low in hits was three against the Giants in Week 3.  It was also just the defense's third game this year without multiple sacks.  The Redskins were able to pressure Dak Prescott on just under a third of his dropbacks though (32%).  The Washington defense has now recorded at least one sack in 19 straight games.  The Broncos (27 games), Raiders (24 games) and Bengals (23 games) are the only other teams that can make that claim, and those teams have either Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Geno Atkins on their rosters.

Third-Down Defense- The Cowboys converted on four of their eight third-downs (50%) in Thursday's game.  What's worse is that three of their conversions came on plays in which the Dallas offense needed to gain eight or more yards to move the chains (8, 9 and 11 yards).  One of the four plays that did not result in a conversion was the game-ending kneel down.  Three of Washington's four losses and their tie came in games where the defense has allowed the opposing offense to pick up a first down on 50% or more of their third-down tries.  When they don't let teams convert on half or more of their third downs the script is flipped.  The Redskins are 5-1 when they hold their opponents to under 50% (loss at Detroit).  The Skins' 46.2% conversion rate this season ranks 29th in the NFL.  I'd like to think that a 50% rate is too much to ask for considering that the average team only allows their opponent to convert on 40% of their attempts.

Points- Dallas scored on five of the seven offensive possessions in which they did not take a kneel down (71%).  Washington ranks 19th in points allowed per game (24), 23rd in scoring percentage allowed (38.9%), 26th in points per drive allowed (2.33), 17th in yards per point allowed (15.4), 19th in points per play allowed (0.38) and 31st in red zone conversion rate allowed (67.6%).  You read that right, the defense is horrible in the red zone too.  Dallas scored touchdowns on all four of their trips to the red area on Thursday.  Any way you cut it, this team allows their opponents to put up points at a level below league average, and that's probably putting it kindly.

Rushing Defense- The Cowboys rushed 30 times for a 163 yards (5.43 defense) against the defense.  Dallas' 163 yards on the ground is tied for the most rushing yards allowed by the Redskins in 2016 (163 versus Cleveland).  The 30 runs is tied with two other games for the most against Washington in a non-overtime game this season (Weeks 1 and 2 versus Pittsburgh and Dallas).  The Cowboys scored three touchdowns on the ground in both of their games against the Redskins; the only other team to run for three scores on the Washington defense this year is the Bengals.  The defense's biggest weakness was clearly exposed by the team most capable of doing so, but it should be noted that 64 of the Cowboys 163 rushing yards came on the first drive of the game.  Zeke Elliot and friends averaged 12.8 yards per carry on the opening drive, but just 3.96 yards per attempt thereafter.

The Washington defense is on pace to allow 23.3 rushing touchdowns, 133 rushing first downs and a 4.7 yards per attempt against average.  Those numbers would rank 4th worst, worst (first down data only available since 1999) and 8th worst in franchise history.

Defensive Linemen (6)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Chris Baker * 43 77%
Ziggy Hood * 36 64%
Ricky Jean Francois 28 50%
Cullen Jenkins 18 32%
Anthony Lanier 3 5%
Matt Ioannidis Inactive N/A
  • Chris Baker- Baker led all Redskins defensive linemen with two solo and three total tackles.  One of his tackles was for a five-yard loss on the Cowboys' second drive of the game; that play helped to lead to one of the two Dallas punts on the day.    Baker was able to get pressure on Prescott, but he was unable to register a hit or a sack for the fifth time this season and for the fourth time in the last six games.  I like Baker a lot, but it's tough to have a great defense if your best defensive lineman isn't getting to the opposing quarterback on a consistent basis.
  • Ziggy Hood- Evander "Ziggy" Hood had one tackle for a loss on Ezekiel Elliot (-2 yards) and assisted Ryan Kerrigan on a one-yard Elliot run.  He has only made five total tackles and has failed to get a single QB pressure since the Week 10 bye.  Somehow he earned the highest Pro Football Focus rating on the Redskins' defense (75.9).  PFF seems to have whiffed on his evaluation in this game, but they appear to be much more accurate with Hood's 2016 season grade.  His 38.8 rating ranks him 115 out of 118 qualifying interior defenders.  Help Wanted: Washington Redskins Starting Defensive Lineman.
  • Reserve DL- Ricky Jean-Francois was the only DL besides Baker to get a pressure on Dak Prescott, but he was only able to assist on one tackle despite playing on a season-high 50% of the defensive snaps.  Anthony Lanier suffered a mild injury in the game, and as a result only made it onto the field for three snaps, his lowest total this year.  Cullen Jenkins saw his highest snap percentage since Week 5 (34% versus Baltimore), but was blanked on the stat sheet for the second time in the last three weeks.
Outside Linebackers (4)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Ryan Kerrigan * 44 79%
Preston Smith * 41 73%
Trent Murphy 28 50%
Houston Bates 1 1%
  • Ryan Kerrigan- Ryan "Heartbreak Kid" Kerrigan got a team-high five pressures and had the only sack of the game.  He has recorded a sack in six of the last seven games and his nine sacks this year rank sixth in the league (7th in sacks per game) and second in the NFC.  Kerrigan is on pace to rack up 13 sacks this year, just a half sack shy of his career high of 13.5.  He also led the Redskins with three assisted and five total tackles against the Cowboys.
  • Trent Murphy- For the third time this season and for the second time in the last two weeks, Trent Murphy failed to either hit or sack the opposing quarterback.  He also tied his season-low in total tackles, with two of them.  It was the fifth time in his last six games that Murphy has failed to exceed two tackles.  He averaged 4.5 tackles per game in Weeks 1-4.  Murphy was, however, at least able to somewhat salvage his day by recording multiple QB pressures in the game.
  • Preston Smith- For the first time this season and for the second time in his career (Week 3 of 2015 at New York Giants), Preston Smith was completely blanked on the stat sheet.  He also was unable to get a single QB pressure in the game.  It appeared that last week's contest against the Packers was his first career game without a pressure, but it looks as if a late correction was made and he was credited with one hurry.  So that makes this his first game ever without a single pressure.  I know he was matched up against one of the best players in the league in Tyron Smith this week, and that he had another tough assignment against David Bakhtiari last Sunday; but when you're starting and playing 60 and 70% of the snaps for an NFL team, you just can't go out there and get almost completely shutout in back-to-back games.
Inside Linebackers (5)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Will Compton * 56 100%
Mason Foster 31 55%
Su'a Cravens * 26 46%
Terence Garvin 1 2%
Martrell Spaight ST Only 0%
  • Will Compton- Will Compton played on every defensive snap for the sixth time this year.  He failed to make six or more total tackles for just the second time this season, but was able to record two QB hurries.  He was PFF's second highest graded Redskins defender against the Cowboys.  Compton is leading all Washington front-seven players in solo, assisted and total tackles for the second year in a row.
  • Mason Foster- Foster out-snapped Su'a Cravens for the first time in three weeks and tied for the team lead in total tackles (5).  His 14.8% tackles-per-opportunity rate was also tops on the team.
  • Su'a Cravens-The rookie out of USC got the start at ILB opposite Will Compton for the second week in a row and for the third time in 2016, but his snap percentage dropped from 86% last week to 55% in this game.  Cravens had two solo tackles and two hurries in the game.  This was his sixth straight game with at least one QB pressure.
Cornerbacks (5)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Josh Norman * 56 100%
Bashaud Breeland * 47 84%
Kendall Fuller * 39 70%
Quinton Dunbar 7 12%
Greg Toler ST Only 0%
  • Josh Norman- Norman took 100% of the snaps for the seventh time in eleven games with the Redskins.  Norman's primary function on Thursday was to shut Dez Bryant down, and with the exception of a few plays on which he was not targeted, he did just that.  He gave up just 3 receptions for 32 yards and 2 first downs on 5 targets when covering Bryant.  That, coming after he shutdown the Cowboys receiver in Week 2 (0 receptions on 2 targets).  In their only other career matchup Norman allowed a single reception for 6 yards.  So that comes to 4 catches for 38 yards and no touchdowns on 12 targets allowed by Norman when covering Dez Bryant in his career.  Not too shabby.  Dallas' coaches even had Bryant run 37% of his routes in the slot to avoid Norman (only 23% of his snaps have come in the slot this year).  He had two receptions for 40 yards on two targets when lined up inside.  There are only a few elite receivers that have gotten the best of Norman in their careers, and Dez Bryant isn't one of them.
  • Bashaud Breeland- Bashaud Breeland made four tackles, with two of them coming on the first two plays of the game.  He also allowed Terrance Williams to score a red-zone touchdown with 1:45 remaining in the first half.  That score allowed Dallas to go into halftime with a 17-6 lead.  Last year's team leader in interceptions (2), forced fumbles (3), fumble recoveries (2) and pass defenses (16), has not picked off an enemy QB since Week 1, forced or recovered a fumble all season and has only defended one pass in the last four games.
  • Kendall Fuller- Fuller made his fifth career start and led the team with five solo and total tackles.  Unfortunately for him, he was in position to make all of those tackles because he was getting routinely burned by Dallas wide receivers.  He was targeted on a whopping 26% of his coverage snaps and allowed 4 receptions for 50 yards on 5 targets in the first half alone.  Fuller gave up receptions of at least 14 yards on all three of the Cowboys' passing third-down conversions in the game.  It looks like Fuller has a bright future, but if he can't start to put things together, and fast, then his snaps need to be reduced for the time being.
Safeties (4)
Player (* - denotes starter) Snaps Snap %
Donte Whitner * 52 93%
Duke Ihenacho * 43 77%
Will Blackmon 17 30%
Deshazor Everett ST Only 0%
  • Donte Whitner- Donte Whitner led the safety corps in snaps for the fifth straight game, but made fewer than eight total tackles (4 solo tackles) for the first time in a game in which he's played on more than five snaps.  His 6.5% tackles-per-opportunity percentage was the second lowest among the seven Washington defensive backs that played on defense against Dallas.  He also committed a costly unnecessary roughness penalty in the fourth quarter on a third-and-long play at midfield.  The Cowboys would go on to score their final touchdown of the game five plays later.  Whitner has yet to record a sack, a pass defense, an interception, a forced fumble or a fumble recovery in a game this season.  He is PFF's 78th rated safety out of 86 qualifiers. 
  • Duke Ihenacho- Ihenacho made his third straight start ahead of Will Blackmon and played on over 70% of the snaps for the second consecutive week.  His five total tackles (3 solo and 2 assisted) were tied for the most on the team.  He dropped a easy interception that would've prevented a Dan Bailey field goal on the next play. 
  • Will Blackmon- It's somewhat of a mystery as to why Blackmon's playing time has taken such a precipitous drop after being on the field for 100% of the defensive snaps between Weeks 4 and 7.  His three snaps and 30% snap share against the Cowboys represented his lowest playing time figures since Week 2, when the Redskins last played the Cowboys.  Some of his recent box scores may demystify things, though.  Blackmon did not record a stat of any kind for the second time in the last four games. 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Snaps- Thirty-five Redskins played on Ben Kotwica's unit over the course of 26 snaps on Thursday.  The 35 consisted of 20 defenders, 12 offensive players and 3 specialists (Dustin Hopkins, Tress Way and Rick Lovato).  Long snapper Nick Sunberg was inactive for the second straight game.  Five non-specialists got played exclusively on special teams, up from two against the Packers (Mack Brown, John Sullivan, Martrell Spaight, Greg Toler and Deshazor Everett).

Houston Bates led the team in specials snaps yet again, but for only the second time this season Deshazor Everett did not have the second most snaps (Week 3 at Giants).  It appears that most of his playing time went to fellow safety Duke Ihenacho who got a season-high 58% of the teams snaps.  Ihenacho was tied for Garvin for the second most snaps.

For the first time this year, Brandon Scherff did not play on this unit.  That's notable because Morgan Moses was late coming in for an injured Scherff on a Dustin Hopkins field goal attempt from 44 yards out.  As a result, the Redskins called a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty.  They ultimately self-iced Hopkins who would make the kick right after the timeout was called and go on to miss the actual attempt right after that.

Special Teamers (35) Special Teamers (cont)
Player Snaps Snap % Player Snaps Snap %
Houston Bates 20 77% Tress Way 7 27%
Terence Garvin 15 58% Will Compton 6 23%
Duke Ihenacho 15 58% Maurice Harris 6 23%
Martrell Spaight 14 54% Ricky Jean Francois 6 23%
Deshazor Everett 13 50% Shawn Lauvao 6 23%
Su'a Cravens 12 46% Spencer Long 6 23%
Mason Foster 12 46% Morgan Moses 6 23%
Ryan Grant 12 46% Ty Nsekhe 6 23%
Dustin Hopkins 12 46% John Sullivan 6 23%
Bashaud Breeland 11 42% Chris Thompson 6 23%
Quinton Dunbar 9 35% Cullen Jenkins 5 19%
Mack Brown 8 31% Ryan Kerrigan 5 19%
Derek Carrier 8 31% Josh Norman 5 19%
Ziggy Hood 8 31% Preston Smith 5 19%
Anthony Lanier 8 31% Jamison Crowder 2 8%
Vinston Painter 8 31% Kendall Fuller 2 8%
Rick Lovato 7 27% Greg Toler 2 8%
Trent Murphy 7 27% Nick Sundberg Inactive N/A
  • Dustin Hopkins- Hopkins started his career by going 38 of 39 on field goals under 50 yards, but his miss on the 44-yarder against Dallas was his third such miss in his last 11 attempts.  He also failed to connect on an attempt from 55 yards out.  However, going for that kick was simply a bad call by Jay Gruden.  Hopkins career long make was a 54-yarder and he is now 4 for 9 (44%) on 50-plus yard field goal attempts in his career and 2 for 5 on them this year (40%).  The league average field goal percentage from 50 or more yards away is 60.2% since 2015, which is when Hopkins played in his first regular season game.  Hopkins is also much better outdoors, where he enjoys a 90% conversion rate (43-48), as opposed to indoors, where he connects on just 64% of his kicks.  Finally, it's apparent now that he is in a slump.  After starting the season 12 for 12, he's gone on to hit on just 12 of his last 18 attempts (66%).  Hopkins was, however, good on attempts from 24 and 20 yards and all three of his non-onside kicks went for touchbacks.
  • FTL (For the Loss)- Hopkins has missed five combined field goals in the last three games that Washington has not won.  That's 15 points lost on his misses (3, 6 and 6 points).  The combined margin of victory in those games is -8 (-3, 0 and -5 points).  I'll let you do the math from here.
  • Tress Way- Tress Way's only punt of the game went for 39 yards and was fair caught by Lucky Whitehead at the Dallas 16-yard line.  Two of the three games in which Way has only punted the ball once have occurred this season.  The Redskins are punting the ball a league-low 2.64 times per game.  The average team punts the ball about four-and-a-half times per contest.  That is another stat that points to just how good this team's offense is.
  • Kick Coverage- The Cowboys did not return any of the Redskins kicks or punts in this game, so there's not much to go over here.  Deshazor Everett was credited with a solo special teams tackle on the onside kick.  He leads the team with five solo tackles.  Houston Bates is the only other Washington player with more than 2 this year (4).
  • Returns- All six of Dallas' kickoffs went for touchbacks so the Redskins did not field one kick return for the first time since Week 17 of last season, the last time they played a game in Dallas.  They also did not return a single punt.  Jamison Crowder fair caught a punt at the 10-yard line.  Dallas' other punt was downed at the Washington 19.  This was the Skins' first game without a punt return since Week 4 against the Browns.  After returning seven punts for 194 yards (27.7 yard average) in Weeks 1-5, Crowder and company have only been able to muster 66 return yards on nine returns (7.3 yard average) in the last six games.

*All statistics are courtesy of CSN Mid Atlantic, ESPN, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Real Redskins, Redskins.com, Team Rankings and The Washington Post*