Washington Redskins latest loss should not be blamed on the defense

Photo Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

The Washington Redskins suffered a 33-19 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8. The Redskins’ defense had a tall order trying to contain the Cowboys’ prolific offense. Dallas has an abundance of playmakers on offense, led by quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott and Elliott enjoyed outstanding rookie seasons last year, with Prescott winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Elliott leading the league in rushing with 1,631 yards. Factor in established veterans like wide receivers Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten, and it’s easy to see why Washington’s defense would have its hands full.

In reality, Elliott was the only Cowboy that reached the end zone on offense, scoring two rushing touchdowns in the first half. The Redskins held the Cowboys’ offense to four field goals in the second half while keeping the game close. Considering those circumstances, Redskins’ fans can’t really ask for anything more from their defense.

Sadly, it was the offense and special teams units that let Washington down. The Redskins had a field goal blocked and returned 85 yards by Cowboys’ cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Running back Chris Thompson fumbled a kickoff that was recovered by Dallas, who converted the miscue into a field goal.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins lost a fumble in the third quarter that was recovered by the Cowboys and converted into a field goal. Washington placekicker Nick Rose missed an extra point attempt after Cousins threw a touchdown pass to maligned wide receiver Josh Doctson. With Dallas leading 26-19, Cousins threw an interception that was returned 21 yards for a touchdown by Cowboys’ cornerback Byron Jones. That sealed the victory for Dallas.

It’s hard enough to beat the Cowboys playing nearly mistake free football. When you turn the ball over like Washington did, you have no chance. Those miscues lead directly to 20 Dallas points, which provided the margin of victory for the Cowboys.

The Redskins have no time to dwell on this game now. They have another daunting task ahead of them in the Seattle Seahawks. Qwest Field in Seattle is one of the NFL’s most intimidating venues. If the 3-4 Redskins are to salvage their season and regain some confidence, this is a game they must win. Only time will tell if Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden can come up with a game plan efficient enough to pull off the upset.

 

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