Week 15 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 7, Washington Redskins 35
What you need to know
Drew Bledsoe played an abysmal game. He was incredibly pressured by the Washington defense and any offensive momentum was completely thwarted. He had 11 passes knocked down and was sacked seven times. Add to that the three interceptions he threw and a lost fumble and it is easy to see why this was a losing effort for the Cowboys. He just was never able to sustain any sort of drive.
The poor play of Drew Bledsoe and the excellent performance of the Washington defense took a toll on the Cowboys’ receiving game. Jason Witten led all the receivers with his four receptions for 41 yards and the only score of the game for the Cowboys. Marion Barber was second in line with four receptions for 26 yards, two of them on the last drive for Dallas. Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson combined for four receptions for 45 yards.
Julius Jones split carries with Marion Barber and as the game wore on Barber began to see more touches. Jones had 12 carries for 79 yards, 51 of those yards came on a long run at the end of the third quarter.
Guard Marco Rivera was injured with less than two minutes left in the game. He was carted off the field and it was reported he had suffered a neck stinger.
Through the first half, this game was the Chris Cooley show. He scored three touchdowns. His third for 30 yards was following Drew Bledsoe’s interception, and he broke a tackle to gain the yards and score.
The Redskins defense did not allow the Cowboys to sustain any offensive momentum. They pressured Bledsoe repeatedly, sacking him seven times throughout the game. He was intercepted three times. And he lost a fumble as well.
Clinton Portis turned in his seventh 100 yard plus rushing game of the year. He displayed strong rushing, especially to the outside. There were two points in the game when he left the field apparently injured. But he was able to return after the first. The second time, the injury did not seem serious as Portis was seen walking around on the sidelines. The game was well in hand by that time for the Redskins and he did not return. Ladell Betts saw time rushing in relief of Portis and he scored the only rushing touchdown of the game for Washington.
Santana Moss only made two receptions on his seven targets for 73 yards, but both receptions were key in setting up Redskins’ touchdowns. His second was a deep reception for 42 yards to the one yard line.
Offensive lineman Randy Thomas injured his right leg in the fourth quarter and was taken off the field on a cart.
What you ought to know
|QB Drew Bledsoe, Pass: 16 - 29 - 153 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0|
Bledsoe was intensely pressured by the Redskins. He was sacked seven times. And with his first passing attempt of the game, Bledsoe threw an interception. And at the end of the first half Bledsoe threw his second interception, successfully ending any momentum that the Cowboys had. His third interception ended the game. Under pressure, Bledsoe was able to connect with Keyshawn Johnson for 14 yards and a first down during the first quarter. Bledsoe lost a fumble on the opening drive of the second half. The only bright spot of the game was his touchdown pass to Jason Witten in the middle of the fourth quarter.
|RB Julius Jones, Rush: 12 - 79 - 0, Rec: 3 - 17 - 0 (5 targets)|
Jones had a long carry which accounted for 51 of his 79 rushing yards. As the game wore on, Jones lost carries to Marion Barber. Jones made a screen pass catch for 15 yards to the 25 yard line near the end of the first half.
Barber saw the carries in the red zone. He made an eight yard reception to gain a first down. He made a ten yard reception in the third quarter, but it was just short of a first down. Barber was able to leap over a couple of Redskins to pick up two yards and a fourth down conversion.
Glenn was not targeted until the middle of the third quarter, but he bobbled the ball and could not make the catch. His second target was on a poorly thrown pass from Bledsoe. Glenn was targeted deep near the end of the first half. Glenn made his first catch in the middle of the third quarter for eight yards.
Like Terry Glenn, Johnson only made two receptions in the entire game. He made a 14 yard reception during the Cowboys’ second drive; he had a second target thrown behind him bringing up fourth down.
Crayton made a 24 yard reception for a third down conversion.
Witten made the first reception of the game for two yards for the Cowboys. Witten was seen on the sidelines being checked for a concussion during the first quarter. Near the end of the first half Witten made a 29 yard reception. Witten scored the only touchdown of the game for the Cowboys in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys’ rush defense was nearly non-existent as they allowed 171 total rushing yards to the Redskins. With a healthy lead, the Redskins were able to run the clock out effectively. Mark Brunell was not sacked during the game.
Mark Brunell only completed 12 of his 20 passing attempts, but four of them were for touchdowns. He was not pressured or hurried in the pocket and was able to make the plays needed.
|QB Mark Brunell, Pass: 12 - 20 - 163 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0|
Brunell threw three sharp touchdown passes to Chris Cooley in the first half and a fourth to Mike Sellers. He was not often called to pass, but when he did, he was accurate, managing the game well. He also connected with Santana Moss on two well thrown passes that helped to set up two touchdowns.
Though Portis never found the end zone, it was a strong game for him with 112 rushing yards. During the Redskins’ opening drive, Portis played a big part rushing for 30 yards on four carries. After a 19 yard gain to the outside, Portis was injured. But he came back in the game to carry the ball twice at the goal line after Santana Moss’ 42 yard catch. On the next drive he showed no signs of being injured with three carries for 18 yards. Portis bobbled a reception, but pulled it in for a four yard gain. Portis limped off the field in the fourth quarter, and was seen walking around on the sidelines.
Betts carried for twelve times for 44 yards in relief of Portis. When Portis left the game injured, Betts became the featured back for one play and gained ten yards. Betts scored his first touchdown of the year, a one yard rush, in the third quarter. He did lose a fumble in the fourth quarter.
Cartwright added 13 yards on three carries to the total rushing yards for the Redskins. He also contributed a six yard reception near the end of the first quarter.
|WR Santana Moss, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 73 - 0 (7 targets)|
Moss made a great deep catch of 42 yards to the one yard line, just shy of the end zone. Moss made a nice reception that set up Mike Sellers’ touchdown.
In the first quarter, Jacobs was targeted on a flea flicker pass. But he could only manage to get one foot in and was ruled out of bounds.
Cooley scored with a great eight yard reception on the drive following Drew Bledsoe’s interception. He was wide open in the back of the end zone to score his second touchdown. At the end of the first half, Cooley broke a tackle to score his third touchdown.
Royal made an eight yard reception in the first quarter. He was hit hard on his next target.
Sellers was wide open for a screen catch out of the flat to run in easily for a touchdown score.
The Cowboys did rush for 109 total rushing yards against the Redskins, but 51 of them came on one rush by Julius Jones. Bledsoe was sacked once in the first quarter. A false start penalty against the Cowboys negated what would have been a second sack. To start the second half, the Redskins sacked Bledsoe twice, the second time he lost the ball and it was recovered by Phillip Daniels. He was sacked a total of seven times, four of them by Daniels.
The Washington pass defense was stellar, Drew Bledsoe was hurried and rushed and only completed 16 of his 29 passing attempts for 153 yards. Cornelius Griffin intercepted him after it was tipped by Phillip Daniels. Marcus Washington intercepted Bledsoe near the end of the first half. He was intercepted a third time to bring the game to a close.