Redskins

Game 1 Analysis: Redskins vs. Cowboys

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While Washington's offense only put up meager points against a good, fast Dallas D, they found occasional rhythm. McNabb showed escapability and a connection with Moss and Cooley. Forcing the ball to Armstrong didn't impress. Overall the line played well, but weren't able to blast any holes in the running game. Rookie OT Williams had his hands full but turned in a solid game. Portis continues to pick up the blitz very well. The offense is clearly still in development.

Special Teams had ups and one down. Blowing a snap on that field goal could have been disastrous. Coverage was good. Devin Thomas showed a great burst straight up the field on kick returns; I like his chances to take one all the way.

Defense won the game. Player of the Game CB DeAngelo Hall was strong in coverage, solid in run support and turned in the game winning forced fumble-fumble recovery-return TD trifecta with no time left in the half. It was an outstanding effort. The defense made Dallas work hard for every yard. Although they had some blown coverages -- get Reed Doughty out of there! -- and were torched by Miles Austin, the defense made the play that mattered most and frustrated Dallas all game long.

Special recognition has to go to the fine job Dallas did of committing penalties all game long. Any time they had a nice play, they bonered themselves with a hold. They also bailed out Washington's offense on a number of occasions. Classy detail: Dallas finally got rid of the second-most penalized player in the NFL and picked up the most penalized player in the NFL, RT Alex Barron. The last play of the game was yet another clothesline hold by Barron on LB Orakpo. A fitting end to a sweet game.

The Shanahan era is off to a good start, no doubt here. Every phase of this team is still developing. But I like the team blasting open the Superbowl pretenders on opening night.

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