ReFo: Redskins @ Cowboys, Week 8
Ben Stockwell has notes on player performances from Washington's rivalry win over Dallas on Monday Night.
ReFo: Redskins @ Cowboys, Week 8
Rivalry games usually see the form book and some sense of logic thrown out the window and such was the case once again last night as the Washington Redskins upended the Dallas Cowboys; bringing to an end the Cowboys’ six-game winning streak.
Texas native marshaled the offense astutely, getting the ball into the hands of the likes of DeSean Jackson and Alfred Morris for big plays while stepping in with some decisive plays of his own when the Dallas defense dropped its guard. The Cowboys will doubtless be disappointed to drop this game but there were still bright points on offense, not least with DeMarco Murray and the offensive line continuing their fine season.
Washington Redskins – Performances of Note
DeSean Jackson, WR: +1.1
Breakdown: For the second time this season Jackson put in an explosive display down the field on Monday Night Football, snagging two of his three downfield targets for 94 yards. Involved with Brandon Carr all night, Jackson made his six catches against three different defenders topping 100 yards for the fourth time in eight games.
Signature Play: Ending the third quarter with a bang (Q3 0:25) Jackson worked over the top of Carr on a corner route, setting Washington up inside the 10 for their go-ahead touchdown.
Brandon Meriweather, S: +1.5
Breakdown: One of the Washington defenders to benefit from some aggressive play calling by Jim Haslett; Meriweather registered five stops for the second time this season including a pair of sacks on a career high 11 blitzes.
Signature Play: Both of Meriweather’s sacks came on overloads, the second at 1:25 in the fourth catching Romo unsighted to force a fumble.
Bashaud Breeland, CB: +3.7
Breakdown: A busy night for the fourth-round rookie who came up with his best game since he entered the starting lineup in Week 4. Targeted 11 times Breeland got his hand to four passes, two of which came on consecutive plays inside the Washington five to limit the Cowboys to a field goal late in the third quarter.
Signature Play: Closed out the victory driving under Dez Bryant to break up the pass on the final play in overtime.
Dallas Cowboys – Performances of Note
DeMarco Murray, RB: +1.2
Breakdown: Another spectacular display with ball in hand from Murray but at the same time more troubles keeping the ball in his hands. An eighth 100-yard game on the ground was paired with 80 yards through the air but also a fumble and a muffed exchange with Brandon Weeden, that’s now five fumbles in eight games for Murray.
Signature Play: Three of the Cowboys’ four longest plays belonged to Murray, the longest came at 5:43 in the third weaving through traffic at the line of scrimmage before beating Ryan Clark upfield for a 51-yard gain.
Rolando McClain, MLB: -2.9
Breakdown: Got into position and made stops as he has done all season since his return to the field but also missed a spate of tackles. His four missed tackles last night were as many as he had missed all season to this point, taking him to seven missed tackles in the last three games.
Signature Stat: McClain’s missed tackles represented missed opportunities for the Cowboys with three of his four misses coming behind the line of scrimmage.
Henry Melton, DT: +2.3
Breakdown: Melton has only topped 30 snaps in a game twice this season but he is routinely leaving his mark on the game as a pass rusher despite relatively limited opportunities. On 17 pass rushes last night Melton racked up a pair of sacks and a pair of hurries, his fifth multi pressure game of the season.
Signature Play: Melton was simply too fast for Chris Chester at 9:41 in the second, firing past his outside shoulder to see Washington off the field with a third down sack.
PFF Game Ball
With a series of decisive plays to keep and take the ball out of Dallas’ hands Bashaud Breeland put in the best display of his professional career to date in his first taste of the Dallas-Washington rivalry.
Ben Stockwell | Director of Analysis
Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.