- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 3, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Washington Redskins will host the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the playoffs next Sunday.

Until then, the Redskins can savor a 34-23 victory against the Dallas Cowboys — their fourth consecutive win.

“I’d rather do that than lose a couple of big games,” Gruden said. “Regardless if you’re on a winning streak or losing streak, come Saturday or Sunday of next week, we’re going to have to come together and play a good football game against a quality team, so we’ll see how we respond. We’ve got some young guys, some veteran guys. It’s just a matter of everybody gelling on that Saturday or Sunday and playing well, whatever streak you’re on.”

There were plenty of noteworthy performances, like quarterback Kirk Cousins setting the Redskins‘ single-season passing record with 4,166 yards and Jordan Reed setting team records with 87 receptions, 952 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns by a tight end. There were some other strong performances, too, like Alfred Morris rushing for 100 yards.

With that, here’s a look at three takeaways from Sunday’s win.

** With running back Matt Jones inactive for the second consecutive week because of a hip injury, Morris got the bulk of the Redskins‘ carries. He carried the ball 19 times for 100 yards, an average of 5.3 yards per carry. Pierre Thomas carried the ball seven times for 30 yards and Chris Thompson ran seven times for 19 yards. While Morris has struggled this season, he looked like his old self at times. It was his first 100-yard performance since the season-opener.


SEE ALSO: Jamison Crowder finishes productive rookie season in Redskins’ win at Cowboys


“It was really good to see Alfred make couple of key runs in there — run between the tackles,” Gruden said.

For the first time in his four-year career, Morris failed to rush for 1,000 yards. He finished the season with 751 yards and just one touchdown. While his carries fluctuated week to week, Gruden praised Morris’ approach this season.

“I loved the way he just stayed committed to the franchise, stayed working and he’s a big part of our success moving forward,” Gruden said.

** Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was active, but never played against the Cowboys. Reed was in street clothes by the third quarter. That allowed rookie Jamison Crowder, second-year wide receiver Ryan Grant and rookie Rashad Ross to enjoy the spotlight. Crowder, who has had big games before even when Reed and Jackson were playing, caught five passes for a career-high 109 yards and a touchdown. Rashad Ross had just two catches, but one was a big one for a 71-yard touchdown from quarterback Colt McCoy. Ryan Grant had three catches for 18 yards and a touchdown.

** The Redskins gave up 435 passing yards on Sunday, which as to be the most subtle 435 passing yards a defense has ever given up. It was barely noticeable given the nature of the game, but there were some bright spots, like the interceptions from cornerback Will Blackmon and inside linebacker Will Compton. Blackmon’s interception on the goal line stopped the Cowboys from scoring in the fourth quarter. Compton’s happened in the first quarter and was the first of his career. Blackmon also forced a fumble, jarring the ball loose from running back Darren McFadden as he was about to cross the goal line in the fourth quarter.

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