Tough stretch looms after lose to Cowboys


What’s next?  This questions rings in the ears of many throughout the Washington Redskins organization.  The ‘Skins face a cross roads in their disappointing 2013 season after the 31-16 loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys.  Sitting at 1-4, the Redskins playoffs chances are slim, and at this point head coach Mike Shanahan must find a way to salvage the season.

If Washington continues to slide there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, as their draft pick will be given to the St. Louis Rams due in part to the deal to move up and select quarterback Robert Griffin III.  If there’s been one positive so far, however, it’s that the NFC East is a weak division at best.  The aforementioned Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles sit atop the division with mere 3-3 records.

Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws a pass isn the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys AT

Things were supposed to be looking up for the Redskins, who captured their first win of the season and entered a bye week just two weeks ago, but no progress was made, and Washington continued their stagnant ways.  Griffin III looked comparable to last season’s form, but two poor turnovers late in the game overshadowed his performance.

Also, the Redskins receiving core struggled creating separation from the very mediocre Cowboy defenders and pair that with poor pass protection and it equals small throwing lanes for Griffin III all night long.

The Washington defense appeared to have settled in nicely after a miserable first four weeks.  The unit did a good job shutting down quarterback Tony Romo at times, but was unable to stop the opposing offense in the red zone. DeAngelo Hall had perhaps his best game of the season shutting down star wide receiver Dez Bryant.

The Achilles heal of the Redskins, Sunday night, was their special teams.  All season long, the Redskins special teams had failed to make impact plays, but each game they managed not to hurt the Redskins chances either.  On Sunday, however, the unit just couldn’t seem to catch Cowboy return man Dwayne Harris, as he ripped off a 86-yard punt return for a touchdown along with a 90-yard kickoff return setting up another Cowboys touchdown.  After the 31-16 loss something’s must change for the Redskins and here are 3.

1)   First-year special teams coach Keith Burns needs to go.  I understand its his first season, but Burns has no history to support himself, and if the woes continue, the responsibility has to be put on someone, and its not going to be head coach Mike Shanahan

2)   Run the football.  The Redskins win football games when there’s a heavy dose of Alfred Morris.  Like they did Sunday, Washington must continue to stick to the game plan and ride the Alfred Morris train.

3)   The Redskins must realize they cannot win the division with this roster.  Whether it’s a big or small deal, management must show the roster that no one is safe, and that with their poor play anyone can be cut at the drop of a hat.