DALLAS - Turnovers, not effort, doomed the Redskins on Thursday night against the Cowboys.

It’s easy to look at the final 38-14 score and assume that Washington quit, on the road, against their rival. But that would not be accurate.

Early in the game the Redskins had the opportunity to take a lead, only a Kirk Cousins pass bounced off Jamison Crowder’s hands and directly to a Cowboys defender. Interception.


Instead of, at worst, a field goal attempt, Dallas had the ball. Dak Prescott would lead his team to a touchdown drive.

From there, the situation repeated itself.

Make no mistake: The Redskins played poorly. That’s clear.

Effort, however, was not the issue.

Washington’s defense played well in the first half. The unit held Alfred Morris in check for the first 30 minutes, and surrendered just one touchdown despite the flurry of turnovers, including one deep in their own territory.

A punt return touchdown proved to be the real killer. At 10-0, the Redskins did not seem out of the game. At 17-0, after the special teams disaster, the deficit grew to a Texas sized problem.

And when they needed to most, the offense and the defense did not perform.

Starting the second half, the Redskins had the ball and trailed 17-7. A touchdown, or even a field goal, on the opening possession of the third quarter could have changed the game.

It didn’t happen.



There were multiple spots where if the Redskins defense just got a stop, perhaps the team could claw back in the game.

It didn’t happen.

The second half in Dallas played out as the ugliest 30 minutes of football the franchise has had in 2017. Nobody gets a pass for that.

Injuries are certainly a factor.

 The Redskins patchwork offensive line looked bad, repeatedly, as Cousins got beat up throughout the game.

On the defensive line, things weren’t much better. Morris gashed his old team in the second half, and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott did not need to throw the ball much.

It was a bad game. The team played bad. Fans have a right to be mad.

But be mad about the right things. Though they played bad, they still played hard.