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Need to Know: The five key moments from the Redskins' loss to the Cowboys

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USA TODAY Sports

Need to Know: The five key moments from the Redskins' loss to the Cowboys

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 30, six days before the Washington Redskins go to Seattle to play the Seahawks.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden new conference 3 pm

Days until:

—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 13
—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 20
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 24

The five key moments from Redskins vs. Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott fumble on first play from scrimmage—Matt Ioannidis forced it, Josh Norman recovered it, and the Redskins were set up with a first down at the Dallas 29. The offensive play selection was tepid, with three conservative passes gaining nine yards. Nick Rose kicked a 38-yard field goal and although the Redskins managed to convert the turnover into points they did not maximize.

The blocked field goal—In the second quarter, Rose lined up to attempt a 36-yard field goal with Washington up 13-7. The snap was a little off and perhaps a more experienced kicker could have overcome that. But Rose was kicking in his second NFL game and it seemed that the timing was a fraction late and the kick was blocked. Orlando Scandrick picked the ball up and rolled 86 yards. Two plays later the Cowboys were in the end zone and what was going to be a nine-point lead into a one-point deficit. The Redskins never led again.

Back to back fumbles in third quarter—It was still 14-13 and Redskins had a nice drive going after receiving the second-half kickoff. But on a third-down play at midfield, Tyrone Crawford got to Cousins and knocked the ball out. Demarcus Lawrence recovered for the Cowboys. Then, after a Dallas field goal, Chris Thompson fumbled the ball on the kickoff. It looked like two Redskins had a bead on it but the Cowboys ended up with it, setting up a field goal. A one-point game had become a one-touchdown game at 20-13 and the mountain the wounded Redskins needed to climb became higher and, with the rain increasing in intensity, literally slipperier.

Josh Doctson drop—On the next possession, the Redskins faced third and seven at their own 22. Doctson had a couple of steps on his defender going down the left sideline. Cousins pass was short but Doctson still had an opportunity to turn and make a catch that would have given the Redskins a first down near midfield. But the ball went through Doctson’s arms and fell incomplete. The Redskins punted and the Cowboys drove for another field goal to make it a two-score game.

Dez Bryant third-down catch—The Redskins showed some fight as they drove for a touchdown to make it 26-19 with about four and a half minutes to play. They kicked away, hoping to get the ball back for a final drive. They still had two time outs left when the Cowboys faced third and four at their own 31. But Dak Prescott was able to find Bryant, who had mostly been quiet all day, near the left sideline for five yards. The rest of the game was a mere formality.

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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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

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USA Today Sports

The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

Madden 19 won't be released to the public until August 10, but the player ratings for the top players on each NFL team have been released.

The video reaches the Redskins a little after four minutes in. The top nine players on the Redskins, according to their Madden 19 overall ratings are as follows:

  1. LT Trent Williams, 91
  2. RG Brandon Scherff, 88
  3. FS D.J. Swearinger, 86
  4. MLB Zach Brown, 85
  5. CB Josh Norman, 84
  6. RB Chris Thompson, 83
  7. WR Paul Richardson, 83
  8. QB Alex Smith, 81
  9. WR Jamison Crowder, 81

The list has Washington's two best linemen up top followed by its best skill position players and Zach Brown. Beyond Williams and Sherff, there's some debate to be had. Both Richardson and Crowder can make a serious case to be the team's best receiver. Crowder had 22 more receptions and 86 more yards than Richardson in 2017, but Richardson had six touchdowns to Crowder's three.

Smith is coming off arguably the best season of his career with Kansas City. He put up over 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, posted career bests in quarterback rating, touchdown passes, interception percentage and completions. His rating as the fifth-best offensive player behind two other skill position players seems off.

These rankings will change throughout the season as more updates become available, but this is what there is to work with right now.

MORE REDSKINS COVERAGE

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Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the game against the Jaguars. 

Week 15 December 16, TIAA Bank Field

2017 Jaguars: 10-6, First in AFC South, lost AFC championship game 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 9

Early line: Redskins +8

Key additions: G Andrew Norwell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donte Moncrief, 

Key losses:WR Allen Hurns, WR Allen Robinson

Biggest questions: 

  • QB Blake Bortles was very inconsistent during the season and there was talk of the team looking for a replacement for him prior to their run in the playoffs. Does he have what it takes to get the team back into serious contention. 
  • The team also got an inconsistent season out of RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 pick in the draft. Can he put together the monster season that would justify his draft status and help elevate the Jaguars to elite status. 
  • The Jaguars went from 25thin scoring defense in 2016 to second last year. Will they fall back to the pack this year?

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 5-1. The Jaguars only win against them came in 2002.

Series notables

The first time: September 28, 1997, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium—In the second game ever played at the Redskins’ new stadium, Jacksonville took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter, but then-Jags QB Mark Brunell threw a pair of interceptions that set up two Washington touchdowns and the Redskins won 24-12. Gus Frerotte threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Terry Allen gained 122 yards on 36 carries. 

The last time: November 14, 2012, FedEx Field—Jay Gruden got his first win as the Redskins’ head coach in this one. Robert Griffin III went out of this game early with an injury and Kirk Cousins passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his place. It was the defense that dominated this game, racking up 10 sacks, tying the team record set in 1977. Ryan Kerrigan got four of those sacks, tying the team individual record for sacks in a game. The Redskins won 41-10.

The best time: October 1, 2006, FedEx Field—A taught, exciting game came to an explosive end when Santana Moss snared a pass that Mark Brunell perhaps should not have thrown and streaked to the end zone, giving the Redskins a 36-30 overtime win over Jacksonville.

The reason the throw was risky was that two defenders were near Moss as Brunell fired it to the speedy receiver. Somehow both of them missed it. Moss grabbed it, spun around and bolted the rest of the way to complete the 68-yard game winner.

It was Moss’ third touchdown reception of the day. In the first quarter, he caught a long pass from Brunell and executed a nifty spin move near the goal line to complete the 55-yard touchdown play. An eight-yard Moss TD catch early in the third quarter put the Redskins up by 10 but the Jags battled back to tie it with six seconds left. That set up Moss’ overtime heroics. 

The worst time: November 10, 2002, Alltel Stadium—The Redskins came into the game riding a two-game winning streak and at 4-4 they were squarely in playoff contention. A strong running game had been their best asset during their surge to .500 and, with the Jaguars sporting the worst run defense in the NFL, there was every reason to believe that the Redskins would take the land route to another win.

But coach Steve Spurrier had different ideas. "I was dumb enough to think we could throw it up and down the field," Spurrier said. "We ran a little bit here and there. We had a little success there early, and I got away from it too much. The second quarter, I kept thinking at midfield, we could throw the ball from there. But we didn't do it very well. So, looking back, I called a lousy game."

His defense didn’t play very well either. The Redskins scored first but the Jaguars scored 26 unanswered points and came out with a 26-7 win.

Redskins schedule series

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  and on Instagram @RichTandler