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Cowboys—After Further Review

Cowboys—After Further Review

Not much time to go into too much tonight. I'm getting ready to go on the second, Southern leg of my three games in five days football odyssey, hitting the road for Jacksonville at 3 AM. Instead of the usual review of the game blog, just a few points:

  • Nobody should pinch Todd Collins—He's living a dream right now. It's as though he's spent all of these years imagining what it would be like to step in and post a QB rating of over 100 while leading his team to four straight wins to get into the playoffs and it was exactly like he had imagined it. He's making sure that he keeps going steady because he doesn't want to wake up.
  • You'll never see a better pass—Collins' fourth-quarter strike to Moss to clinch the game was absolutely perfect. Moss didn't have to think about breaking stride or adjusting. For that matter, Santana barely had to move his hands. You can't throw that pass any better.
  • Words don't do Gibbs justice—The clichés about the job that Joe Gibbs has done keep pouring out. I can't really blame the beat writers and columnists going on about the steady determination, the unshakable faith, the willingness to deflect credit and absorb blame, and the leadership by example that the Hall of Fame coach has displayed over the past four weeks. His coaching performance defies description. If you've check out this space with any regularity you probably know that I have a ton of faith in Gibbs and even I truly wondered if he could pull this off after seeing him so down and shaken after the Buffalo game.
  • Portis turned down a chance to do a Randy Moss—Mike Wise of the Post asked Clinton Portis if he felt that his performance over the past several weeks has vindicated him after many were saying that he was washed up earlier this season. On Saturday, when Randy Moss was asked about setting the touchdown receptions record, he took the opportunity to lash out at his critics, saying that breaking the record itself wasn't special but that "shutting you guys up (the media) was what really made it special." Portis, on the other hand, declined a chance to take any shots. He said that people are going to write what they're going to write and that his true vindication would come when he's wearing a Super Bowl ring.
  • It would be a shame if the Redskins had to part ways with Shawn Springs—The guy is playing lights out at cornerback and he's been solid all year. He has a cap number of $7.5 million next year and $5 million of that is salary. He'll be 33 in March and that's an awful lot of cash for a corner that old. It will be up to him if he wants to redo his deal and stay or get cut and go elsewhere.
  • I expect the Redskins to beat Seattle—This is a better Redskin team than the one that went to Seattle for the playoffs two years ago, particularly at the quarterback position, and the Seahawks aren't playing as well as they were then. The Redskins had several early chances to score in that game and put the pressure on big time, but they let the Seahawks and the crowd hang around and eventually the 'Hawks won. That clearly was a case of the better team winning; the better team will win on Saturday, too.

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!