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Redskins Rewind: More disciplined in Dallas

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Redskins Rewind: More disciplined in Dallas

On Wednesday, we broke down a few key storylines ahead of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Cowboys. Today, we’re glancing back at how they unfolded at Cowboys Stadium: 

1—London Fletcher’s availability and impact. The 37-year-old linebacker extended his consecutive games streak to 235 games, despite a sprained left ankle he suffered only five days earlier. 

Fletcher played in 57 of the Redskins’ 76 snaps on defense before leaving the game in the fourth quarter after aggravating the same ankle. He missed the final two Cowboys' series. But before leaving the game, Fletcher made four tackles and milestone interception in the third quarter. His pick off halted a Cowboys’ drive, preserved the Redskins’ 28-6 edge and made Fletcher only the third active player to post 20 interception and 30 sacks. (Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher are the others.)

“I wanted to be able to finish the game,” said Fletcher, who left sporting an immobilizing boot. “It will definitely be good for me to have 11 days before we have to play again.”

He added: “I gave it all I could until it finally gave out on me. I just couldn’t go anymore. I didn’t feel like I could be effective. It would have been selfish to go out there and keep playing.”

Coach Mike Shanahan is expected to provide an update on Fletcher’s condition Monday afternoon.

2—The Redskins entered the game as the NFL’s most penalized team at 8.8 infractions per game. But they were flagged only five times for a total of 41 yards – a week after being assessed 13 penalties for 80 yards against the Eagles.

Against the Cowboys, they were penalized twice in the opening 1:03 (intentional grounding by Robert Griffin III and pass interference on Josh Wilson). The final three infractions were false starts on Aldrick Robinson, Niles Paul and Trent Williams. (An offside call on Barry Cofield was declined in the fourth quarter.)

The Redskins’ penalties per game (8.5) still ranks last, but their total Thursday marked the second fewest number of infractions they incurred this season.

3—In the span of five days, the Redskins ended some streaks no team wants to be associated with. Against the Eagles, they beat a rookie quarterback for the first time in nine games and won after the bye week for the first time in three tries under Mike Shanahan and first time in five games overall.

On Thursday, they beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving for the first time in seven attempts and won a game on turkey day for only the second time in franchise history.

Some folks believe stats such as these are media-driven drivel. If you’re one of them, you’ve got something else to be thankful for today: You’ll no longer have to read about them.

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Forced to make decision on rookie, Redskins move Keith Marshall to injured reserve

Forced to make decision on rookie, Redskins move Keith Marshall to injured reserve

The Redskins liked rookie running back Keith Marshall, and the team gave the former Georgia Bulldog every chance to make the roster.

Ultimately he did not get that chance, as an elbow injury will land Marshall on the injured reserve.

Marshall sustained the injury in the team's third preseason game against the Bills. Even before the elbow injury, Marshall failed to capitalize on the opportunity to backup Matt Jones.

In games against the Jets and the Falcons, Marshall struggled to gain much ground and eventually he slid behind Robert Kelley on the team's depth chart.

For now, it appears Kelley is a lock for the Redskins 53-man roster and Marshall heads to the IR. 

Scot McCloughan and the 'Skins also made two other roster moves to get the squad to the 75-man limit following this morning's release of veterans Perry Riley and Stephen Paea. Tight end Derek Carrier was moved to the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list and rookie WR Reggie Diggs was waived with an injured designation.

Carrier's move to the PUP list was expected, and Diggs had little chance to make the roster as an undrafted receiver even before an injury limited his training camp.

RELATED: WHAT WILL THE 53-MAN ROSTER LOOK LIKE?

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After Tony Romo injury, a new odds favorite emerges in NFC East

After Tony Romo injury, a new odds favorite emerges in NFC East

The Redskins won nine games and the NFC East title last season, but that hardly matters to the sports books.. 

Since odds came out in May, Bovada.lv gave the Dallas Cowboys the best chance to win the division, but given recent events, things shifted.

Last week in a preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo fell awkwardly and stayed on the ground in apparent pain. 

Initial reports suggested Romo might have handled the hit unscathed, but news came out last weekend that Romo cracked vertebrae in his back and will miss extended action. 

The Cowboys now turn to rookie Dak Prescott at QB - and in turn - Vegas turned elsewhere for their NFC East favorite.

Still, it's not the defending champion Redakins.

With odds of 7/4 Bovada likes the New York Giants to win the NFC East. The Redskins are now tied with the Cowboys at 12/5 while the Eagles come in at 6/1.

In late May Bovada put the odds of winning the NFC East as:

  1. Cowboys 7/4
  2. Giants 9/4
  3. (TIE) Redskins 15/4, Eagles 15/4

Curiously, the oddsmakers have moved up the Giants odds despite New York's struggles in the preseason. 

Regardless, it's obvious that the wise guys still don't have high expectations for Washington.

RELATED: NEW ODDS FOP 2016 NFL MVP

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Redskins' Trent Williams on Stephen Paea and Perry Riley release: 'It's tough, man'

Redskins' Trent Williams on Stephen Paea and Perry Riley release: 'It's tough, man'

The first surprising Redskins cuts of the summer hit this morning when word got out that linebacker Perry Riley and defensive lineman Stephen Paea had been released. For coach Jay Gruden it was a decision that had to be made.

“It's what goes into every decision when we release anybody,” said Gruden. “It takes a lot of thought. A lot of times now when you have the depth we feel like we have it's not so much about the players we release as about the players we kept and we'll leave it at that. We've got some guys at linebacker we feel have played extremely well and we've got some guys on the defensive line we feel like are competing and playing well.”

The play of others certainly was part of the decisions to let Paea and Riley go. Although Gruden did not say it, it’s likely that money was involved as well. Releasing the two players saves a total of $7.3 million in salary. Although there is nearly $5 million in dead money that will have to be accounted for, that cash has already been spent. The bottom line is that Riley ($4 million) and Paea ($3.3 million) were making too much to be backups and that’s what thy were.

But to their teammates it’s much more than about dollars and positions on the depth chart. Riley and offensive tackle Trent Williams both came to the Redskins in the 2010 draft.

“It's tough, man, it's tough,” said Williams. “Especially with Perry. He was one of my best friends on the team, we came in together, we got drafted together, roommates together. I think the whole team was kind of blindsided by that one.”

Paea and Riley both are 28 and both are likely to get another shot at the NFL.

“Those two guys are excellent football players, I imagine they'll catch on somewhere else and do well,” said Gruden. “They have a lot of football left in their career. They're both great guys who worked hard and it was just a part of the decision process.”

Mason Foster should know. He came in after the season started last year when some linebackers started to get banged up. One of them was Riley. Foster took over the starting job when Riley went out with a broken foot. Now Foster is the starter and Riley is out of a job.

“He’s a great player, everybody knows he's a great player,” Foster said of Riley. “He'll get a chance to play someplace else.”