The Redskins season came to a likely end on Thursday night when they were embarrassed by a hopelessly lost Dallas Cowboy team struggling to find its way without its All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The futility of Dallas’ Zeke-less campaign was the subject of national mockery over the past several weeks: they could only muster 22 points during that stretch, were outscored by a staggering 92-22 margin, and collapsed in the second half of those games.
The gameplan against this rudderless Cowboys team was simple: start strongly to deepen the desperation in Dallas’ ranks and, in turn, vanquish any hope they’d have in playing a competitive contest against a Redskins team with legitimate playoff aspirations. That would force Dallas to rest its chances on the arm of Dak Prescott, who was exposed as a vastly overrated quarterback when the Cowboys turned to him as the team’s primary breadwinner.
Instead, the Redskins came out flat and unprepared. Like so many instances in the past two seasons, they lacked focus and intensity, especially one commensurate to the post-season stakes the game presented. While there were no shortage of contributors to this season-ending loss, accountability for the errors of the team’s subordinates is, as it is almost always, properly imputed to their superior. That would be Jay Gruden, whose inability to command a tight ship this game was one of several repeat offenses he’s committed not just this season but throughout his tenure in Washington.