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Jay Gruden on Redskins loss to Cowboys: It's frustrating

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Jay Gruden on Redskins loss to Cowboys: It's frustrating

FEDEX FIELD - Even after losses, Redskins coach Jay Gruden rarely seems angry. Monday night after a particularly close and painful loss to the rival Cowboys, Gruden looked visibly upset. 

"It's frustrating," Gruden told the media immediately following the loss. 

The coach usually provides detailed answers to questions, but after the 19-16 loss on a last second Cowboys field goal, his press conference was shorter than normal.

"We had some unforced errors," Gruden said. 

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What errors? The Redskins were flagged for nine penalties in the game - Dallas got called for eight - for a total of 73 yards, but time and again the penalties thwarted promising drives for the offense or bailed out the Cowboys on third down stops for the defense. The biggest error, however, came late in the game on a DeSean Jackson punt return. Jackson started running up the right side of the field, only to completely reverse course and run to the left side, running at least 15 yards backwards in the process. If running backwards wasn't enough, Jackson fumbled the ball once he was hit, which Dallas recovered before scoring the game's first touchdown.

Gruden, as well as Redskins players, said Jackson was just trying to make a play.

"I don't regret that decision one bit," the coach said of having Jackson back to return the punt. Gruden then added, "gotta protect the ball though."

Jackson's punt return blunder allowed Dallas prime field position to score, but the receiver made up for it, grabbing a TD to tie the game with less than a minute left. In the end, the Redskins defense could not stop the Cowboys to end the game, and Dallas kicker Dan Bailey's fourth field goal proved the game winner.

"It didn't end up obviously the way we wanted to," Gruden said.

The Redskins offense posted just 266 yards, with 193 coming through the air. Throughout the night, the Washington offense seemed stalled, and Gruden talked about his team's inability to string together positive plays.

"Hats off to their defense," Gruden said. "Obviously the game plan was not too successful."

Despite an ugly outing Monday night and a season record two games below .500, the Redskins still find themselves tied for first place in the NFC East. Echoing the same sentiment as he has after previous big wins over the Saints and the Giants, Gruden maintained his team can still achieve their goals.

"Fact of the matter is we have four games left."

Gruden may have said that he will begin looking ahead to Chicago and moving on from the Dallas game, but trudging off the podium Monday night, he looked like a frustrated coach, perhaps searching for answers, in a season where the playoffs are still very much in sight. 

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Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

LANDOVER, Md. -- With 22 starters comprising offensive and defensive players, plus another faction handling special teams, football is the ultimate team sport.

Now imagine where the 2018 Washington Redskins find themselves if the front office never brings in Adrian Peterson for that mid-preseason workout. Even Jamie Lee Curtis finds that frightening.

Peterson’s return to football glory continued with 99 rushing yards on 24 carries in Washington’s 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday evening.

“I won’t say we wouldn’t be as good in the run game, but, yeah,” left tackle Trent Williams said of his former University of Oklahoma teammate.

“Obviously having [Adrian], I won’t say it’s everything, but it’s almost everything,” Williams continued. His eyes widened as the Pro Bowl lineman pondered the potential downside of this offense without the future Hall of Famer. That’s a dark timeline.

Peterson’s Redskins career now spans six regular-season games. Sunday’s display of power in tight spaces and speed when daylight exists wasn’t a one-off. In those six games, Peterson rushed for at least 96 yards four times including the last two games despite playing with a painful shoulder.

“I’m feeling good, man, we just got a W,” the smiling running back said from behind the podium inside the media room at his newish home stadium. “That makes everything feel a lot better. I feel better than I did last week, I’ll say that.”

Washington felt concerned enough about its running attack following the second preseason game to scour the free agent market. Peterson arriving at Redskins Park in August generated the expected “Whoa” from the casual NFL fans, who picture the player hammering silly defenders daring to tackle him. That player no longer existed. At least that’s what many assumed.

Peterson last topped 1,000 yards or 4.0 yards per rush in 2015. Injuries and inefficiency headlined his 2017 stops in New Orleans and Arizona. Running backs capable of carrying an offense aren’t just lying around for the taking like a rogue penny on a sidewalk. Yet, there was Peterson, waiting for a team to show interest. After losing Derrius Guice with a season-ending knee injury and recognizing the in-house options were not enough, the Redskins called.

 “We didn’t have many expectations,” Jay Gruden said after the Redskins improved to 4-2 and took a 1 ½ game lead in the NFC East. “We weren’t expecting him to be on our football team until we had a couple of injuries. Then we got him. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know he looked great in that workout.”

That workout led to a signing and almost simultaneously, the starting gig. Now it’s hard contemplating anyone else in those early down and short yardage scenarios. Peterson had runs of 23 and 20 yards against the Cowboys. The latter help set up one of two Dustin Hopkins field goals. His overall production helped move the chains in yet another game where the Alex Smith-led passing game lacked oomph.

This random road to Redskins Park is why Peterson’s renaissance feels shocking to many with one significant exception.

“No, not at all. I think everyone else around is surprised. I’m not,” Peterson said. “I expect greatness from myself. That’s why I put the work in. God has blessed with me this talent. A lot of people see, and a lot of people don’t. … Just keep confidence in myself. When I’m presented with my opportunity, I’m going to take advantage of it every Sunday.”

Peterson is taking advantage of this opportunity with the Redskins because necessity is the mother of invention. It turns out Washington’s running attack needed a reboot more than the running back required a makeover.

“There are not many guys like [Adrian] walking around the street,” Williams said, “and luckily, we found a diamond in the rough.”

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Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman just took the jersey game to a whole new level.

Prior to the Redskins' gutsy 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Norman showed up to FedEx Field repping a Bobby Boucher Bourbon Bowl jersey from the iconic Adam Sandler movie "The Waterboy." 

He also repped the jersey following the win in the locker room with the media.

Many believed it was a shot at Giants' Odell Beckham Jr., who made comments this week about disliking water. But according to Norman, he just really likes the South Central Louisiana Mud Dogs.

Norman is known for repping a soccer jersey or two following a game, but he has everyone else beat this week.

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