- The Washington Times - Monday, December 27, 2004

IRVING, Texas — Everything was going Patrick Ramsey’s way.

Ramsey, coming off three straight solid performances, last week was named the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback for next season.

He began yesterday’s game against the Cowboys by connecting on his first seven passes and driving the Redskins deep into Dallas territory.

Then things began to go wrong.

On third-and-2 from the 11, Ramsey threw a pass that bounced off the hands of tight end Brian Kozlowski at the goal line, and right into the arms of Cowboys safety Lynn Scott.

After that latest red-zone failure, Ramsey and Co. gained just 47 yards over the next 2 quarters of a 13-10 loss.

Ramsey’s uneven performance was particularly disappointing considering his recent efforts.

Ramsey threw for four touchdowns and just one interception and completed 70 percent of his passes for 619 yards in victories over the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers and a close loss to the powerhouse Philadelphia Eagles.

Ramsey’s numbers yesterday — 19 of 29 for 158 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions — added up to a lousy 62.1 passer rating.

And Ramsey was an awful 4-for-12 for 30 yards with two interceptions between Kozlowski’s mistake and the start of the fourth quarter, when he went 7-for-7 on an 80-yard drive that produced a touchdown.

The Redskins’ usually impeccable defense surrendered the winning touchdown with 30 seconds left, but Ramsey and the offense took responsibility for the Redskins’ 10th loss of the season.

“It’s an understatement to say this is a tough way to lose,” Ramsey said. “We weren’t able to move the ball at the level we had in the last few games. We scored 10 points. That’s not enough.”

Especially against a Cowboys defense that had allowed the third-most points in the NFC.

“It wasn’t just Patrick,” said Gibbs, who lost star running back Clinton Portis to a sprained shoulder late in the third quarter. “It was all of us. We tried to do smart things. We made plays and put together a couple of good drives, but it was hard for us to consistently do something.

“A play here and a play there would stop a drive. We had an excellent first drive. At times, we had problems moving the ball, but a good defense will cause you to do that.”

But even when the Redskins moved the ball, it was in bite-size pieces instead of chunks.

Until Ramsey found reserve receiver Taylor Jacobs open for 27 yards more than 51 minutes into the game, he hadn’t completed a pass for more than 11 yards.

Gibbs and Ramsey each said the Redskins tried to take shots downfield but were victimized by sacks, tipped balls and generally good defense by the Cowboys.

However, Washington’s 5.45 yards per-attempt yesterday matched its league-low season average.

Ramsey is no longer the gunslinger he was under former coach Steve Spurrier, but he and Gibbs’ offense are still taking small steps.

Yesterday, they took a couple of steps backward.

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