We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the two games against Cowboys.
Week 7 October 21, FedEx Field
Week 12 Thanksgiving, November 22, AT&T Stadium
2017 Cowboys: 9-7, second in NFC East
Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 8.5
Early line: Week 7 Redskins -1, Week 12 Cowboys -6
Key additions: LB Leighton Vander Esch, WR Allen Hurns
Key losses: WR Dez Bryant, TE Jason Witten, LB Anthony Hitchens, G Jonathan Cooper
Notable: Witten retired shortly after the draft to become the lead analyst on Monday night football and Bryant was cut a month after free agency started.
- How will quarterback Dak Prescott respond to the loss of his security blanket tight end Witten?
- And regardless of the availability of his targets, is Prescott more like the QB he was his rookie year (7.3 adjusted net yard/attempt) or what he was last year (6.0 ANY/A)?
- Was the 14.5-sack season by Demarcus Lawrence, who had nine sacks in his first three years on the league, a contract-year fluke or something he can produce consistently?
Cowboys lead all-time series 70-44-2; Dallas has won the last four in a row and six of the last seven.
The first time: October 9, 1960, Griffith Stadium—Ralph Guglielmi completed just 10 passes, but they were good for 257 yards and a touchdown in the Redskins’ win. Bobby Khayat provided the margin of the 26-14 victory by kicking four field goals.
The last time: November 30, 2017, AT&T Stadium—The wheels were starting to fall off of the 2017 Redskins when they took the field for this Thursday night game. The Cowboys, who had scored a total of just 22 points in their previous three games, scored 17 unanswered in the second quarter to take command of the game. They were able to keep the Redskins at arm’s length the rest of the way thanks in no small part to old friend Alfred Morris rushing for 127 yards and a touchdown. The game was really as close as the 38-17 final indicated.
The best time: NFC Championship Game, January 22, 1983, RFK Stadium—Looking to avenge their only defeat of the year and advance to Super Bowl XVII, the Redskins jumped out to a 14-3 halftime lead over the hated Cowboys on the strength of John Riggins’ running and Joe Theismann’s passing. Adding to the delight of the frenzied crowd was the fact that Dexter Manley had knocked Danny White, Dallas’ starting quarterback, out of the game and any Cowboy comeback would have to come from the arm of the untested Gary Hogeboom.
There were echoes of Clint Longley as Hogeboom moved his team up and down the field and Dallas cut the home team’s lead to 21-17 going into the fourth quarter. It would take two key defensive plays put the Redskins in the Super Bowl.
The first, less remembered play was Mel Kauffman’s leaping, over-the-shoulder interception of a Hogeboom pass that set up a 29-yard Mark Moseley field goal. The seven-point lead was better, but the crowd was still uneasy. Relief—and ecstasy—would come on Dallas' next play from scrimmage.
From the Dallas 20, Darryl Grant sensed a screen pass, a play that had worked well for Dallas earlier in the game. He stopped rushing and drifted off to the right side, around the 10 yard line. Manley, sensing another quarterback kill, went right after Hogeboom and tipped his pass high in the air. Grant caught it and high-stepped the 10 yards into the end zone as a roar of sonic boom proportions exploded from the RFK stands. That made the final Redskins 31, Cowboys 14
The worst time: November 5, 1989, RFK Stadium—The Cowboys came into Washington winless in its previous eight games and they would not win another game the rest of the season. But the Redskins let Paul Palmer run wild as the Dallas back gained 110 yards on 18 carries, including a 47-yard jaunt to set up the game’s only touchdown in Dallas’ 13-3 win.
“It’s a real low point for us,” Joe Gibbs said afterward, speaking not only for himself and the team but Redskins fans everywhere. The loss turned out to be especially brutal as the Redskins finished the season 10-6 but out of the playoffs on tiebreakers.
Redskins schedule series
More 2018 Redskins
- 53-man roster: Three up, three down
- The draft: Grading the Redskins' draft
- The future: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- The buzz: Redskins part ways with long-time executive
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.