Instant reactions to Washington Football Team’s 25-3 win over Dallas
By Jonathan Eig
It’s a legit question for Washington Football Team fans. Would you rather have Washington win or have Dallas lose? Isn’t it sweet when you kill two birds with one stone?
Everyone knew that the Washington Football Team’s best chance today would come from the defensive front taking advantage of the weak Dallas offensive line. And boy did they.
It’s hard to single out any one player for praise because so many made big plays. But it sure is nice to have a healthy Cole Holcomb back on the field. His speed and aggressiveness was evident all day. He put pressure on Andy Dalton consistently (one time, running right through Zeke Elliott to do so) and of course made a key spirit-killing interception just before halftime.
With Holcomb and Kevin Pierre-Louis (who also played well), the Washington Football Team has versatile linebackers who can take advantage of how good the front is.
The other defender who I think needs some love is Ronald Darby. He has flown mostly under the radar this season, but the few times he does get mentioned, it’s usually something to the effect of “Darby sucks.”
Well, he doesn’t. Darby does get beaten at times, as do all cornerbacks. But he generally keeps plays in front of him, and he generally steps up and makes tackles. He did both things today, making a key early tackle on Amari Cooper in the open field early on and teaming with the rest of the defensive backfield to blanket a talented receiving corps. The pressure from the front obviously helps the secondary, but there were a few coverage sacks along the way.
The offense also had its most complete game of the season. The line blocked beautifully to a man. J.D. McKissic and Logan Thomas performed the way fans hoped they might in the rosiest of pre-season projections. But I’m starting with Kyle Allen.
He wasn’t perfect, and he isn’t a great player. But he did things from the very beginning which helped set up this win. Twice in the opening drive, Allen avoided sacks and threw the ball away. These are huge plays that often go unnoticed. Washington was so dominant that it’s unlikely an early sack would have changed much. But avoiding bad plays can be just as important as hitting big ones.
Allen also had a key scramble for a first down in the first half and hit Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas when the opportunity was there. But those early plays – as well as other smart throw-aways on first and second down – helped set up the big hits.
Welcome to the team, Cornelius Lucas. Unlike most of the other linemen, I didn’t notice him doing anything great. But when you are the left tackle and nobody notices you, that’s usually a good thing. I did notice both Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses (whose injury is hopefully not serious). They were beasts. Chase Roullier may not have been a beast – but he was, at the very least, beast-like.
How many older fans had Clint Longley flashbacks when Ben DiNucci hit Amari Cooper for 31 on his first throw? Fortunately, Tim Settle, Kamren Curl, and Montez Sweat put an end to that.
He will never make anyone forget Mike Nelms or Brian Mitchell, but Danny Johnson makes smart plays on punt returns. He sprinted forward today to fair catch a short punt and probably saved 10-20 yards of roll. He gets what is available. If and when Steven Sims returns, Johnson should remain the punt returner (After all, he has already made yours truly forget Speedy Duncan).
He has not been good this year, but Landon Collins made a sensational play on the strip-sack safety. He is a feast or famine player, and we have been experiencing a lot of famine so far. Nice to have a bit of a feast.
And he has not been visible this year, but Jeremy Sprinkle caught a ball today.
If at the beginning of the season, I told you Washington Football Team would be 2-1 against the NFC East after seven weeks, how many of you would have predicted the one loss would have come against the Giants? If you can honestly say that you predicted that, then you’re a liar (That’s my brother Michael’s line, famous in family lore. I’m stealing it).
And this article is not about the Cowboys, but…
Dallas looks truly awful right now. The holes are evident up and down the lineup. But what is really alarming is that their quality players were very bad today. CeeDee Lamb dropped several passes. Elliott didn’t fumble, but his inability to make a play on a poor throw led to Holcomb’s interception. The Smiths – Aldon and Jaylon – both missed tackles and were generally non-factors. It will be very hard for them to turn anything around if the stars continue to sputter.
Which to any old-school Washington Football Team fan, is just fine.