The Redskins wants Kirk Cousins back in 2016. Cousins wants to be back in 2016. So why did the Redskins break off contract talks on Tuesday?
While the Redskins can use the franchise tag to ensure they keep Cousins next season, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the option of franchising Cousins is actually hindering the team's efforts to get a long-term deal done.
"There's nothing to really talk about until the window for using the franchise tag closes on March 1," Florio says, "because as long as the possibility looks that Cousins will be tagged, you can't probably value Cousins on a long-term deal."
Florio continues saying, "You can't say to Kirk Cousins, 'well we want to pay you $13 million a year' and then use the franchise tag at $20 million for 2016 because Cousins at that point will say, 'I'll take the $20 million' and we'll do this all again next year."
The obsession over how football is a team game, and how all 11 guys on the field matter on every single play, can be nauseating at times.
Plenty of things in an NFL contest happen because of one player beating another player. In other instances, it's about a single dude just absolutely screwing everything up all on his own (most often that dude is Blake Bortles).
But on Kapri Bibbs' 23-yard opening-drive touchdown catch vs. the Cowboys in Week 7, a ton of non-ball-carrying Redskins did in fact chip in to help get Bibbs into the end zone. It was one of those plays that just makes you want to scream FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!
The first two 'Skins who deserve recognition on the score are Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff.
Lauvao, who was returning from injury, leaked out with Scherff and Chase Roullier to serve as Bibbs' personal, giant escorts to the goal line. He then showed excellent awareness to peel back and seal off Dallas D-linemen Antwaun Woods, which ended any hopes of a Cowboy catching Bibbs from behind.
The true hero, though, was Scherff. The human wood chipper got pieces of two opposing linemen before breaking out to the next level, diving and knocking Kavon Frazier out of Bibbs' path. Without Scherff's insane effort, the screen pass doesn't even result in positive yardage, let alone six points.
Here's a still image of the first two, key blocks:
Large Redskins weren't the only ones getting the job done in hand-to-hand combat, however. For a screen to elevate itself from solid play to major chunk play, you need receivers doing work well past the line of scrimmage, too.
Well, this screenshot of Josh Doctson and Brian Quick holding blocks at the sticks definitely qualifies as doing work:
And, lastly, there's the center, Roullier. The man who started the entire sequence with a snap from the 23-yard line eventually found himself at the 12, displacing Byron Jones to ensure that the home team's tailback would finish things dancing instead of getting up from the ground:
To enjoy the full FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!-ness of the six-pointer, head to the 23-second mark of this video. Then, take a moment to reflect on all those poor Cowboys who thought they were going to tackle Kapri Bibbs throughout the course of that highlight, because they never really had a chance and that's just so sad for them.
FEDEX FIELD -- Late in the Redskins win over the Cowboys, when the contest was still very much in question, Alex Smith made an incredibly poor decision.
It was situational football at its peak. The Redskins had the ball with under 90 seconds left and a three point lead while Dallas had just one timeout left. A first down would end the game, but beyond getting a new set of downs, forcing Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to use his final timeout was the next highest priority.
Somehow, Smith achieved neither.
On third-and-9 from his own 36-yard-line, Smith took the snap and worked left on a play-action bootleg. There was room to run for a modest gain, but it seemed obvious Smith would not pick up the first down.
Only Smith didn't see it that way.
"I knew a first down would end the game and I did have glimpses of myself getting the first down whatever it took," the quarterback said.
Instead of getting the first down, Smith got dragged out of bounds by Dallas LB Sean Lee. That stopped the clock for the Cowboys, and allowed Garrett to save his final timeout.
Barring a turnover, it was the worst possible outcome on the play.
What makes the situation so strange is that Smith is a very smart player. A 14-year veteran, Smith is known as a guy that won't make mistakes to hurt his team and gives his squad a chance for a win every week. Only late in the game, Smith tried to make the play to go for the win, and made a huge mistake instead.
"I all of a sudden found myself pretty awkward on the sidelines there and can’t have it," Smith said. "[I] could have obviously cost us the game in hindsight at that point, I think kinda abandon ship and go down there on the sideline.”
The good news for Smith, and for the 4-2 Redskins, is that Cowboys kicker Brett Maher plunked the upright on his game-tying field goal attempt. An attempt that might not have happened if Smith stayed in bounds.