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Rookie QB helps Cowboys roll over Redskins' defense

Rookie QB helps Cowboys roll over Redskins' defense

For the second straight week the Redskins defense let the opposing quarterback make plays at key times, leading to a key loss at home.

But last week they lost to Ben Roethlisberger, a veteran quarterback with two Super Bowl rings. This week they lost to rookie Dak Prescott, who was making his second NFL start.

The Redskins didn’t get much pressure on Prescott and when they did he usually managed to wiggle his way out if it. Dallas converted on six of 12 third downs and after one failed attempt they converted on fourth down. They reeled off touchdown drives of nine, 10, and 11 plays plus a 10-play drive to a field goal. ‘

Prescott appeared to be confused by almost nothing that he saw. He didn’t come close to throwing an interception. The rookie was sacked four times but for just 14 yards in losses.

The chatter going into the game was about who would cover receiver Dez Bryant. As it turns out, both Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman were on him at various time and sometimes the Redskins were in a zone scheme. It didn’t seem to matter a whole lot as Bryant still caught seven passes for 102 yards, a few of them for key third down conversions.

“He moved around a little bit today,” Jay Gruden said of Norman. “I feel good about our corners. We have to get the defense fixed up. Too many guys were wide open. Third down conversions were big plays, easy throws and catches. We’ve got to challenge them, push them, play a little more coverage.”

That was the last question that Gruden took so the follow-up asking how he could be happy with the corners if guys were wide open went unasked.

“I’m asked to do what I’m asked to do,” said Norman. “All this and the coaches ask me to do something, I’m going to do it to the full extent of my abilities and I’m gonna get the job done and execute flawlessly and that’s what I did. It sucks that we came up a little short."

The run defense was nothing special either. While the Cowboys didn’t exactly chew them up on the ground they got yards when they needed them. Rookie Ezekiel Elliott ran for 83 yards on 21 carries, certainly enough to keep Prescott in manageable third down situations.

The Redskins didn’t necessarily think that their defense would be a strong point this season. The hope was that they could play well enough to let the offense win games for them. But after giving up 65 points in two games, the defense isn’t even doing that much. They need to step up before the season gets away.

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Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

What should the Redskins do with the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? 

Some believe Washington has an easy choice and should take Chase Young. Some think they should consider taking Tua Tagovailoa despite drafting Dwayne Haskins a year ago. ESPN's Mel Kiper is a proponent of both.

"You can have all the Chase Young's you want," Kiper said Thursday. "This is a quarterback league all the way.

"If the medical staff clears [Tagovailoa], and the medical staff is going to be key to this," he continued. "If they sign off, you take Tua at No. 2. You don't trade the pick, you don't take Chase Young. And if Haskins turns out to better, than great then we can trade Tua."

This goes against what Kiper said just a month ago. In a mock draft from January 24, Kiper wrote, "If you scanned Washington's depth chart, you probably wouldn't pick out an edge rusher as its top need. It might not even be in the top three. And yet, the Redskins absolutely can't pass on Young -- unless they get bowled over with an offer from a team trading up."

Anyway, The Sports Junkies took time to react to Kiper's comments on their Friday show. Eric Bickel, J.P. Flaim and Jason Bishop had particularly interesting takes on whether the Redskins should consider drafting a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back years.

That's preposterous," Bickel said. "That's the part where it falls apart."

"You can't draft quarterbacks back to back in the first round and have them battle it out," Bishop said. 

"It would be just like what happened in Arizona," Bickel said in response. "They'd have to unload Haskins and get what they could."

The Cardinals did exactly what Kiper is proposing for the Redskins last season when they took Kyler Murray with the first pick despite drafting Josh Rosen in the top-10 the year prior. Arizona, similar to the Redskins this year, hired a new head coach after taking Rosen. 

The Cardinals then traded Rosen to the Dolphins on Day 2 of the draft last year in exchange for a second-round pick (Andy Isabella) and a 2020 fifth-round pick. Murray went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and Rosen only made three starts for the Dolphins in 2019. 

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and if the Redskins believe Tagovailoa gives them a better chance to compete for a Super Bowl than Dwayne Haskins, then they shouldn't worry about taking a quarterback in back-to-back drafts. It's certainly worked out for the Cardinals so far. But there are no certainties in the draft, as Flaim points out. 

"I think [Kiper's] just saying that," Flaim said. "The reality is if you really believe Tua is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Like, if you're evaluation is Tua's going to be a Russell Wilson, he's going to be an Aaron Rodgers, he's going to be an elite quarterback in the league, and Haskins is just going to be a guy, he could be a starter, then you take Tua. But it's so inexact you have no idea."

Washington's interest in Tagovailoa is unknown at this point, though they will be meeting with him and Joe Burrow prior to the draft. Head coach Ron Rivera did say however, the Redskins are, 'just doing our due diligence,' in meeting with the top two quarterbacks in this year's draft. 

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Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Trent Williams reportedly made his demands clear. He either wants a new contract or he wants to be traded, according to a report from NFL Network on Thursday. 

As the situation for the disgruntled left tackle continues to play out, the Redskins haven't received any trade inquiries about Williams, according to Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver.

"Has there been any trade interest around the league? So far, no," Silver said on an NFL Network appearance Friday. "Nobody has called Washington saying 'We'd like to talk about coming and getting Trent Williams.' Maybe that'll change."

Following up on earlier reports, Silver acknowledged that there has been a line of communication between Williams and new head coach Ron Rivera after changes to the medical staff — the root cause of the offensive lineman's original rife and distrust with the team. 

Rivera is widely regarded as a coach that players can trust and enjoy playing for. Silver commented on how that may impact Washington's direction with Williams' future.

"I think organizationally the feeling is 'Look, if Trent Williams doesn't feel comfortable with this situation, and doesn't want to be there for Ron Rivera, we're not going to spend a lot of time trying to appease him," Silver said.

After sitting out for the entirety of the 2019 season, Williams has one year remaining on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $14.5 million, none of which is guaranteed.

When Williams signed the deal in 2015, he set an NFL record for the highest-paid offensive tackle in league history. But as value has increased, the seven-time Pro Bowler has slid further down the list of highest-paid tackles, currently ranking eighth in highest average salary, according to Over the Cap.

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