ongoing soapish saga of this 2006 season.
But come on, this safety thing is ridiculous, and no one can fault rookie Pat Watkins anymore, because after struggling somewhat over the first five games giving up deep passes, he has now been left home the past two Sundays. No difference on this Sunday.
Hey, on the Redskins' very first drive of the game, one that lasted long enough to read * War and Peace*, a missed tackle by nickel safety Marcus Coleman allowed tight end Chris Cooley to ramble 21 yards to get the mind-boggling 8-minute, 26-second drive going that finally stalled out at the Dallas 1.
But five seconds later, the Cowboys were down 2-0, the officials absolutely ignoring where the ball was when Jones went down, ruling, yes, a safety. And because the Cowboys had to then punt, those two points turned into five with a field goal on the ensuing possession, and then in reality six when the Cowboys decided a two-point conversion was in order to go up three instead of just two early in the second quarter.
The word safety was on the wall. It would only get worse.
Just two plays after going up 9-5, now strikes safety Keith Davis, who replaced Watkins in the starting lineup successfully last Sunday in Carolina. First, after helping stop Clinton Portis for a two-yard gain, he is called for grabbing the opening of the helmet, the third time that has happened to the Cowboys in three games - 15 yards, first down at the Dallas 38.
Then the Redskins caught the Cowboys on a little option pitch left when they had flip-flopped their outside linebackers. Greg Ellis, now on the right side, couldn't contain the corner. Cornerback Anthony Henry got tied up by Brandon Lloyd. And when Davis came streaking over to make the tackle on the edge, the team's last line of defense, he took a bad angle inside when Portis went out, tripping then over Henry.
Touchdown Portis, reeling off the longest run of the season against the Cowboys after averaging but two yards a carry on his first 14 carries.
"When the opportunities present themselves, you just got to make plays," veteran corner Aaron Glenn said.
Wait, there is more safety involvement. On the first play of the fourth quarter, leading 19-12, the Redskins ran a gadget on the Cowboys, looking as if Antwaan Randle El was headed right on an end around. But remember, he played quarterback at Indiana, and he showed the Cowboys why, lofting a beauty of a pass to a streaking Lloyd, who had shaken past a fooled Terence Newman.
But here came Roy Williams, in single safety since the Cowboys had gone to their penny defense, replacing the free safety with an extra corner to combat the three-receiver set, seemingly having a bead on an interception. But when he made his move for the ball, he clicked feet with Lloyd, interference - 48 yards worth - and a first down.
Two plays later, Henry passed Cooley off to the safety - of course - but when Coleman got caught looking inside, Henry couldn't recover in time, merely tipping the ball in the end zone where Cooley made a juggling catch to tie the game at 19-19.
Still not done. Next series, seven minutes left in a tie game, Brunell ill-advisedly throws deep for Lloyd, and there was Williams in perfect position for an interception. He goes up, and the ball hits him in the helmet.
And as if that was not enough safety problems for one game, the crowning blow was to come just when Romo played the position as if a seasoned veteran, driving the Cowboys from their own 39, where Washington's Nick Novak missed his game-winning 49-yard attempt wide right, to the Washington 17 in but 25 seconds.
So perfect, there it was, :06 left, and Vanderjagt preparing for his third field goal of the game, a game-winning 35-yarder. Piece of cake for Mr. Perfect.
But here come, of course, the safeties, this time Washington's, first veteran Troy Vincent knifing in from the left to block Vanderjagt's kick and then Sean Taylor picking up the rolling ball at the 26, seemingly dancing around harmlessly back there to prolong the agony.
But, as if shot out of a cannon, Taylor makes a beeline up the field with a flag flying in from behind. No biggie, right? Taylor is tackled finally at