ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys let one slip away Monday night, losing to a struggling Washington team. The 20-17 overtime loss snapped a six-game winning streak and dropped Dallas to 6-2.
Check out the instant reactions from the staff of DallasCowboys.com.
Bryan Broaddus: You have to give the Redskins secondary a great deal of credit in the way that they not only played these Cowboys receivers but especially Dez Bryant. I did not feel like that David Amerson and Bashaud Breeland were up to the task but that wasn't the case at all. It was their ability to lock up on these receivers that allowed Jim Haslett to use the blitz from the safeties off the edge. Where Bryant is most dangerous is his ability to find space and work himself open much like he did against the Giants last week. Amerson and Breeland never allowed him to get in the flow of the game and that is a problem for this offense when that happens. I will also say this about Bryant there were some plays in this game where I had seen him make the same catch a hundred times like on that slant from Brandon Weeden and to see the ball on the ground was surprising. It was a tough night for Bryant but you have to tip your hat to David Amerson and Bashaud Breeland were able to hold him in check.
David Helman: Well, my predictions weren't all terrible. I was right that Jim Haslett would find a way to pressure Tony Romo – and did he ever. The sacks Romo took, and the injury he sustained, were the stories of the game. I also said that Colt McCoy didn't have it in him to beat the Cowboys, though, and I was clearly mistaken. He didn't throw any touchdowns, but McCoy torched the Dallas defense and had one of the most effective games a quarterback has had against the Cowboys this year. With McCoy playing so effectively, it opened the field up for Alfred Morris to help keep the Dallas offense off the field, as the Redskins held the ball for 38 minutes. That's one of my biggest impressions from this game: Washington was able to flip the script on Dallas' formula for success. My other impression is basic common sense – the Cowboys were bound to lose one of these multiple-turnover games. You can't play as sloppily as Dallas looked and expect to win every game. Back to the drawing board.
[embeddedad0]Nick Eatman: The only thing I really got right in this gut feeling was the fact the Cowboys kept Washington in the game too long. In fact, they never really imposed their will on the Redskins, who outplayed the Cowboys in all phases. Colt McCoy wasn't great but we knew that. He played a very solid game – really good at times and never bad. He was the best quarterback on the field – for this game and that was good enough. Give Washington tons of credit for a game plan that kept the Cowboys on their toes defensively and scrambling on offense. The Cowboys will probably end up with the better record this year but they weren't the better team on this night. The Cowboys were too sloppy with the ball, with penalties and in tackling. The little things added up and that's why this wasn't a seven-game winning streak.
Here are the gut feelings from the writers posted on Monday morning:
Bryan Broaddus: With no DeAngelo Hall in the lineup to handle Dez Bryant one-on-one, my gut feeling is that it is going to be difficult for them to contain him on Monday night. The Redskins have to be concerned with trying to deal with this Cowboys rushing attack and will be forced to have to commitment the safeties down to help which will allow Bryant to have a free run at these corners. Bryant was targeted 12 times last week against the Giants and that was with Prince Amukamara playing him well. Expect another dominate performance from Bryant against a secondary that will have no answer for him.
David Helman: I worry that I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but this isn't a game the Cowboys can afford to lose as they approach their bye week. Of the teams remaining on Dallas' schedule, only Jacksonville has been less impressive through the first half of the season – and this game is at AT&T Stadium, not in London. On top of that, the Redskins are starting a quarterback who hasn't started a game in almost three years. I think the key here is to keep Alfred Morris from carrying the Washington offense – they have a chance to be successful if he can get going, but I don't trust Colt McCoy to beat the Dallas defense on a consistent basis. In fact, I think Brandon Carr will get his first pick of the season on McCoy. I can see Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett making life very difficult on Jermey Parnell, and therefore Tony Romo. So the Cowboys are going to need a big night from DeMarco Murray. I think he'll deliver with about 108 yards and a touchdown, and I think the Cowboys will pull away for another business-like win – something like 28-13.
Nick Eatman: The only quarter the Cowboys are not outscoring their opponents this year is the first quarter. The San Francisco game had something to do with that and as we know by now, we shouldn't judge a lot of things by what we saw in Week 1. But the first quarter is going to be big tonight. The Redskins are a 2-5 team and the Cowboys are 6-1. For Dallas to win this game like it should, it needs to remind Washington of that very early in the game. The longer they keep Colt McCoy and that bunch thinking they've got a legit chance to steal a game on Monday night, the better chance the Redskins will have of doing just that. I think the Cowboys will once again try to impose their will and run the ball, but the easier play will be in the passing game. Terrance Williams gets over 100 yards with a touchdown and I think we'll see a big game from Dwayne Harris, who torched the Redskins in different ways last year. On defense, with Jason Hatcher on the other side, I say both of the Cowboys' 3-technique tackles – Henry Melton and Tyrone Crawford get a sack. The Cowboys never pull away but stay in control from start to finish and win 31-19.