- The Washington Times - Monday, December 3, 2001

The Washington Redskins' inability to stop the run, a problem the Redskins appeared to have cured during their five-game winning streak, was the key to their loss to the Dallas Cowboys yesterday.
The Cowboys rushed for 215 yards, the highest total by a Redskins opponent this season. Dallas picked up 211 rushing yards in the Oct. 15 meeting and the Kansas City Chiefs rushed for 200 on Sept. 30. In contrast, four of five opponents during Washington's winning streak rushed for less than 100 yards apiece.
"Our inability to defend the run was the thing that ultimately put us in position [to lose]," Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer said.
Said defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson: "They game-planned us extremely well and they made more plays than us. Without a doubt the defense lost this game today. We didn't get the job done. It starts with the run."
Dallas' rushing success came from a variety of players Emmitt Smith had 25 carries for 102 yards, Michael Wiley had three for 61 and Troy Hambrick had 10 for 47 and it came in a variety of ways. The defense wore down trying to adjust to Dallas' success between the tackles, around the edge and on misdirection.
"They got the best of us," linebacker Robert Jones said. "They got angles on us. They had us I don't want to say guessing but we had to go to the sideline and make major adjustments. The defenses that were called were good defenses, but it was a matter of us executing and making the adjustments on the field."

Alexander reinjured
Tight end Stephen Alexander broke a bone in his right ankle, just above his previous high ankle sprain, and it should sideline him again. Alexander hoped to return in a week or two, but that seems questionable since he's already missed four games with the sprain.
Alexander departed with 6:20 remaining in the first half after he broke the non-weight bearing bone while blocking on Stephen Davis' 4-yard run.
"I just pushed off on my toes and felt the [ankle] pop," Alexander said. "[Team doctors] said it was probably a little weak from the previous injury. It doesn't hurt nearly as bad the [high ankle sprain]."

Conway split on kicks
Kicker Brett Conway supported coach Marty Schottenheimer 's decision to punt instead of attempting a 51-yard field goal with 10:24 remaining. However, the kicker would have liked a chance at a 55-yarder shortly before halftime.
The Redskins decided, before the game, 53 yards was Conway's limit after he made a 51-yarder in warmups. Schottenheimer regularly confers with special teams coach Mike Stock and Conway before kickoff to determine the kicker's limitations based on weather and field conditions. Conway converted a 55-yarder at Giants Stadium on Oct. 7 and is 14 of 17 this season.
Conway stood near Schottenheimer on the sideline wearing his helmet waiting to attempt the first-half 55-yard kick. However, the Redskins instead opted for two failed end zone passes.
"I thought he would give me a shot at that one," Conway said. "I think I would have had the distance, but that far back it's a question of accuracy. … You always want that kick even though you're not expected to make it."
Said Schottenheimer: "We were right there on the edge. I didn't feel like we could make the field goal or I would have gone for it."
Conway didn't object to attempting the 51-yarder into a light wind with the Redskins trailing 10-7. Instead, he faked the kick and punted the first of his career 28 yards to the Cowboys 6-yard line.
"It's cold out, the balls are nasty. It was a great call," Conway said.

Carter solid
Quincy Carter's play didn't blow anybody away, but save for one terrible decision that resulted in a Fred Smoot interception, Carter didn't play poorly in his third career start.
Carter played his first game since Oct. 21. He tore a hamstring against Oakland on that date, had surgery to repair it and was recovering. Going into yesterday's game, he had completed just 10 passes for 38 yards and two interceptions in his two starts, but the rookie out of Georgia wasn't fazed.
He made the biggest throw of his young career on the 64-yard touchdown connection to Raghib Ismail . The score proved to be the winning points. Following the play, Carter dropped to his knees, pointed toward the sky, then bowed his head for a couple seconds, as if he was stunned at what he had just done.
"The big one at the end to Rocket down the sideline that's a big step for him, something to build on," wide receiver Joey Galloway said.
Statistically, Carter finished a very mediocre 7-for-14 for 130 yards and one interception, but with the way the Cowboys were running the ball, Carter, who also posed a running threat, didn't have to do much.
"Any quarterback who doesn't have a running game going for [him is] going to have a long day because they can tee off on you," Carter said. "When you've got guys like Emmitt [Smith] and Troy [Hambrick] who can run the football and the offensive line opening up holes for you, that makes it a lot easier on me."
Said Dallas coach Dave Campo: "We knew going in that if Quincy played within himself and stuck with what we were trying to get accomplished, we would be in it in the end. And we were."

Deja vu for Ismail
To the Redskins faithful, Raghib Ismail's 64-yard fourth-quarter touchdown reception had to remind them at least a little bit of his 76-yard scoring catch that beat the Redskins in overtime in the 1999 season opener. Ismail said the real similarity between the plays was trust.
In '99, Ismail said, he dropped a deep pass from Troy Aikman earlier in the game, but the quarterback had faith in him enough to go back to him for the second-longest overtime touchdown pass in NFL history (at the time), and a play that won it 41-35 for Dallas.
Yesterday, the Redskins initially showed a cover-two look, which can cause a quarterback to look off the deep route and throw short. Carter stayed with it, got Ismail against single coverage, and trusted his decision.
"In the overall picture, [the touchdown drive] was very important, because Quincy being back at the helm as a young quarterback, it's good for him to have in his arsenal and in his mind that he has made that throw," Ismail said.
"Everything was running, running, running, running," Ismail said of the Cowboys' play selection. "We just wanted to take a shot deep and see what happens."

Streak continues
Dallas players couldn't come up with any great explanations for why they continue to own their archrivals. The Cowboys have won nine straight over the Redskins, but were more than willing to talk about it.
"We get fired up for these Redskins games," Dexter Coakley said. "Maybe we could play them every game and go 16-0."
Said Joey Galloway : "Today we clicked pretty well, and I don't know why. I don't know if has anything to do with the fact we played them. It's just today, we played well."
Rocket Ismail's take: "I remember when I was with the Raiders and we used to play Kansas City, they had about eight or nine [straight wins] on us."

Two near-misses
The Redskins had two shots at an onside kick in the game's final minute and nearly came up with each one. A successful recovery would have given them a chance to drive for a winning touchdown. The Cowboys ultimately recovered, though, and ran out the clock.
The first try bounced off the chest of Cowboys safety Darren Woodson, nicking the helmet of Redskins cornerback Kato Serwanga. Dallas running back Troy Hambrick recovered the ball but was out of bounds when he did so. After initially giving Dallas the ball, officials assessed Washington a 5-yard penalty and had Brett Conway rekick.
Linebacker Dexter Coakley struggled to corral the second kick but ultimately pulled it in as Redskins piled on him and tried to strip it away. Dallas had the ball with 45 seconds remaining and Washington was out of timeouts.
Ultimately, however, Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer was pleased with the kicks.
"Credit [our] players: They continued to fight through two onsides kicks," Schottenheimer said. "That's the quality I think will enable us to continue to make progress and to continue to win."

Go figure
From Dec. 7, 1992 through Dec. 16, 1995, the Redskins were a respectable 3-4 against the Cowboys (who won three Super Bowls during those four seasons) and a horrendous 8-35 against the rest of the league.
In nearly six years since, Washington is 2-10 against Dallas but 47-35-1 against the rest of the league. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are 4-0 against the Redskins but just 4-19 against the rest of the league the last two seasons.

Inactives
Cornerback Central McClellion, linebacker Donte Curry, guard Matt Campbell, defensive tackle Donovan Arp, guard Alex Sulfsted, receiver Darnerien McCants and defensive end Oris Leverette.
Duff Durkin, Rick Snider, Jody Foldesy, David Elfin

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