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Nothing New

Dec 27, 2004, 2:21 AM EST

Dog bites man. The federal budget deficit soars. Dallas beats Washington.

Midway thorough the fourth quarter, it seemed as though 72-point headline news was about to me made. The Redskins were on the verge of beating the Cowboys and a bunch of bad streaks and jinxes were on the verge of vanishing. The 1-13 against Dallas, Gibbs 0-7 vs. Parcells, the Redskins not having won this year without Clinton Portis rushing for 100 yards or turning the ball over more than once or having trailed at any point during a game.

If you want to see the difference between even Joe Gibbs’ most mediocre teams in his first go-around here, you need look no further than here: Starting with 5:26 left to play, three times the Redskins had their hands on the ball with a chance to salt a four-point lead away. One time Antonio Brown fumbled a punt away. The other two times they went three and out.

Without looking it up, I’d venture to say that in the 184 regular-season games that Gibbs coached from 1981 through 1992 and in the 21 playoff games in that time span, they never had three chances to put a win away and failed to do so. I’d do the research, but I’m so sure that I’ll challenge anyone out there to prove me wrong. Certainly on some occasions they blew one offensive chance to protect a lead of more than a field goal with less than five and a half minutes to play. Maybe a handful of times they had two chances to finish off a team and couldn’t do it. But three, never.

You can only ask a defense, even a very good one, to get it done so many times.

  1. Raj - Dec 26, 2004 at 11:16 PM

    Devastated…. in my years as a Redskins fan, ive seen us beat the Cowboys just once in a meaningless game in 2001. For some reason, even though we were ahead, i had a bad feeling abt the punt that we ultimately fumbled. Right then I knew, this was a game we were going to lose. Rightly said, Nothing New. We find ways to lose.

  2. Raj - Dec 27, 2004 at 3:16 AM

    Devastated…. in my years as a Redskins fan, ive seen us beat the Cowboys just once in a meaningless game in 2001. For some reason, even though we were ahead, i had a bad feeling abt the punt that we ultimately fumbled. Right then I knew, this was a game we were going to lose. Rightly said, Nothing New. We find ways to lose.

  3. Anonymous - Dec 26, 2004 at 11:41 PM

    I really thought we had a shot, that was so hard to watch at the end of the game, yet so familiar. Well all I can say is that this once again revives my hate for the Dallas Cowboys.

  4. Anonymous - Dec 27, 2004 at 3:41 AM

    I really thought we had a shot, that was so hard to watch at the end of the game, yet so familiar. Well all I can say is that this once again revives my hate for the Dallas Cowboys.

  5. Anonymous - Dec 27, 2004 at 10:36 AM

    So, it doesn’t look like your Redskins are gonna finish on a high note after all. Huh.

    You should know the Redskins can’t beat the boys on any giving day. No, matter how good you may think they are.

    I, was kinda up set at first when i first read your coments. About the Cowboys not being a good team in 2005… And the Redskins only being a few pieces away, from being won of the best teams in the NFL… Then, i realized that your job is too boost the confidence of the Redskins fans. Do, you actually believe that the Redskins organization can ever be better than the Dallas Cowboys Franchise? I, think not!

    Just keep in mind. Before you go making bold predictions about teams futures…The Cowboys under Bill Parcells’s first year. We whent 10-6 and made the playoffs.

    Not only did we make the playoff, but we also had the no.1 ranked defense in the league, for the whole season.

    The only reason, why, our defense felloff. Is because we whent threw alot a changes, with personals and injuries… for, example. Our, defense is very young this year, with alot of rookies in the secondary… And, our defensive captain for the back field. Darren Woodson has been out since preseason. Whitch really hurt us without his leader ship.

    The point i would really like too make is this.

    Sometimes a team can do really well, their first year under a new head coach.

    Then, for some reason. Have the bottom fall out the 2nd year… Just too come back even stronger the third year.

    Great. Head coaches, know, how to change a team into a winning team in the course of time. Not just in one, or two seasons.

    Well, see how everything pans out for the Redskins next year.

    I’m done ranting… So i’ll leave you on this note.

    Cowboys fans will never hate Deadskins fans… However, your fans will always hate the boys. Cause well always beat ya!!!

  6. Anonymous - Dec 27, 2004 at 2:36 PM

    So, it doesn’t look like your Redskins are gonna finish on a high note after all. Huh.

    You should know the Redskins can’t beat the boys on any giving day. No, matter how good you may think they are.

    I, was kinda up set at first when i first read your coments. About the Cowboys not being a good team in 2005… And the Redskins only being a few pieces away, from being won of the best teams in the NFL… Then, i realized that your job is too boost the confidence of the Redskins fans. Do, you actually believe that the Redskins organization can ever be better than the Dallas Cowboys Franchise? I, think not!

    Just keep in mind. Before you go making bold predictions about teams futures…The Cowboys under Bill Parcells’s first year. We whent 10-6 and made the playoffs.

    Not only did we make the playoff, but we also had the no.1 ranked defense in the league, for the whole season.

    The only reason, why, our defense felloff. Is because we whent threw alot a changes, with personals and injuries… for, example. Our, defense is very young this year, with alot of rookies in the secondary… And, our defensive captain for the back field. Darren Woodson has been out since preseason. Whitch really hurt us without his leader ship.

    The point i would really like too make is this.

    Sometimes a team can do really well, their first year under a new head coach.

    Then, for some reason. Have the bottom fall out the 2nd year… Just too come back even stronger the third year.

    Great. Head coaches, know, how to change a team into a winning team in the course of time. Not just in one, or two seasons.

    Well, see how everything pans out for the Redskins next year.

    I’m done ranting… So i’ll leave you on this note.

    Cowboys fans will never hate Deadskins fans… However, your fans will always hate the boys. Cause well always beat ya!!!

  7. Dustin M. Czarny - Dec 27, 2004 at 11:26 AM

    That is it. I am done. I am disgusted and stomach is full of ulcers. The redskins once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory this year. And I look at our record 5-10, only a half win better then 5-111 and with the vikings battling for a playofff spot I am not so sure we can do it. So once again we are 5-11 and out of the playoffs, once again swept by the cowboys and eagles and only going 1-5 in the NFC East.

    And I have to wonder whether it is better to be beaten badly like last year and totally out of the 11 games we would lose, then be the heartbreak kids of this year’s squad. Being excruciatingly close each game only to falter in the fourth quarter. Better to know the game is over by half time then to suffer a stroke in the last two minutes. I know we were out of the playoffs already because Carolina had won but the very fact they could of beat the cowboys kills me even further.

    And this is not some good Cowboys team. There are no Aikmans or Smiths or Irvins on their sideline. No this is a squad with Vinny Testaverde, a man so old that he played his rookie season when I was in high school. Hell the Cowboy fans were not only booing him but calling for Tony Romo to come in. Who is Romo? Who cares!! The point is their starter should be a third string emergency quarterback and yet he threw a 45 yard bomb with :30 to go to beat the #2 defense in the NFL.

    Then again. We were in every game this last year. And we won’t waste 9 games with Brunell next year. And maybe Ramsey will flourish ala Drew Brees. The defense can only get better. IT was #2 with only one good lineman and no Lavar Arrington. Gibbs was rusty with horrible time management but it got better at the end of the year. We will have continuity for the first time in 6 years. We also get Jansen back which has to help the line. And a top 15 pick who could be our new center/gaurd.

    Allright wrap my head and call me sucker I can’t wait for the draft in April. Next year will really be our year.

  8. Dustin M. Czarny - Dec 27, 2004 at 3:26 PM

    That is it. I am done. I am disgusted and stomach is full of ulcers. The redskins once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory this year. And I look at our record 5-10, only a half win better then 5-111 and with the vikings battling for a playofff spot I am not so sure we can do it. So once again we are 5-11 and out of the playoffs, once again swept by the cowboys and eagles and only going 1-5 in the NFC East.

    And I have to wonder whether it is better to be beaten badly like last year and totally out of the 11 games we would lose, then be the heartbreak kids of this year’s squad. Being excruciatingly close each game only to falter in the fourth quarter. Better to know the game is over by half time then to suffer a stroke in the last two minutes. I know we were out of the playoffs already because Carolina had won but the very fact they could of beat the cowboys kills me even further.

    And this is not some good Cowboys team. There are no Aikmans or Smiths or Irvins on their sideline. No this is a squad with Vinny Testaverde, a man so old that he played his rookie season when I was in high school. Hell the Cowboy fans were not only booing him but calling for Tony Romo to come in. Who is Romo? Who cares!! The point is their starter should be a third string emergency quarterback and yet he threw a 45 yard bomb with :30 to go to beat the #2 defense in the NFL.

    Then again. We were in every game this last year. And we won’t waste 9 games with Brunell next year. And maybe Ramsey will flourish ala Drew Brees. The defense can only get better. IT was #2 with only one good lineman and no Lavar Arrington. Gibbs was rusty with horrible time management but it got better at the end of the year. We will have continuity for the first time in 6 years. We also get Jansen back which has to help the line. And a top 15 pick who could be our new center/gaurd.

    Allright wrap my head and call me sucker I can’t wait for the draft in April. Next year will really be our year.

  9. mbarnes202 - Dec 27, 2004 at 11:27 AM

    (Sigh). Again.
    This one is so firmly Gibbs’ fault; it’s hard to get encouraged for next year.
    When the offensive scheme requires such perfection as to require a sustained drive of 15 plays or more just to be in position to score, you’ve got problems. I’d hazzard a guess that there are very few drives of at least 15 plays in any week in the NFL, and yet, that’s the offense Gibbs is running– with Portis, Coles, and Ramsey as the centerpieces. These guys are more suited to explosive football than methodical football. It’s not Bettis, Tom Brady, and Keyshawn on the roster.
    It’s like a greek tragedy unfolding … there must have been one written about someone who never took chances and let opportunity after opportunity slip by because each one analyzed individually was a risky proposition. And at the end of the day, we look back, and all we see are the missed opportunities.
    Congratulations for playing it safe, coach– this is what it has wrought– zero confidence in the team and a big fat “L”.
    How many times did Dallas go deep, and what did they get for their troubles? Sure, a few sacks and incompletions, but they got a TD and a long pass interference call. Did we even throw the ball deep ONCE? I can only remember Coles’ desparation 20+ yard catch at the end of the game. Were there any others? We were playing not to lose. It’s the corollary of the prevent defense.
    And if Gibbs thinks this is fun, wait until the offseason, when he gets to ponder Arrington’s monster $12 cap hit in two years, or watch as Samuels decides he’d rather play for Philadelphia (watch).

  10. mbarnes202 - Dec 27, 2004 at 3:27 PM

    (Sigh). Again.
    This one is so firmly Gibbs’ fault; it’s hard to get encouraged for next year.
    When the offensive scheme requires such perfection as to require a sustained drive of 15 plays or more just to be in position to score, you’ve got problems. I’d hazzard a guess that there are very few drives of at least 15 plays in any week in the NFL, and yet, that’s the offense Gibbs is running– with Portis, Coles, and Ramsey as the centerpieces. These guys are more suited to explosive football than methodical football. It’s not Bettis, Tom Brady, and Keyshawn on the roster.
    It’s like a greek tragedy unfolding … there must have been one written about someone who never took chances and let opportunity after opportunity slip by because each one analyzed individually was a risky proposition. And at the end of the day, we look back, and all we see are the missed opportunities.
    Congratulations for playing it safe, coach– this is what it has wrought– zero confidence in the team and a big fat “L”.
    How many times did Dallas go deep, and what did they get for their troubles? Sure, a few sacks and incompletions, but they got a TD and a long pass interference call. Did we even throw the ball deep ONCE? I can only remember Coles’ desparation 20+ yard catch at the end of the game. Were there any others? We were playing not to lose. It’s the corollary of the prevent defense.
    And if Gibbs thinks this is fun, wait until the offseason, when he gets to ponder Arrington’s monster $12 cap hit in two years, or watch as Samuels decides he’d rather play for Philadelphia (watch).

  11. Rich Tandler - Dec 27, 2004 at 7:08 PM

    “Then, i realized that your job is too boost the confidence of the Redskins fans. Do, you actually believe that the Redskins organization can ever be better than the Dallas Cowboys Franchise? I, think not!”

    Actually, my “job” is not to be a cheerleader, it’s to call things as I see them. It was not unreasonable to pick the Redskins to win as the game was essentially a pick ‘em on Dallas’ field.

    It was a columnist in Cowboy Country, Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who said that the Redskins would be among the league’s best next year and that the Cowboys still had major questions. I just quoted him and Galloway is hardly a lone wolf in saying that the Cowboys are in disarray.

    As to Parcells and that great Dallas “organization”, well, it’s the only organization under which he failed to improve from season one to season two. And he didn’t even come close–it will likely be a complete turnaround in the wrong direction.

    And oh so sorry that you missed Woodson so desperately. I wouldn’t look to Washington for sympathy as they went without starters Lavar Arrington, Michael Barrow, Phillip Daniel, and Matt Bowen for most or all of the year. Rather than letting the absence of those players send the defense crashing down, the Skins will lead the NFC in defense and will be first or second in the league.

    That’s fine, you have the right to talk trash since your team won. But I wouldn’t attribute it to any built-in superiority on the part of Parcells, Jones, or the Cowboys.

  12. Rich Tandler - Dec 27, 2004 at 11:08 PM

    “Then, i realized that your job is too boost the confidence of the Redskins fans. Do, you actually believe that the Redskins organization can ever be better than the Dallas Cowboys Franchise? I, think not!”

    Actually, my “job” is not to be a cheerleader, it’s to call things as I see them. It was not unreasonable to pick the Redskins to win as the game was essentially a pick ‘em on Dallas’ field.

    It was a columnist in Cowboy Country, Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who said that the Redskins would be among the league’s best next year and that the Cowboys still had major questions. I just quoted him and Galloway is hardly a lone wolf in saying that the Cowboys are in disarray.

    As to Parcells and that great Dallas “organization”, well, it’s the only organization under which he failed to improve from season one to season two. And he didn’t even come close–it will likely be a complete turnaround in the wrong direction.

    And oh so sorry that you missed Woodson so desperately. I wouldn’t look to Washington for sympathy as they went without starters Lavar Arrington, Michael Barrow, Phillip Daniel, and Matt Bowen for most or all of the year. Rather than letting the absence of those players send the defense crashing down, the Skins will lead the NFC in defense and will be first or second in the league.

    That’s fine, you have the right to talk trash since your team won. But I wouldn’t attribute it to any built-in superiority on the part of Parcells, Jones, or the Cowboys.

  13. shane - Dec 28, 2004 at 10:32 AM

    Ok, I’ve seen/heard a lot of Portis-bashing lately…..Gee, let’s see….1300 yds…350+ atts….3.7 ypc…..I say 1300 yards rushing is pretty impressive….especially given the fact that defenses, all season long, could basically put all 11 guys in the box to stop him( defenses only needed Aunt Gertrude and Grandma Nellie to cover against the pass!). I have to wonder how many yards would Clinton have garnered had the Redskins posed any kind of downfield passing threat, and/or ran behind a solid offensive line(how many times was Portis hit 2-3 yds deep into the backfield??). I’ve seen those that want to make comparisons to “Riggo” or Ernest Byner,et al., but I do believe they were in an offense that would pick a defensive secondary apart if it stacked the line like they do now.
    Give the kid a good offensive line with plays/blocking schemes geared for his strengths, along with a downfield passing attack, and you just might see someone capable of hitting the 2000 yd mark!!
    The Redskins simply need a good, solid offensive line and the Coaching Staff needs to devise ways to throw the ball downfield…
    ……just an observation from a fan of over 40 years…..I’ve basked in their Glory and I’ve lived thru the darkness, but I’ll NEVER falter!!!

  14. shane - Dec 28, 2004 at 2:32 PM

    Ok, I’ve seen/heard a lot of Portis-bashing lately…..Gee, let’s see….1300 yds…350+ atts….3.7 ypc…..I say 1300 yards rushing is pretty impressive….especially given the fact that defenses, all season long, could basically put all 11 guys in the box to stop him( defenses only needed Aunt Gertrude and Grandma Nellie to cover against the pass!). I have to wonder how many yards would Clinton have garnered had the Redskins posed any kind of downfield passing threat, and/or ran behind a solid offensive line(how many times was Portis hit 2-3 yds deep into the backfield??). I’ve seen those that want to make comparisons to “Riggo” or Ernest Byner,et al., but I do believe they were in an offense that would pick a defensive secondary apart if it stacked the line like they do now.
    Give the kid a good offensive line with plays/blocking schemes geared for his strengths, along with a downfield passing attack, and you just might see someone capable of hitting the 2000 yd mark!!
    The Redskins simply need a good, solid offensive line and the Coaching Staff needs to devise ways to throw the ball downfield…
    ……just an observation from a fan of over 40 years…..I’ve basked in their Glory and I’ve lived thru the darkness, but I’ll NEVER falter!!!

  15. Doug - Dec 28, 2004 at 2:38 PM

    So, the blame game is on. It’s Gibbs’ fault, it’s Portis’ fault, it’s Sean Taylor’s fault. The simple fact is the Cowboys won the game, and, as Gibbs says, the entire team lost. It was not any one player, and not any one play.

    I thought that the criticism of Taylor on the touchdown was a little misplaced. So he thought he ought to watch out for K. Johnson? He should have. If he had immediately gone over to help out Shawn Springs, don’t you think Testaverde would have thrown it to Johnson? Why did Springs quit covering his man? It’s not like he had any other assignments out there.

    As for all the trashing of Joe Gibbs, I doubt any of his critics have one tiny fraction of the football knowledge that guy has. He has already started getting the franchise going in the right direction. He started by upgrading the defense. Now, he will work on the offense. I expect us to get some offensive linemen, including at least one starter (at center), and a wide receiver or two.

    I know, it always seems like we’re saying “…wait until next year…”. I do believe we’ll be much better next year, and possibly looking for a championship the year after that.

  16. Doug - Dec 28, 2004 at 6:38 PM

    So, the blame game is on. It’s Gibbs’ fault, it’s Portis’ fault, it’s Sean Taylor’s fault. The simple fact is the Cowboys won the game, and, as Gibbs says, the entire team lost. It was not any one player, and not any one play.

    I thought that the criticism of Taylor on the touchdown was a little misplaced. So he thought he ought to watch out for K. Johnson? He should have. If he had immediately gone over to help out Shawn Springs, don’t you think Testaverde would have thrown it to Johnson? Why did Springs quit covering his man? It’s not like he had any other assignments out there.

    As for all the trashing of Joe Gibbs, I doubt any of his critics have one tiny fraction of the football knowledge that guy has. He has already started getting the franchise going in the right direction. He started by upgrading the defense. Now, he will work on the offense. I expect us to get some offensive linemen, including at least one starter (at center), and a wide receiver or two.

    I know, it always seems like we’re saying “…wait until next year…”. I do believe we’ll be much better next year, and possibly looking for a championship the year after that.

  17. Anonymous - Dec 28, 2004 at 10:55 PM

    To the ranting cowboy fan- I guess you have the right to talk trash since your team beat us, but don’t take it too far. I mean, aren’t the cowboys 6-9 and having a miserable year as well? And the cowboys can only get worse with washed-up veteran starters like testaverde, george, and keyshawn, you only wish you had young stars like portis to build the team around. Also, learn how to type and maybe I’ll take you more seriously. All I see is an uneducated, ignorant cowboy fan.

  18. Anonymous - Dec 29, 2004 at 2:55 AM

    To the ranting cowboy fan- I guess you have the right to talk trash since your team beat us, but don’t take it too far. I mean, aren’t the cowboys 6-9 and having a miserable year as well? And the cowboys can only get worse with washed-up veteran starters like testaverde, george, and keyshawn, you only wish you had young stars like portis to build the team around. Also, learn how to type and maybe I’ll take you more seriously. All I see is an uneducated, ignorant cowboy fan.

  19. mbarnes202 - Dec 29, 2004 at 12:46 PM

    As to whether the loss at Dallas was Gibbs’ fault or not, I’d certainly agree with the poster who said in effect that Gibbs has forgotten more football knowledge than I’ll ever know.
    It is wishful thinking– because that if it’s simply scheme/game-calling/coaching, that can be corrected. If it is offensive personnel, I think we are in BIG trouble. Take a look at the long-term contracts we have in our offensive personnel, and you can see we’re stuck with them or face salary cap hell (and I mean hell).
    As to the notion we need another WR, I hope instead we can make do with what we have– 5 WRs under contract: Coles, Gardner, Jacobs, Thrash, and McCants. Is this really an area of weakness?
    My hopes for FA/Draft-
    FA- None.
    Re-sign: Pierce, Smoot, Salave’a, Evans, Warner, Marshall, Pat Dennis, Andre Lott, & Ray Brown,
    Restructure: Samuels
    Draft- trade down
    (1) DE (say in the 10-15 range)
    (2) C (from trading down)
    (3) CB
    (4) DT
    (5) (none-for Thrash)
    (6) P/K
    (7) Best available from: OG/CB/??

  20. mbarnes202 - Dec 29, 2004 at 4:46 PM

    As to whether the loss at Dallas was Gibbs’ fault or not, I’d certainly agree with the poster who said in effect that Gibbs has forgotten more football knowledge than I’ll ever know.
    It is wishful thinking– because that if it’s simply scheme/game-calling/coaching, that can be corrected. If it is offensive personnel, I think we are in BIG trouble. Take a look at the long-term contracts we have in our offensive personnel, and you can see we’re stuck with them or face salary cap hell (and I mean hell).
    As to the notion we need another WR, I hope instead we can make do with what we have– 5 WRs under contract: Coles, Gardner, Jacobs, Thrash, and McCants. Is this really an area of weakness?
    My hopes for FA/Draft-
    FA- None.
    Re-sign: Pierce, Smoot, Salave’a, Evans, Warner, Marshall, Pat Dennis, Andre Lott, & Ray Brown,
    Restructure: Samuels
    Draft- trade down
    (1) DE (say in the 10-15 range)
    (2) C (from trading down)
    (3) CB
    (4) DT
    (5) (none-for Thrash)
    (6) P/K
    (7) Best available from: OG/CB/??

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