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Notes on the Cowboys 33-30 Win Over the Washington Redskins


It was another close game in the classic Cowboys-Redskins rivalry. Dallas came out on top in the end with a 39-yard field goal by David Buehler and a last-minute interception by Terence Newman to seal the win for the star.

However, this would have been somewhat acceptable if the Redskins had had Donovan McNabb, the man who has the most wins by a quarterback against Dallas with 12, under center. The sad thing though is that Donovan McNabb had been benched, and Rex Grossman was the quarterback.

Rex Grossman is the classic one-year wonder player. He had one good season with the Bears in 2006, and helped guide them to the Super Bowl, where they lost to Peyton Manning's Colts. Rex Grossman's play suffers from a disorder that I learned in psychology class called dissociative identity disorder.

Dissociative identity disorder is the name for what was used to be called multiple personality disorder. I'm pretty sure you know what that is, but I'm going to explain for you anyway. Multiple personality disorder is where there are two or more separate personalities in one body. It is extraordinarily rare, and some doctors wonder if it is actually just a figment of a person's imagination.

Well, Rex Grossman, the football player at least, suffers from it.

There is Good Rex, and there is Bad Rex. Good Rex can throw some touchdowns, has a cannon arm, and can even change a game to a degree. Bad Rex is erratic, throws a lot of interceptions, fumbles the ball, throws the ball inaccurately, and he costs his team the game a lot of the times.

Even in 2006, Grossman's good year, he showed flashes of Bad Rex. There was the game against the Cardinals on Monday Night Football where he had six first half turnover by himself, and the Cardinals were up 20-0 at the half. The Bears defense managed to score two defensive touchdowns, Devin Hester returned a punt 83 yard for touchdown, and the offense managed to score a field goal to win 24-23, but Grossman was shown on national television that he can be just dreadful at times.

Well, Good Rex hadn't been around for a long time, but the Cowboys almost let him beat them yesterday. Rex Grossman actually had a good game yesterday overall. He went 25/43 for 322 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions including the final one that Terence Newman snagged.

I go to this convenient store in my town semi-regularly. The cashier Johnny and I are both die-hard Dallas Cowboy fans, and I go by to give him the news that's happened during the day that he may have missed. Well, I remember telling Johnny after getting a snack and filling my gas tank up that I felt the Cowboys would destroy the Redskins because Rex Grossman was starting over Donovan McNabb, and the last time Rex Grossman replaced McNabb, he fumbled the football on his first snap and the Detroit Lions defensive tackle, Ndamunkong Suh, picked up the fumble and returned it for a touchdown in a 37-25 Detroit win.

So, you can imagine the delight that I had when I heard that Rex Grossman would be starting this game. I was expecting a blowout by Dallas. A 49-7 score or maybe even a shutout since the Redskins hadn't scored an offensive touchdown against Dallas since November 16, 2008 in the first quarter of a 14-10 loss.

And for a good while, it looked like my wish was coming true. Grossman threw two incompletions after six-yard catch by Santana Moss, and Washington punted the ball right to Dallas, and Dallas returned it 31 yards. Dallas already had a scored a field goal, so the Cowboys were in prime position to start running up the scoreboard.

Dallas turned it over on fourth and goal, but Rex Grossman threw an interception on the next drive, and no one but Gerald Sensabaugh, the guy who intercepted the pass, was near it. It was Bad Rex making a dumb throw all over again. Dallas got a touchdown quickly, and then after another three-and-out by Washington, the Cowboys scored another field goal.

Finally, Washington got some good completions, a penalty on Terence Newman for unnecessary roughness added 15 more yards, and finally Redskins capitalized and threw a touchdown to Ryan Torain. 13-7 Dallas.

But, Dallas wasn't done and they drove down the field, and Jason Witten caught his 600th career catch that he ran into the endzone with for a touchdown to put Dallas up 20-7. That's how it ended at the half after another drive by Dallas ended in a 35-yard field goal miss.

The second starts up with the same pace with DeMarcus Ware getting a sack and a forced fumble that Jay Ratliff recovered, and Dallas had a five-play drive that ended with a Tashard Choice rushing touchdown. Dallas up 27-7, and I am smiling.

Now this is where Good Rex Grossman decides to pop out and he leads the Redskins on not one, not two, but three consecutive touchdown drives with two two-point conversions to tie the game 30-30. Dallas had scored a field goal after the first touchdown, so the score was 30-14, then it was 30-22 then 30-30. It was a complete meltdown. The Cowboys let the Redskins gain 243 yards on three drives when before that, the Redskins had only had 180 yards on six previous drives.

Dallas did come back to win the game, but it was disgusting watching the Redskins, a team that Dallas was supposed to crush, come back and almost beat them.

Dallas had five sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble, but allowed 30 points. It definitely does not inspire confidence in any of the defensive staff going into this offseason.

A lot of people can say it is the secondary's fault while others will blame the pass rush or lack of one really. Well, I fault both sides really. A lot of times the pass rush is too slow, so the quarterback has plenty of time to make a throw, and I don't care who the quarterback is, who the receivers are, or who the defensive backs are, if the quarterback gets enough time, he will find someone open.

But, a quarterback can also beat the pass rush if the corner does not cover his man long enough for the pass rush to even get moving, let alone pushing past an offensive tackle and/or running back that's blocking.

I think that DeMarcus Ware can only be slightly held accountable. He's been double-blocked constantly, sometimes triple-blocked and he still has double digit sacks on the year.

The big disappointment really is Anthony Spencer. He was expected to have a monster year. He had had shown a lot of promise last year, and with DeMarcus Ware constantly blocked, Spencer should take advantage of that and get sacks for himself. He hasn't been doing that though. He has had only three sacks this year to Ware's 11.5.

In fact, no one has been productive on the pass rush except for Ware. Ware has at least three times as many sacks as everyone on the team. The second highest sack number on the team is the nose tackle, Jay Ratliff, with 3.5. It is ludicrous at how this defense has lost its great pass rush it had last year. That's why Wade Phillips has been fired.

The team is going to be evaluated over the offseason, and the Cowboys may see a lot of new faces next year because these guys have not repeated the same success as they had last year. I don't know if the new defensive coordinator, Paul Pasqualoni, will be the new defensive coordinator next year. Jerry Jones says he will explore all options, and there are going to be a lot of coaches in the market next year either for a coordinator's or even a head coach's job.

The Cowboys had 201 yards from scrimmage from Tashard Choice and Felix Jones in total rushing and receiving yards. Jason Witten joined Shannon Sharpe, Tony Gonzalez, and Ozzie Newsome in the 600 catch club for tight ends. That's major for Jason Witten because Newsome is in the Hall of Fame, and I guarantee that Gonzalez and Sharpe will get there. Witten finished the day with ten catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.

Jon Kitna threw 25/37 for 305 yards and two touchdowns. DeMarcus Ware had two sacks, a forced fumble, and six tackles. Orlando Scandrick, Gerald Sensabaugh, and Victor Butler each had one sack, and Bryan McCann had 54 yards on two punt returns.

Dallas fans should be glad the game was won, but they should be frowning that the team almost blew it in the end.

James Williamson's opinion: I think Pasqualoni is the most likely to be demoted/fired in the offseason. I feel that Jerry Jones needs to grab a guy like John Fox, who will most likely be gone from  the Panthers next season, to be the new defensive coordinator. Jason Garrett deserves to stay, and I think Jerry isn't giving him the job right now because the season isn't over, and he has to follow the Rooney Rule which states that he has to interview a minority candidate before making an official hire. The special teams coordinator, Joe DeCamillis, should be here next year. Dallas has improved greatly on special teams, so he should stick around.

Other notes: How many of you are going out of town for Christmas? I'm staying home, but my mom is going to Hawaii. I'm insanely jealous of her.

What I want for Christmas? Hmmmmm, that's a good one. I've got so many Cowboys memorabilia, that it is ridiculous. I'd like a Rangers jersey of either Colby Lewis or Nelson Cruz.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. :)


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