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Redskins starters look sharp, continue momentum in win over Cowboys

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Redskins starters look sharp, continue momentum in win over Cowboys

DALLAS— The game didn’t mean anything in the standings but the Redskins wanted to come out of it with a win to post a winning record on the season. They accomplished that goal with a 34-23 win over the Cowboys.

They also wanted to keep their players healthy and they didn’t quite accomplish that. Safety Kyshoen Jarrett left the game with a possible concussion and reserve cornerback Dashaun Phillips was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital after suffering a neck injury in the second quarter.

They did keep their front-line players healthy. Kirk Cousins played until the middle of the second quarter and had another outstanding day. He completed 12 of 15 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns, posting a passer rating of 155.1.

In the process Cousins broke some Redskins records including most yards passing in a season. He broke the record set in 1986 by Jay Schroeder

A variety of receivers played well for the Redskins. Jordan Reed had four catches for 45 yards, Jamison Crowder had five for 109 and a touchdown and Pierre Garçon hauled in three for 49 and a touchdown.

The Redskins will host a playoff game next weekend. It will be against either the Vikings, Packers, or Seahawks, pending the results of games later this afternoon and tonight.

Key Play: The Redskins were up 7-0 in the first quarter when Kellen Moore threw a pass that inside linebacker picked off for his first career interception. He returned it to the Dallas 43. A few plays later Kirk Cousins threw a beautiful deep ball that Pierre Garçon snatched out of the air for a touchdown to make it 14-0. The Redskins never looked back.

Injury Update:

S Kyshoen Jarrett left the game to be examined for a concussion and a shoulder injury in the first quarter. He did not return.

CB Dashaun Phillips was carted off of the field in the second quarter. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation of a neck injury.

Scoring drives:

First quarter

Grant 5 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 2 plays, 49 yards, 44 seconds

Key plays: This was a quick one after the Redskins got a punt at the Dallas 49. On the first play, Kirk Cousins threw a little misdirection screen to Jamison Crowder, who picked up blocking and scooted down the right side until he was pushed out of bounds at the five. On the next play Cousins flipped at pass to Ryan Grant, who scooted into the end zone for the score.

Redskins 7, Cowboys 0

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Garçon 39 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 43 yards, 1:32

Key plays: Another quick drive for the Redskins, this one following a Will Compton interception returned to the Dallas 43. After two Alfred Morris runs it was third and six and Cousins stepped up into the pocket and launched downfield to Pierre Garçon, who snatched the ball out of the air and ran into the end zone.

Redskins 14, Cowboys 0

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Crowder 3 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 8 plays, 30 yards, 3:16

Key plays: This was mostly Alfred Morris’ drive which again started in favorable field position at the Dallas 29, the result of a Chris Baker fumble recovery. Morris converted a third and one with a three-yard run and then ran for eight and six yards to set up first and goal at the four. On third down, Cousins found Jamison Crowder open on the left side and fired to him for the touchdown.

Redskins 21, Cowboys 0

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Second quarter

FG Hopkins 27

Drive: 8 plays, 68 yards, 4:18

Key plays: This was a longer drive for the Redskins but they got off to a good start on third and three when Kirk Cousins found Jamison Crowder open down the right sideline for 28 yards into Cowboys territory. Then it was Cousins to Reed to get into the red zone. The drive stalled and Hopkins came in to boot the field goal.

Redskins 24, Cowboys 0

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Witten 4 pass from Moore (Bailey kick)

Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards, 4:41

Key plays: The Cowboys got on the board with a drive that really got started when up man Jeff Heath took a direct snap from punt formation and fought for two yards up the middle to convert a fourth and one. Then Kellen Moore got going, throwing to James Hannah for 13 yards and then to Terrance Williams for 36 yards to the seven. On second down from the four, Moore threw to Jason Witten just shy of the goal line. The wily veteran poked the ball over the plane for the touchdown.

Redskins 24, Cowboys 7

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Beasley 5 pass from Moore (Bailey kick)

Drive: 86 yards

Key plays: The Cowboys got rolling from their own 14. The big gainers on the drive were Kellen Moore passes of 22 yards to Witten and 24 yards to Brice Butler. After another pass to Witten to set up first and goal at the five, Moore found Cole Beasley in the middle of the end zone for the score.

Redskins 24, Cowboys 14

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Beasley 5 pass from Moore (Bailey kick)

Drive: 7 plays, 86 yards 1:06

Key plays: The Cowboys got rolling from their own 14. The big gainers on the drive were Kellen Moore passes of 22 yards to Witten and 24 yards to Brice Butler. After another pass to Witten to set up first and goal at the five, Moore found Cole Beasley in the middle of the end zone for the score.

Redskins 24, Cowboys 14

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Third quarter

FG Hopkins 32

Drive: 14 plays, 74 yards, 8:41

Key plays: The Redskins got back in control on the scoreboard with a drive that started from their own 11. Alfred Morris got it started with runs and seven and five yards. Chris Thompson picked up a first down with a run of eight yards. After a holding call set them back, Colt McCoy found Jamison Crowder on a screen and the rookie wove for 24 yards to convert a third and 17. Morris ran for gains of of 13 yards for first down at the 33 and then he scooted outside for a gain of 15 to the 18. That set up the Hopkins field goal.

Redskins 27, Cowboys 14

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Fourth quarter

Ross 71 pass from McCoy (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 72 yards, 1:32

Key plays: The Redskins looked to be in bad shape after a holding call. But on third and nine from the 29, Colt McCoy launched a deep pass to Rashad Ross, who was about 15 yards past the nearest defender. He rolled in for the touchdown.

Redskins 34, Cowboys 14

Drive: 7 plays, 86 yards 1:06

Key plays: The Cowboys got rolling from their own 14. The big gainers on the drive were Kellen Moore passes of 22 yards to Witten and 24 yards to Brice Butler. After another pass to Witten to set up first and goal at the five, Moore found Cole Beasley in the middle of the end zone for the score.

Redskins 24, Cowboys 14

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Third quarter

FG Hopkins 32

Drive: 14 plays, 74 yards, 8:41

Key plays: The Redskins got back in control on the scoreboard with a drive that started from their own 11. Alfred Morris got it started with runs and seven and five yards. Chris Thompson picked up a first down with a run of eight yards. After a holding call set them back, Colt McCoy found Jamison Crowder on a screen and the rookie wove for 24 yards to convert a third and 17. Morris ran for gains of of 13 yards for first down at the 33 and then he scooted outside for a gain of 15 to the 18. That set up the Hopkins field goal.

Redskins 27, Cowboys 14

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Fourth quarter

Ross 71 pass from McCoy (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 72 yards, 1:32

Key plays: The Redskins looked to be in bad shape after a holding call. But on third and nine from the 29, Colt McCoy launched a deep pass to Rashad Ross, who was about 15 yards past the nearest defender. He rolled in for the touchdown.

Redskins 34, Cowboys 14

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Safety Morris tackled in the end zone

Drive: --

Key plays: After Will Blackmon picked off a pass at the Redskins one, Morris couldn’t quite get out of the end zone after taking a handoff. The Cowboys got a safety credited to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.

Redskins 34, Cowboys 16

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Beasley 4 pass

Drive: 12 plays, 89 yards, 3:32

Key plays: It was Kellen Moore to Darren McFadden to get this one going as the two twice connected for 17 yards. A few plays later on third and eight at the 29, Moore found Brice Butler for a gain of 22 setting up first and goal at the seven. On third down from there, Moore connected with Cole Beasley in the back of the end zone for the score.

Redskins 34, Cowboys 23

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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