Redskins rewind: Polumbus returns, Bryant departs early

Redskins rewind: Polumbus returns, Bryant departs early
December 31, 2012, 2:00 pm
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It’s another Monday morning after yet another Redskins’ victory, so that means it’s time for our weekly look back at Friday’s preview. How did those keys play out at FedEx Field? Let’s check ‘em out:

1—Tyler Polumbus’ availability. Okay, so this one actually appeared in Thursday’s preview, but we’ll pretend it was in Friday’s. Polumbus returned to the lineup after missing a game due to a concussion and provided the offensive line a boost.

The line, of course, paved the way for Alfred Morris, who rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Morris' yardage total also marked the most ever by a rookie Redskins’ running back and the most by a Washington player since Gerald Riggs’ team-record 221 in 1989.

The line also limited the Cowboys to one sack and two quarterback hits on Robert Griffin III. In the teams’ meeting on Thanksgiving, Dallas’ Anthony Spencer-led pass rush racked up three sacks and eight hits.

“Concussions are a weird deal,” said Polumbus, who was given final clearance on Sunday morning. “You’re the only one who knows what’s going on inside of you. I was just grateful I was able to get back this week. It would have killed me if I missed this game.”

2—Morris needed 104 yards to surpass Clinton Portis’ record. Well, by now, you know the rookie didn’t just break it, he shattered it. Read more about it here.

With a base salary of $390,000 this season – plus a signing bonus of $31,000 per season over the next four season – Morris may be the biggest bargain in the NFL.

3—Shutting down Dez Bryant. Tony Romo’s top target hauled in four passes for 71 yards, but three of them came in the first half, and Bryant left the game early in the fourth quarter because of a back strain.

Bryant entered the night as arguably the hottest player in the NFL, having racked up 808 yards and 10 touchdowns in his previous seven games. In the Thanksgiving matchup, he had 145 yards receiving and two second half touchdowns that nearly helped the Cowboys erase a 25-point deficit.

“He hurt his back,” Coach Jason Garrett said of Bryant's injury. "He really couldn't even walk.

The Cowboys also lost No. 2 wide receiver Miles Austin to a knee injury earlier in the game. 

4—The weather. Earlier in the week, forecasts called for bone-chilling cold and windswept conditions. But by game time, the temperature was a manageable 38-degrees and the wind had dropped from 20 mph to below 10 (and perhaps a little less inside the bowl).

In the end, weather did not appear to play as big a role as anticipated.