Overall the loss to the Dallas Cowboys was extremely disappointing, and really hampered any chance the Redskins might have to turn this season around. Despite the loss, Washington did have a few positives come out from the game.
-The secondary has let the Redskins down in recent years and so far this season that has been the case as well. Though the overall secondary play wasn’t great, Hall and Wilson looked fantastic throughout the game. Hall blanketed Dez Bryant for much of the game, and showed great recovery to knock the ball away from what should have been a touchdown after Meriweather blew an assignment. Wilson looked good in coverage, was better tackling than the past few games and showed some nice key blitzes including one where he tipped the pass up for a Redskins interception.
–Robert Griffin III has improved some from week one overall, but what we finally saw was a big improvement as a rusher. Griffin is still having some issues with his accuracy and feeling pressure, but he did a great job of bringing back the threat of the run from him and the read option. Hopefully going forward this will help open up things both for Alfred Morris and the passing game. Ideally the Redskins probably don’t want him running the ball as much as he did, but having that threat there can be a very powerful tool.
-Yes the Cowboys had 31 points, but 7 of those were on the punt return so that isn’t on them at all. Fourteen additional points came from the kick-off return to the 15 yard line and the fumble recovered on the 4 yard line. Sure it would have been great to hold them to a field in one of those situations, but even the best defense in the world would have the odds stacked against them in those situations. Outside of the Cowboys first drive the defense really did their job in stopping the Cowboys. They were perhaps helped with RB DeMarco Murray being out most of the game, but still it was a strong defensive performance. This is the only unit that stepped up and played like this game was important. They weren’t perfect, but if a defense (especially one as troubled as this unit) gives you that performance, you should be expected to win the majority of your games. Instead the Redskins lose by 15 points.
-Reed looked like a stud in the first half of the game, and is building on what looks to be a very impressive rookie year. Reed found numerous openings in the Cowboys coverage and was even missed on some golden opportunities by Griffin. If Reed can continue to step up, it would give the Redskins a good 2nd option to Pierre Garcon and a strong passing mix with Garcon, Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson.