Colt McCoy Looks to Propel Skins in Dallas


Oct 19, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy (16) drops back to pass against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Colt McCoy had a lucrative career as the starting quarterback for the Universty of Texas. The New Mexico native won nine awards from 2008-09, including being named the 2008 and 2009 Walter Camp Player of the Year and the 2009 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. He was also a 2008 and 2009 consensus All-American and won the 2009 Manning Award.

McCoy’s collegiate achievements go on, but his NFL achievements are few to none.

Since being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2010 draft, McCoy has started just 21 games (eight in 2010, 13 in 2011). He had a total of 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, and passed for 4,309 yards in those games.

After 2011, McCoy saw action in just eight games – three with Cleveland, four with San Fransisco and one with the Washington Redskins in last week’s win over Tennessee.

McCoy found himself in a comfortable situation as the third-string quarterback in D.C., but with yet another bizarre injury to starter Robert Griffin III and the once highly-praised backup Kirk Cousins, McCoy now finds himself starting a game for the first time in nearly three years.

The spotlight on McCoy couldn’t be bigger for his first start as a Redskin. Despite its 2-5 record, Washington and its fans are always ready for “Dallas Week.” The rivalry dates back to 1960, and with both teams winning multiple Super Bowls since, both fan bases are large and strong.

But both fan bases won’t be the only ones watching, as the game will be shown to a national audience on ESPN.

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Washington fans are hoping that the spotlight won’t be too much for McCoy, and they’re also hoping that McCoy’s first start as a Redskin won’t be similar to his last start in the NFL (18-for-35, two interceptions, zero touchdowns against the Steelers).

For McCoy and the offense to succeed against a surprisingly strong Dallas team (6-1), they’ll need to get McCoy’s confidence up early.

Head coach Jay Gruden may call similar plays to the ones he called when McCoy entered last week’s game. McCoy completed 11-of-12 passes but only for 128 yards, as he only threw for an average of 5.4 yards down field. His 70-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon was a seven-yard out route taken to the house.

If McCoy can string together some short and intermediate passes early on, with the defense already crowding the box against the run game, DeSean Jackson can find himself sprinting past the Cowboys secondary for a big gain.

Play action will also be key. Starting running back Alfred Morris is averaging a career-low 3.8 yards per carry and has just 440 yards rushing so far this season. If the offensive line can create enough space for Morris to gain yards like he has in his first two seasons, Dallas will have no choice but to respect the run game, potentially setting up some more big plays down the field.

But if the Cowboys are quick to stop Morris and are able to get to defend the pass early, McCoy’s numbers may look similar to the numbers he put up the last time he played in AT&T Stadium – three interceptions, nine sacks.