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Cowboys beat Redskins 27-23 behind go-ahead TD by Alfred Morris

Cowboys beat Redskins 27-23 behind go-ahead TD by Alfred Morris

LANDOVER, MD— The Redskins had many chances to put away the Cowboys but mistakes kept Dallas in the game. But the Redskins left the door open once too often and the Cowboys put together a fourth-quarter drive to win the game 27-23. To add insult to injury, the winning touchdown was scored by former Redskins back Alfred Morris, who performed his trademark home-run celebration in the end zone.

The Redskins had a late chance to get a touchdown to pull off a miracle win but Kirk Cousins’ Hail Mary pass went incomplete on the last play of the game. The loss puts them at 0-2 with both losses coming at home.

Kirk Cousins had his moments but starting from when he over threw a wide open Jamison Crowder on the Redskins’ first series he made some critical mistakes. The worst came midway through the fourth quarter when the Redskins had a chance to increase their three-point lead. But he threw a “how didn’t he see him” interception to Barry Church and they came away empty.

On the other hand, Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott played mistake-free football, not throwing an interception and finding prime target Dez Bryant 7 times for 102 yards.

Next up for the Redskins is a trip to the Meadowlands on Sunday to play the Giants. They will be in a desperate situation to pull out a win when they get there.

Injury Updates:

DL Kedric Golston sustained a hamstring injury in the first quarter and he has been ruled out.

DE Chris Baker left the game in the second quarter with a rib injury. He returned before halftime.

LB Will Compton left the game with cramps but he returned.

Scoring drives:

First quarter

FG Bailey 22

Drive: 13 plays, 76 yards, 5:35

Drive summary: The Cowboys got this drive going with a couple of third-down passes from Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant. The first one covered 18 yards, the second one 17. Then Prescott found Cole Beasley over the middle and a missed tackle let him advance to the five. But the defense held there and Bailey came in for the short field goal.

Cowboys 3, Redskins 0 9:25        

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Elliott 1 run (Bailey kick)

Drive: 9 plays, 94 yards, 5:13

Drive summary: The Cowboys got a drive going from deep in their own territory. From their own six they got out of the hole quickly with a pass from Prescott to Whitten that covered 29 yards. A couple of Ezekiel Elliott runs of nine yards each helped move the Cowboys into Redskins territory. The Cowboys faced a fourth and one at the 30 and they made the play, with Prescott finding tight end Geoff Swain for 28 yards to the two. A few plays later Elliott powered his way in for the touchdown.

Cowboys 10, Redskins 0 1:39     

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Second quarter

Jones 14 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 3:31

Drive summary: A play action pass from Cousins to Jordan Reed on the first play of the drive got the Redskins 25 yards to midfield. Two plays later Cousins went to Pierre Garçon for nine yards and a first down at the Dallas 37. Shortly after that, Cousins got 12 on a pass to DeSean Jackson to the 14. On the next play, Matt Jones dashed off of the left side, got to the second level, and stretched the ball over the goal line.

Cowboys 10, Redskins 3 13:08   

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Bailey FG 31

Drive: 10 plays, 43 yards, 4:31

Drive summary: The Cowboys started in good field position at their own 44 after a punt. On third and four Prescott found Lance Dunbar all alone for a gain of 17. Then Elliott got seven yards up the middle to convert a third and one. They got as far as the 13 but an incomplete pass on third and five ended the drive and Bailey came in to kick the field goal.

Cowboys 13, Redskins 7   4:34   

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FG Hopkins 36

Drive: 12 plays, 56 yards, 4:08

Drive summary: The Redskins started from their own 26 and right off the bat Cousins scrambled for 10 yards on a bootleg. A couple of plays later he fired to Jordan Reed over the middle for 15 yards to the Dallas 49. The Redskins converted a third and seven when Reed made a leaping catch for nine yards to the Dallas 37. After a pass to Vernon Davis picked up 10 yards the drive stalled and Hopkins kicked the field goal.

Cowboys 13, Redskins 10 0:28

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Third quarter

Crowder 11 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 3:44

Drive summary: This one got going in a hurry. Cousins found Garçon for 16 yards and went to Vernon Davis over the middle for 32 yards to the 23. A short sideline pass to Ryan Grant got a first down at the 11. Two plays later Cousins found Jamison Crowder in the back of the end zone for the TD.

Redskins 17, Cowboys 13 11:16

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Prescott 6 run (Bailey kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:35

Drive summary: The Cowboys answered the Redskins’ TD drive to open the second half with one of their own. Prescott again found Whitten on a bootleg for 14 and then Elliott runs of nine and 21 yards got them into Redskins territory. They kept it going on third and 11 when Prescott went to Bryant for a gain of 16 yards to the six. Two play later Prescott dropped back to pass and scrambled up the middle for the touchdown.

Cowboys 29, Redskins 17 5:41

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FG Hopkins 29

Drive: 6 plays, 21 yards, 2:57

Drive summary: The Redskins got great field position when Dallas tried a surprise onside kick. The ball didn’t travel 10 yards and the Redskins took possession at the Dallas 38. A seven-yard Matt Jones run got one first down and a 10-yard Cousins scramble got another one. But on third and six Cousins had to throw it away and Hopkins came in for the field goal to tie it up.

Redskins 20, Cowboys 20 2:06

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FG Hopkins 22

Drive:  5 plays, 30 yards, 1:35

Drive summary: Again the Redskins got good field position, this time on an Ezekiel Elliott fumble forced by Josh Norman and recovered by Dashaun Phillips at the Dallas 34. On the next play. Cousins threw to a wide open Niles Paul for 16 yards and a roughing the passer penalty pushed it to a first down at the nine. On thrd and goal from the four, Cousins’ throw was off target and they again had to settle for a field goal.

Redskins 23, Cowboys 20 0:04   

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Fourth quarter

Morris 4 Yd Run (Bailey Kick)

Drive: 11 plays, 80 yards, 5:50

Drive summary: After taking possession an interception the Cowboys got going on a 21-yard pass from Prescott to Bryant. The Redskins then gave them some help, getting hit for 15 yards on a roughing the passer penalty and five yards for hands to the face. They then converted a third and 11 with a 12-yard pass to Cole Beasley. Two plays later Alfred Morris went up the middle for the score and performed his home run celebration.

Cowboys 27, Redskins 23 4:45

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MORE REDSKINS: Golston injury again thins defensive line

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In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

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USA TODAY Sports

In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

The Redskins spent modestly in 2018 free agency, and plenty of fans thought the team should have shelled out much bigger bucks. Talking with sources around the Ashburn facility, a prevaling notion became clear that the Washington brass believed they had a strong team in 2017, but they lost their chance to compete because of injuries. 

Well, the secret is out. Doug Williams said as much on Tuesday. 

"Coming out of Richmond last year, I liked this football team. I think we’ve got a tough football team, a smart football team. Some things you can’t control," Williams said Tuesday in a pre-draft media session. "We were very competitive up to a certain point, and when you have the injuries that we have, at a certain point, that competitive edge, you lose it because your best players are not playing."

Williams' words were true, and telling. 

First the true part:

  • In Washington's first five games of 2017, the team went 3-2. The Redskins only lost to eventual the Super Bowl champs Philadelphia and AFC West champs Kansas City. Washington only gave up more than 100 yards rushing once in those first five games, before rookie Jonathan Allen got hurt and the defense began to look much different. After Week 5, the Redskins only held one team under 100 yards rushing and finished the year dead last in rush defense.

Now the telling part:

  • The Redskins signed free agent WR Paul Richardson, and kept free agent LB Zach Brown. Beyond that, the team added inexpensive veterans in OLB Pernell McPhee and CB Orlando Scandrick. No splash moves, and recurring speculation that Washington was not offering top dollar to free agents. Bruce Allen acknowledged as much during NFL League Meetings when he explained that his team identified exactly how much they would offer free agents, their own and otherwise, and wouldn't go beyond that dollar figure. 

That means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is about this weekend's NFL Draft.

That also means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is not about Johnathan Hankins or any other free agent. 

"We’re going to deal with the draft now, and the second wave of free agents, if it’s somebody out there we feel like can help the Redskins,that’s what we’re going to do," Williams said. 

Throughout the offseason, Redskins fans wanted more action from their front office. It didn't happen, and Williams' basically explained why on Tuesday. The brass likes their team, and by default, expects better health and luck in 2018. 

When Williams talks about drafting the best player available, it's not just the typical NFL front office tripe. Right or wrong, the Redskins believe they have a team ready to compete in 2018, and any rookies that come in will only supplement that position.

"At the end of the day, I like this football team we’ve got. Like, last year when I walked out of camp, I thought we had a pretty good football team and I still feel the same way today," Williams said.

"At the end of the day, you get the best football player, and if that best football player is the guy that you want to plug and play, that’s all right. But if that’s the best football player that’s going to help your team overall, I think that’s the route you have to go."

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Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

The Redskins aren’t in the quarterback business, so it’s highly unlikely that they will look to trade up in the first round of the draft on Thursday. But their phones will be open for business to move down. 

Speaking at the team’s pre-draft press conference, Doug Williams didn’t rule out trading up from the team’s first-round spot at 13thoverall but he doesn’t think it’s likely. 

“The chances of trading up might be a little slimmer than trading down,” he said. 

Williams said that the phones in the room will be ringing and that they will listen to any offers. But usually the team that wants to move up initiates the call and because the Redskins are set at one particular position they probably won’t pick up the phone. 

“If we were in the quarterback business, which is what this league is about, if we were in the heavy quarterback business we’d talk about moving up,” he said. “At this time, we can sit back and see what comes up if we stay at 13.”

The Redskins are set at quarterback after they traded their third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller for veteran Alex Smith to replace the departed Kirk Cousins. Williams thinks that the Redskins already got good value from the pick. 

“When I think about Alex Smith, I say we got the best third-round pick in the draft,” he said. “I don't care what nobody says. You can't get a better third-round pick.”

Because they think they got a good player, albeit an older one, with that pick, the Redskins are not necessarily looking to make a deal to move back and recoup that pick on draft day. 

Williams emphasized that in order to move back, you have to have a team that wants to trade up. Often that is easier said than done. 

“They don’t just call you to ask you, they have to get a player that they want,” said Williams. “At that particular time, they’re afraid that somebody else might pick him. They might call you to ask you if you want to move back . . . If we move back, that’s because somebody called us to see if we want to move back.”

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