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Redskins legend Darrrell Green played his last game 15 years ago today

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Redskins legend Darrrell Green played his last game 15 years ago today

It was 5 years ago today that Redskins Hall of Fame legend Darrell Green played his last game.

It was unfortunate that the game was a meaningless game between two teams that were out of playoff contention instead of being an elimination game of some sort. But it was against the Cowboys and the Redskins did win so it wasn’t all bad.

Here is the account of the game and the surrounding pageantry from the pages of my book The Redskins Chronicle.

FedEx Field (12/29/2002)—The Redskins didn’t formally proclaim it to be Darrell Green Day, but the retiring cornerback and the 84,142 in attendance at FedEx Field knew that it was.

Nobody has played with one team longer than the 20 years Green spent with the Redskins, and he has built a strong bond with the fans. And Green and those fans held a mutual love fest prior to the game against the Cowboys.

Before the game he delivered an emotional address; his attempts to hold back tears were unsuccessful.

And after the final gun, he took a final victory lap around the stadium, greeting fans, accepting a bouquet of flowers and generally reveling in the affection.

“This will not sink in—this day, not playing again—for quite some time,” Green said.

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The 20-14 win over Dallas wasn’t very pretty. Green, however, provided the memories—and any win over the Cowboys after 10 straight losses to them helped make it bearable.

Green provided one of the game’s few highlights (outside of ones that will make “Football Follies”) when he ran 35 yards after taking a reverse handoff on a punt return. He even hurdled a would-be tackler, reminding many of his daring play in his younger days.

Other than that, the play mostly was ragged. Watson’s touchdown was set up when Renaldo Wynn sacked Dallas quarterback Chad Hutchinson and stripped the ball away. LaVar Arrington recovered at the Cowboy 24 and Watson went off right guard for the score four plays later. In the third quarter, Arrington put the Redskins ahead to stay.

On a third and 22 play from the Dallas 14, end Bruce Smith blew by two blockers and blindsided Hutchinson. The ball went flying back to the end zone where Arrington pounced on it for a 14-7 Washington lead.

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A pair of Jose Cortez field goals put the Redskins up 20-7 in the fourth quarter. After the first one, the Redskins appeared to have wrapped the game up. The Cowboys’ Woodrow Dantzler fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The ball was lying on the ground and nobody realized it was still alive until the Redskins’ Bryan Johnson scooped it up and ran 12 yards into the end zone. In the confusion, however, the Washington defense had started to take the field and the Redskins lost both the score and possession due to the subsequent penalty.

Washington got a scare when Hutchinson converted a fourth and 14 play with a 46-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant to make it 20-14 with 3:10 left to play. The Redskins could breathe easy only after Watson gained seven yards on a third and six carry and Ramsey could kneel down to kill the rest of the clock. The Redskins’ first win over Dallas since October of 1997 was in the books, as was Green’s amazing career.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 20, 53 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 45
—NFL Draft (4/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 232

The Redskins week that was

Jags big win could spell bad news for Kirk Cousins—If the Jaguars’ accomplishment of getting to the AFC championship game does indeed make Blake Bortles’ job safe, the laws of economics say that the amount of money that Cousins can command in a free agent contract should go down. It’s the demand part of supply and demand and if demand goes down, prices should, too. But the NFL quarterback market doesn’t follow the laws. If the Lions see fit to pay Matthew Stafford, a quarterback under whom they have had very limited success, a contract with an average annual value of $27 million without any team bidding against them, that sets the price.

Setting the odds on what happens with Kirk Cousins—Despite his happy talk at the 106.7 The Fan event earlier this month, the possibility that Cousins will play in a Redskins uniform in 2018 does not warrant a large bet of imaginary casino chips. If you missed the post, take a look and let me know what you think of my assessment.

Don't freak out about latest Zach Brown tweet—It’s that time of year. A player sends out a tweet with no context and fans assign the worst possible meaning to it. In Brown’s case, a tweet about not getting respect was interpreted as a sign that contract negotiations with the Redskins were not going well. But JP Finlay found out that the tweet was about Brown being upset that another alternate getting selected to the Pro Bowl and not him. It still is unclear if Brown will return to the Redskins but at least there are no indications of rocky negotiations at this point.

Bang for the free agent bucks for the Redskins? Brown was a solid free agent acquisition for the Redskins last year. Terrelle Pryor, not so much. Take a look at the post for the other hits and misses in free agency.

Tweet of the week

Even though the draft is over three months away there are plenty of opinions out there as this tweet drew a ton of reaction. On the offensive side of the ball, the suggestions ran towards quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield although some want a running back. It will be interesting to see how those two non-conventional quarterbacks look after they spend the next few months under the microscope of the NFL draft process. The defensive name that kept coming up was Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea, a large specimen who could play the nose in base defense and move to three-technique in nickel.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Redskins fans were frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuddered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.

McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency. 

Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.

He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons. 

Now more obvious: He isn't great.

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Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10. 

Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016. 

Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago. 

While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not. 

Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided. 

Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.

When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a Pro Bowl-type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know, we’re 7-9."

That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic. 

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Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.

There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future. 

Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?

Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.