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A Sickening Lesson

the Redskins headdresses all over the field for 54 minutes, 9 seconds. They led 13-0, but it wasn't even that close. To that point, the Redskins had gained only 176 yards. Moss had three catches for 50 yards. They had only rushed for 73 yards. Just 5:51 left to head into San Francisco at 2-0. 

And they fell right on their heads. 

In case you've forgotten, here is how close the Cowboys came to winning that game. With 4:48 left, the Redskins faced third-and-27. Let that sink in: Third-and-27. The Cowboys completely shut down the Redskins' play, whatever it was supposed to be, except for . . . they forgot about the 35-year-old Mark Brunell, who scrambled out for 25 yards, setting up a fourth-and-two the Redskins converted. 

Still, there the Skins were, facing fourth-and-15, this time from the Cowboys 39. Only 3:55 left. Then came the first dagger, Brunell throwing a what-the-hell heave down the right hash to a streaking Moss, who catches the ball behind corner Aaron Glenn and safety (safety?) Roy Williams for a touchdown to narrow the score to 13-7 with 3:46 remaining. 

OK, one of those things, right? No big deal. Just pick up a first down, and this one's over with. And on third-and-eight, Drew Bledsoe hits Keyshawn Johnson for 17 yards. First down. Check that, holding on Flozell Adams, and when the Cowboys picked up only 13 of the necessary 18 yards on the next play, the Redskins had one more chance - suddenly a chance to win with 2:52 still left to play. 

There they were, first-and-10 at their own 20. Two timeouts and the two-minute warning left. They needed to go 80 yards, and no biggie they got 10 on the first play. Still had 70 yards to go with 2:44 left. Just keep everything in front of you, right? No problem. This team had done nothing but that shot-in-the-dark pass to Moss the previous possession. 

But I'll be. Brunell plays street ball again. Just heaves another one as far as he can throw. Moss, you go deep. Don't even bother turning at the big tree. Just keep on going. And again - again - there goes Moss streaking down the hash, Glenn giving him too much space and Williams, his only responsibility not to let anything get behind him, lets Moss get behind him. 

And just inside the Cowboys 25, some 50 yards from where Brunell fired, there was Moss, catching the ball behind a leaping Glenn, who went for the interception instead of the tackle. No dice, and Moss prances in to complete the 70-yard touchdown play - 14-13, Washington with 2:35 left. 

Gotta be kidding? Two plays, 109 yards passing, two touchdowns. Just like that. 


Talk about a give-away. 

OK, so the Cowboys were beaten badly by the Skins in Washington. But had they finished off the Skins that Monday night at Texas Stadium, each team would have finished 10-6, and the Cowboys would have been playing for something that final game against the Rams - a playoff-clinching 11th win. Maybe even a NFC East title-clinching 11th win. 

You just knew that loss was bad then. 

You realized that loss was bad at season's end. 

But after watching what happened this weekend, that bad, bad loss grew even worse. 

Enough to make you sick.   


!   Hey, another thing about this weekend. Don't be sending any more emails touting the abilities of one Jon Kitna. Some of you inundated me with pleas to trade for this guy. Could you imagine 16 games of what you saw that second half on Sunday? 
!   Also, you know the kicking fix of just drafting a kicker? Oakland used a first-round pick on Sebastian Janikowski, right? That was in 2000. Saw this note last week, that his 20-of-30 this year was the lowest field-goal percentage (.667) in the league among kickers attempting at least 10 field goals. 
!   This dawned on me after the Cowboys re-upped with

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