DALLAS - The Redskins tried to surprise the Cowboys early in the fourth quarter of Thursday's 31-26 loss with an onsides kick. It didn't work, and after the game, Dallas coach Jason Garrett revealed that his team knew the onsides attempt was coming.
"We were expecting it. We were prepared for it," Garrett said. "I thought our guys did a good job of recovering it. I think it was about nine and change to go in that ball game, so I felt like they wanted to steal that possession at that point. You have to have your antenna up and be ready for those situations. I thought our guys handled it well."
The onsides attempt came immediately following a long touchdown throw from Kirk Cousins to DeSean Jackson, which brought the Redskins within five points of the Cowboys. The 'Skins defense had forced some stops on the Dallas offense in the second half, and Washington coach Jay Gruden thought it was the right time to try to steal a possession on the kickoff.
"On the onside kick, we had a look we thought we could get. We had the look exactly the way we wanted to," Gruden said.
Instead of kicking the ball deep, Dallas recovered the onsides attempt and had possession basically at midfield. The Washington defense could not get a stop and the Cowboys would go on to score again.
"If we see something that’s there and we practice it and we like it, we’ve got to take chances to do it. It can change the course of the game, the momentum and everything. I thought it was worth a chance," Gruden said. "I told our defense we were about to do it so be ready for a short field, and, unfortunately, we didn’t get off the field and they went down and scored."
In a close game between two good teams, sometimes just the way a football bounces can make a big difference.
When the 'Skins tried to surprise Dallas with the onsides, Washington did not really come close to recovering the ball. Yet, late in the fourth quarter when the Redskins desperately needed the ball back and everyone in the stadium knew an onsides was coming, the Skins got close to recovering the ball.
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