4 things we learned from Washington’s hard-fought loss to Cowboys
By Jerry Trotta
2. Decision looms on Antonio Gibson
Man, what the heck does Washington do with Antonio Gibson?
Just when you think he’s turned a corner and ready to become the bell-cow back this offense desperately needs (358 rushing yards over the previous four games), he does the ONE thing that’s preventing him from making that leap.
In the third quarter, Gibson fumbled on a hit in which he was sandwiched between a pair of Cowboys defenders. It was his sixth fumble of the year (fourth lost), by far the most of any running back in the league.
To add insult to injury, the fumble came deep in Washington territory after the defense just forced a punt in response to Cam Sims’ highlight-reel touchdown grab over Trevon Diggs along the sidelines.
Yes, it only resulted in a field goal, but that’s not the point. For every step forward Gibson takes, he takes two steps back. He’s made massive strides as a runner, but he can’t protect the football and his struggles in pass protection reared their ugly head on a Taylor Heinicke sack on which he was caught flat-footed.
In other words, he’s still unproven, which is heartbreaking because he’s ridiculously easy to root for.
Running backs are pretty easy to find these days. Gibson, a former college wide receiver, is living proof of that.
However, his fumbling issues might force Washington to make a decision on his future as soon as this offseason. Let’s hope his teammates give him a strong pep talk, because the offense is going to need him for the stretch run.