History was made Sunday night.
Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys were on the losing end of it.
Redskins’ rookie RB Alfred Morris rushed for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns, surpassing Clinton Portis as the Redskins’ single season rushing leader with 1,613 yards on the year. Portis’ previous record was 1,516 yards in 2005.
Robert Griffin III added another touchdown with his legs, and the Cowboys were sent packing.
The Cowboys’ defense, decimated with injuries, simply couldn’t keep pace with the quick Redskins. Not only could they not contain the run (the Redskins averaged 6.5 yards per rush and gained 274 yards on the night), but they had a non-existent pass rush until Anthony Spencer got Dallas’ only sack of the game late in the 4th quarter. DeMarcus Ware, battling numerous injuries, was limited in his effectiveness and the absences of Sean Lee and Bruce Carter were obviously notable as the Cowboys suffered a defeat once again.
On the offensive side of the ball, Tony Romo lived up to his reputation as one of the least-clutch quarterbacks in the league, throwing a crucial interception late in the 4th quarter with his team poised to take the lead and potentially win the game. That interception was only one of three on the night for Romo, who turned the ball over too many times to win. Although the Redskins ended up with no points off the first two interceptions, Romo put his team in a hole early when they had chances to drive down the field and score but instead gave the ball to the Redskins. Not that he had much to work with, for his offensive line play was pathetic once again, with only SC product Tyron Smith holding his ground against the strong Redskins’ D line. Sacked in the 4th quarter for an 18 yard loss, fans can only shake their head and hope for a few strong draft picks this offseason to beef up the O-Line and give Romo the protection he needs.
Throughout the game there were a few bright spots, such as the play of Dwayne Harris, who had a spectacular catch for a two-point conversion in the 4th quarter to bring the Cowboys within 3. Fans can be encouraged by the young talent on the roster, for if offensive players like Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray can continue to develop, there is hope again for next year. As, it seems, there is at the beginning of every Cowboys season…
The offseason should surely bring some changes to the Cowboys roster, who need to not only beef up the O-Line but also get stronger on the defensive side of the ball. While the return of injured starters will certainly help strengthen the core of the defense, another good cornerback is needed across from Morris Claiborne, and the safety position could use some help as well. Although injuries were the most pressing issue with the Cowboys defense late this season, the opportunity to get stronger should be taken advantage of with a few good draft picks and free agent signings.
Alas, Cowboys fans, we are left scratching and shaking our heads again. The disappointment is hard to swallow, and I for one am tired of defending a team that simply can’t get it done when it counts. But I do bleed blue, and I will be anxiously awaiting the start of next season with hopes (once again) that it will be different. In the meantime, looking forward to the playoffs… should be a hell of a ride! Can’t wait for next weekend and the great match-ups it presents.
Happy New Year everyone!