- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas — It didn’t matter whether Tim Hightower, Roy Helu or even Chris Cooley carried the ball for the Washington Redskins on Monday night, they couldn’t consistently move it.

Those three averaged only 2.8 yards on 21 carries in an 18-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The running game struggled so badly that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan attempted only seven running plays in the second half despite leading for more than 17 minutes of it.

“I don’t think we really ever got into a rhythm, established anything offensively,” Hightower said. “Defensively they did a great job.”

Hightower had 41 yards on 14 carries. Helu, who had 74 yards off the bench against Arizona in Week 2, finished with 15 yards on five carries.

Cooley, a tight end, played a significant amount at fullback. He mostly blocked from there, but he carried twice for 3 yards.

The Cowboys finished the game ranked second in the NFL against the run, proof of how good their front 7 is at stopping it. Still, the Redskins looked inward for reasons why they languished a week after rushing for 172 yards against Arizona.

“I think everyone kind of took their turn,” Hightower said. “I slipped a couple times in there. Roy slipped a couple times. I don’t think we got 11 on the same page at all today. A lot of that is on the backs.

“We know the mistakes that we made. A lot of the mistakes that we made were self-imposed. That’s something we’ve got to pay close attention to detail.”

The Redskins did run relatively well on their only touchdown drive. Hightower averaged 4.0 yards on five carries. That was effective enough to free him on a play-action pass for a 1-yard touchdown catch.

“That one drive, I thought that was going to give us some momentum … but we didn’t sustain it,” he said.

Grossman commits two turnovers

Quarterback Rex Grossman threw his third interception of the season. Dallas linebacker Sean Lee picked off a pass intended for tight end Fred Davis down the middle. Davis was surrounded by three defenders.

“I didn’t see the [middle linebacker] dropping,” Grossman said. “I saw Fred getting around the [weakside linebacker]. I was gonna bend it right behind [him].”

Grossman also lost a fumble on the Redskins‘ final play from scrimmage. Linebacker Anthony Spencer chased him down from behind, sacked him and forced the ball loose. Dallas recovered at Washington’s 40-yard line and kneeled to run out the clock.

“They had pressure and made a play,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “Rex didn’t see the guy coming from behind.”

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