• The Redskins had another poor showing on third down, especially in the second half. Dallas converted 8 of 17 attempts in the game, including 5 of their final 6. Dallas’ 47-percent conversion rate was Washington’s second-worst this season behind last week’s game against Miami (57 percent).
A common trend, especially late in the game, was QB Tony Romo’s ability to escape the rush and buy time. He did that on the 7-yard touchdown to WR Laurent Robinson on third-and-goal, the 59-yard touchdown to TE Jason Witten on third-and-8 and the 7-yard completion to RB DeMarco Murray on third-and-6. The Redskins failed to containing Romo and get him on the ground in those situations.
• ILB Perry Riley had another promising performance pocked by some costly mistakes. The biggest question is his role on TE Jason Witten’s 59-yard touchdown. Riley appeared to be in no man’s land on his drop, and CB DeAngelo Hall‘s postgame assessment implied Riley was to blame.
“It was Cover-2 zone, and somebody dropped him,” Hall said. “Somebody should have been running with him through the whole course of the play. It’s probably one of the one plays Fletch [ILB London Fletcher] missed because he was cramping up a little bit, but the next guy that comes in has got to make that play.”
But Riley obviously is a talent worth developing. He stood up RB DeMarco Murray on several rushes, and his speed helped him avoid offensive linemen on the second level. He had to read and react more this week than he did in his attacking role last week against Miami, and he finished with 10 tackles.
• CB Josh Wilson covered well except for the 7-yard touchdown to WR Laurent Robinson. That’s quite the exception, I know. Robinson froze Wilson with a hard step up the field, which allowed him to separate on a drag route from right to left. It didn’t help that CB Kevin Barnes picked Wilson while running to the right flat to cover a receiver.
Wilson also was flagged for pass interference. He briefly held onto one of Robinson’s arms on a crossing route. I agreed with the Fox broadcasters that it was a ticky-tack call. Wilson has established himself as the Redskins‘ best cover corner.
• CB Byron Westbrook showed well after Wilson left the game with a hamstring strain. He drove on an intermediate crossing route and broke that up on second-and-8 in the fourth quarter. He also ran up to set the edge on a run that went for no gain.
Against four or fewer rushers, Romo was 16-of-25 for 213, 3 touchdowns and a sack; a passer rating of 130.5.
Against five rushers, Romo was 5-of-8 for 43 yards and three sacks; a passer rating of 76.6.
Against six or more rushers, Romo was 2-of-4 for 36 yards.
In these teams’ first meeting back in September, the Redskins rushed four or fewer on 48.6 percent (18 of 37) of Dallas’ dropbacks compared to 63.4 of dropbacks in this game. Romo’s rating against four or fewer in the September game was 85.0.View Entire Story
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