C-Nasty’s Running MNF Diary: Redskins at Cowboys

Instant Classic. At least for the Kickers' families watching at home


 
by C-Nasty

 

Before the season started, I sat down with Dr. Rhinoceros Horn to talk about writing something on a regular basis, running diary style, for the NFL.  He agreed but we went back and forth over which game I ought to diarize, Sunday night or Monday night.  The conversation went something like:

Ryno: You should write something weekly, running-diary style for football season.

Senor Nasty: Ok.

Ryno: You should do it for the Sunday night games.

C-Nizzle: Why not Monday night?

Ryno: Because Sunday is football day and people are going to want to read recaps on Monday morning, not Tuesday.

Doctor Nasty: Um, Ryno, there’s a decent chance I’ll be drunk on Any Given Sunday.

Ryno: WE FIGHT FOR THAT INCH!!!! But yeah…good point.  Monday it is.

I bring this up only because I’ve noticed over the course of the first three Sunday night games were great (Jets 27-Cowboys 24; Falcons 35-Eagles 31; Steelers 23-Colts 20) and the Monday night games have been sortzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Anyway, here’s to hoping that tonight’s game can right the ship and give us something worth recapping. Hopes aren’t staggeringly high at this point considering Dallas is missing their #1 WR, their starting RB has a separated shoulder, and Tony Romo (a place for ribs) isn’t exactly 100%.  Also, the opposing team is starting one Rex Grossman at QB.

Somewhere, Jason Witten got a chubby


 

Pre-game

After a recap of the injuries to the Cowboys, Jon Gruden gives us a breakdown of the Redskins D.  In the course of about 45 seconds Gruden reminds us why he’s no longer coaching and may, in fact, be drunk right now.

First he compares legendary Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett – in 2009 LeBeau was celebrating a Super Bowl win (his second) and Haslett was coaching the UFL’s Florida Tuskers.  Ok Jon, what else you got?

According to Gruden, the Steeler’s 5 time Pro Bowl Nose Tackle Casey Hampton is similar enough to warrant comparison to the Redskins Nose Tackle Barry Cofield.  Wikipedia tells us that Cofield was 2nd-team All Big Ten in 2005 when he was a senior at Northwestern.  That about wraps up his honors.  Nice Jon, care to dig a little deeper?

Gruden goes on to intimate that James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley are just like Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.  Just so that we’re clear, Gruden is saying that a 4 time Pro Bowler and former Defensive MVP (Harrison) and his Pro Bowl fellow linebacker (Woodley) aren’t all that different from a 2 time Pro Bowler (Orakpo) and a rookie linebacker?  Really?

If we haven’t already offended everyone in Pittsburgh I have a feeling we will with the final portion of Jon’s spot-on analysis.  He suggests that quite possibly the best defensive player in the league right now, Troy Polamalu, is similar to Washington’s LaRon Landry.  Polamalu is a 6 time Pro Bowler, 4 time All Pro and the reigning Defensive MVP of the League. Landry was an alternate to the Pro Bowl in 2007, according to Gruden, looks great with his shirt off, and presumably has a family that loves him.

Shut the entire fuck up, Jon Gruden.

"My chair is actually vibrating, right this second!"


 

Game 

 

1Q 11:54 – A couple of Hightower runs and a solid completion to Santana Moss bring the Redskins to midfield facing a 3rd and 1.  Gruden takes this opportunity to point out that Tim Hightower is his kind of back and refers to him as an “AC/DC back because every run is hard.”  Over/under on the last time Jon Gruden turned on the radio is set at 1987.  The Skins promptly hand it off to TE Chris Cooley instead of Hightower to pick up the first down.

1Q 10:06 – The drive stalls when the Redskins try to do things (like throwing the ball) that have not be historically successful for them of late. They settle for 46 yard field goal.

1Q 8:12 – Mike Tirico mentions that Jaws once played with a broken rib and asks for insight on what Romo is feeling.  Jaws explains that your rib is in the middle of your body so everything hurts. Jaws then assures us he’ll watch Romo the rest of the game.  Ron, that is literally your job already.

1Q 5:34 – A checkdown and long Felix Jones run gets the Boys in field goal range. Instead of throwing to Dez Bryant, who made a great catch and got hard fought yardage on the first play from scrimmage for Dallas, Romo forces love the ball on boyfriend TE Jason Witten repeatedly without success.  Dallas kicks the field goal and we’re tied halfway through the first quarter.

1Q 3:28 – Gruden goes on at length about how the Shanahans are masters of plays that look the same but are really different.  Gruden is a master of analysis that sounds insightful but is actually retarded.  On cue, the Masters Shanahans go three and out.

1Q 1:53 – A holding penalty negates a beautiful ball to Ogletree. Two plays later Landry channels Polamalu and strips Ogletree on a bubble screen.  Initially it appears that the Redskins were out-of-bounds when they recovered the fumble but Master Shanahan challenges; ruling overturned.  First and Goal at the 10 for Washington.

1Q 0:25 – Rex Ryan in drag Rob Ryan’s defense holds firm. They stuff two Hightower runs and tip a Grossman pass to limit the Redskins to a chip shot field goal.

Rex plays better when dreaming of post game Whip-its

End of 1st Qtr: Washington 6 – Dallas 3

 

2Q 14:22 – Faced with a 3rd and 8 on their own 20 Romo just can’t quit Witten and throws to him in the flat with a backer on him.  He’s tackled for a 2 yard gain.  Oh Tony, you just can’t mix business and pleasure.

2Q 13:56 – Grossman reminds us all why he was a backup QB for the last three years and throws a pick to LB Sean Lee who returns it into the red zone.  Dallas decides to run the ball twice with their injured starting RB. Then they run it again, get stuffed, and are forced to kick a Field Goal.  For those of you scoring at home that’s two consecutive turnovers in the red zone leading to two 3-and-out Field Goals.  It’s officially a shootout.

2Q 9:56 – Another self-inflicted wound (illegal snap) backs the Cowboys up to their own 10.  A near pick for Romo and another dump down to Witten (swoon) and Dallas is facing another 3rd and long.  Washington sends a Corner blitz right at Romo, he makes the correct read and fires it to Laurent Robinson down the right sideline. Unfortunately for Robinson, Romo lofted the ball a bit and LaRon Landry is FAST and built like a tank.  I’m pretty sure Landry shattered every bone and organ in Robinson’s torso.  Maybe Tony just wanted a buddy for the ice bath later.

2Q 7:04 – We have what appears to be a competent football drive.  Roy Helu run; deep pass to Fred Davis; screen to Helu. Skins march the ball down into the red zone.  The drive stalls and the Skins are forced to kick a Field Goal.  Red zone FGs are typically automatic for NFL kickers, but the whole kicking a Field Foal process proves to be difficult when the holder muffs the snap.  Dallas blocks it and the barnburner continues.

2Q 2:25 – Dallas mixes in some screens and timely Felix Jones runs to move the ball into the red zone.  Gruden points out that “this guy Tony Romo may have some beat up ribs, but there’s nothing wrong with him above the shoulders.”  Thanks Jon, you and Romo have nothing in common.  Unfortunately Dallas’ Mensa candidate QB can’t convert on 3rd down. The Cowboys settle for yet another red zone Field Goal.

2Q 0:04 – Grossman actually runs the 2 minute drill quite well, driving the Redskins down the field before he’s sacked. Washington settles for a 50 yard FG as time runs out on the first half.  30 minutes of play, zero touchdowns, zero big plays.  If this game were a sexual position it would be a dry hump.

"God, I know you love Field Goals"

Halftime: Washington 9 – Dallas 9

 

3Q 10:14 – A montage of all the Cowboys self-inflicted wounds of the first half is followed by a snap sailing 10 feet past Romo.  Tony manages to scramble, pick up the ball and complete it for a positive gain. Even with that, the Boys are left with a 3rd and 18.  Dick LaBeau Jim Haslett dials up an all out blitz. Romo is drilled and throws a pick.

3Q 5:52 – Washington decides to start their first string offense in the second half.  Grossman hits Moss on a crossing route and they pound the ball down Dallas’ throat with Hightower. The Cowboys seem to have no answer for Rex Grossman and that’s the first time that’s ever been written. Rex ends up hitting Hightower on a play-action pass for a TD. With their 5 1/2 minute, 76 yard drive, Washington appears to be in the driver’s seat.

3Q 2:23 – Apparently this is one of those rare cars with two driver’s seats.  Felix Jones breaks a long run and Witten follows it up with a great catch and run. All of a sudden the Cowboys are on Washington’s 25.

3Q 0:17 – But I guess it’s one of those not as rare cars with two steering wheels where one of them doesn’t work.  Two stuffed runs, and Dallas is faced with a 3rd and 7.  Here is where Romo really misses Miles Austin – he drops an absolutely perfect deep ball into random backup receiver #80’s (Martellus Bennett) hands and he can’t hang on.  They settle for yet another Field Goal.

Why does Jerry Jones never talk about the Kicker?

End of 3rd Qtr: Washington 16 – Dallas 12

 

4Q 14:33 – Dallas’ D manages to hold Washington to a 3-and-out.  With the exception of the last Redskins drive, the Defense really has been the star tonight on both sides.  Well, the enormous fucking star in the middle of the field is literally the star of the game, but you know what I mean.  As an aside, I happened to make it to the new Cowboys stadium last year for the MNF game when Romo got his collarbone cracked.  It’s absolutely one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever been in.  That’s right, the Louvre, I’m talking to you, with your fancy see-through pyramid shapes and your stupid art.

4Q 11:35 – Right on cue, Washington forces a 3 and out. Dallas follows that up by forcing the Redskins to punt again.

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about how much I hate the way Ron Jaworski talks.  Everything he says sounds like a Hallmark card, or the learning lesson from the end of a Full House episode. He never makes comments, he talks in paragraphs and his voice makes it sound like “The More You Know” ought to flash across the screen after he shuts up.

4Q 10:15 – Down 4 and pinned deep in their own territory after the Sav Rocca punt, the Cowboys turn to Felix Jones. He jukes two defenders so bad their ankles explode (false) and they crash into each other (true).  He’s eventually ridden out of bounds 40 yards later by DeAngelo “I’m going after Tony Romo’s ribs” Hall.

Romo doesn't feel pain. After all, he used to listen to Jessica Simpson regularly voice her "opinions"

4Q 6:58 – The Cowboys go play-action in the red zone, Romo holds the ball a second too long and gets absolutely drilled from the back side.  It looks like he broke the rest of his ribs on that hit but he slowly pulls himself off the turf. Dallas is bailed out by a defensive holding call on Washington.  This puts the ball on the 2 yard line and somehow Dallas STILL can’t score a TD.  Stuffed draw play, shitty fade route and a receiving corps that simply doesn’t know what route to run, all result in a Field Goal.  It’s a good thing these people don’t get paid for this.

4Q 3:44 – Washington stays aggressive with their play calling, they mix in passes and screens to move the ball to midfield, but the drive stalls.  DeMarcus Ware flips his beast mode switch and just abuses the Redskins tackles on two consecutive plays.  The first results in Grossman being turned into a Rorschach test slide and a near fumble; the second time Rex throws the ball away.  Now we get to see what Tony Romo is made of (other than Jason Witten admiration) – Down 1, 3:44 left with the ball on his own 14 yard line.

4Q 2:20 – Not only is Romo battling a broken rib and a Washington defense that is simply unrelenting in their blitz packages, he’s also up against his young receiving corps that still doesn’t know their routes yet, and a Center that seems to take pleasure in snapping the ball to Romo’s crotch when he’s not looking.  The Redskins showed an all out blitz and in the middle of his audible, Tony was hit in the hand by an errant shotgun snap from the center, Costa.  Romo manages to fall on it but Dallas is left with a 3rd and 21 in their own territory.

FAIL

4Q 2:08 – The Redskins send their third all out blitz in a row.  Dallas manages to pick it up for the most part. Romo rolls out and hits Dez Bryant just past the 1st down marker.  This is compounded by a DeAngelo Hall facemask. In one play the Cowboys go from 3rd and 21 on their own 30 to within Field Goal range.  Things haven’t changed that quickly for a group from Washington in Dallas since November 22, 1963. (Too soon?)

4Q 1:52 – The Cowboys seem content to try to run out as much clock as possible and kick a Field Goal to take the lead. The problem with that is that Washington manages to call a timeout before the 2 minute warning. Then they get the 2 minute warning stoppage. Then Tashard Choice inexplicably runs out of bounds to stop the clock.  Rookie kicker Dan Bailey hits his 6th FG (rookie record) of the night to put the Boys in front 18-16. There’s still a lot of time left for Rex Grossman to show us why he’s a career underachiever.

4Q 0:41 – A false start and a loss on a screen pass back the Redskins up inside their own 10 yard line.  However, Hightower manages to break loose on a well-blocked screen and picks up the 1st down.  Gaffney picks up another 1st, but is unable to get out of bounds. Washington burns 1 of their 2 remaining timeouts. They need another 20-25 yards to get into Graham Gano’s field goal range, or roughly a foot and a half to get inside Sebastian Janikowski’s.

4Q 0:28 – Rex gets flushed from the pocket, rolls out and is caught from behind by Anthony Spencer, who tomahawks the ball out of Grossman’s hand. Dallas falls on it.  Much like the founding of our country, the white people Cowboys defeat the Native Americans Redskins.

Still better than McNabb

Final Score: Dallas 18 – Washington 16

 

Post-game

At least this game wasn’t the snoozer that we had to suffer through last week.

Even though this game’s 9 field goals ties an NFL record, the second half of the fourth quarter had some genuine tension and great plays.

Next week we’ll possibly get to witness the beginning of the Curtis Painter era as the Colts visit Tampa Bay.

Damn it Ryno, is it too late to switch to Sunday Night?

"Listen Curtis, Gruden is going to call you 'This Guy' a lot, so be prepared"