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Broaddus: Morris, Missed Chances Bring Cowboys Loss
It was clear that Robert Griffin III wasn’t healthy enough to do everything he wanted to really make the Redskins offense hum. So instead, Washington head coach Kyle Shanahan made a decision early in the game to force the Cowboys defense to defend the run with Alfred Morris, and he was able to carry that throughout the game.
When you play backs like Morris, you have to be ready for the ball coming downhill hard at you. Unfortunately, the Cowboys were not up to the challenge of having to play a physical game. The defense didn’t tackle well and were caught up on too many blocks.
As much as I want to blame the defense for what happened, they did make a stop at the end of the game to at least give Tony Romo and the offense a chance. But when they needed a drive with the NFC East on the line, they were unable to deliver.
When receivers don’t get open and the offensive line and backs struggle to pick up the blitz and the quarterback is careless with the ball, you are going to lose. Head coach Jason Garrett found plays in the second half this season that worked, but in this game his offense had no rhythm or execution to it for the majority of the game.
After these two teams played in November, I put the remainder of the season on this offense because I knew it was the only chance they had. It was asking defensive coordinator Rob Ryan too much to try and hold this thing together. Without players who can make plays to get you off the field, you really have no chance.
I really believe the Cowboys offense missed a huge chance. The Redskins defense had come into this game poor on third downs and as one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to yards per attempt on passes. They were also not one of the better teams when it comes to pressuring the quarterback, but defensive coordinator Jim Haslett had his group ready to play, and along with Alfred Morris, they were the difference in the game.
Give the Redskins a lot of credit in a winner-take-all game. They were the more physical team and they will move on. On the other side of the field, the offseason now begins for the Cowboys with plenty of questions ahead.