- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 29, 2019

ARLINGTON, Texas — After the Redskins’ 47-16 loss Sunday, team president Bruce Allen walked alone along the tunnels under AT&T Stadium. Behind him, a motorcade soon made its way past, with security guards yelling to make way.

In the motorcade was Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Snyder left shortly after the Dallas Cowboys dropped his Redskins to 3-13 on the season, and neither Snyder nor Allen would comment on reports the owner plans to demote his right-hand man on Monday.

“I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow,” Allen told reporters.

The contest on the field Sunday took a back seat to the decisions facing the Redskins.

Allen, long a target of frustrated fans, reportedly will be stripped of his control over Washington’s football operations. Interim coach Bill Callahan almost certainly will be fired.

Just minutes after the game ended came word that former Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera would interview Monday with the Redskins.

Rivera, 57, is the team’s first choice, according to the NFL Network. He spent nine seasons with the Panthers before he was fired earlier this month.

Rivera went 76-63-1 with Carolina. Current Redskins cornerback Josh Norman had his only All-Pro season under Rivera in 2015, the same year the Panthers went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl.

Snyder clearly wants to move fast in announcing the next coach, and besides Rivera, former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has emerged as a candidate.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy is also an option, though Washington would have to wait to hire him until the Chiefs are eliminated from the playoffs.

Amid the swirl of offseason questions surrounding the franchises, there was a game Sunday — a contest that mattered plenty for players like Case Keenum.

Keenum, making the start over an injured Dwayne Haskins, said earlier this week he was excited to get another chance. The 31-year-old had suffered a concussion in Week 8 and when he fully recovered, the Redskins had decided to stick with Haskins moving forward. “You get frustrated, but you deal with it,” he said.

With Keenum back under center, the Redskins offense struggled.

On the very first drive, Keenum threw an interception to Cowboys linebacker Jaylen Smith deep in Redskins territory.

When Washington’s offense returned to the field down 3-0, Adrian Peterson fumbled after hauling in a catch from Keenum setting up the Cowboys again in great field position.

The Cowboys settled for another Kai Forbath field goal and a 6-0 lead.

Eventually, the Cowboys and the Redskins started to click offensively. Dallas set up its first touchdown with a 46-yard bomb from Dak Prescott to wideout Amari Cooper, taking a successful shot on an offsides play. Ezekiel Elliott made his presence felt, catching a 13-yard touchdown and rushing for 33-yard touchdown to help the Cowboys jump out to a 20-3 lead.

Washington answered just before the half, driving down the field over the course of the final three minutes. On that series, the Redskins’ youth at wide receiver stepped up. Kelvin Harmon picked up 25 yards after he broke free at the line of scrimmage and caught a perfectly placed ball from Keenum. Steven Sims Jr., who has led the Redskins in targets since Week 13, created enough separation in the end zone to haul in a six-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left.

The shootout continued in the second half, but the Redskins couldn’t keep pace.

Washington made explosive plays — a 32-yard run from Peterson, a 65-yard catch from Sims — but ultimately, Dustin Hopkins trotted on the field to kick field goals.

Sunday marked the eighth time this season the Redskins gave up more than 30 points in a game. Of all the disappointments for the Redskins this season, the team’s defensive breakdowns were arguably the biggest. Before the year, Washington expected to be a top-ranked defense, only for the unit to never fully get on the same page. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky had few answers as to why his unit had struggled despite the apparent talent on it.

Perhaps the addition of a star-studded pass-rusher in the draft will help fix it — the Redskins secured the second pick in the draft with a loss, in line to take Ohio State’s Chase Young.

But that’s just one of the many problems facing Washington — all of which Snyder will need to decide how to fix moving forward.

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