Here are five things we learned during the Redskins 27-23 loss to the Cowboys.
—Kirk Cousins has some work to do before he is like the guy who got hot enough at the end of last season to earn $20 million this season as the team’s franchise player. He is missing receivers at key times. In two games they have been in the red zone nine times and they have scored three touchdowns. That’s a 33 percent conversion rate. One of the reasons for their success last year was their 58 percent red zone success rate. And the red zone failures don’t even count two wide open receivers that Cousins overthrew from outside of the red zone, missing touchdown opportunities. It just hasn’t been a good couple of games for Cousins.
—The Redskins lost because they let an inferior team hang around the whole game and they paid for their inability to finish them off. It’s a familiar story. Last year at FedEx Field against the Cowboys they lost after they failed to take advantage of some opportunities and the Cowboys made the plays at the end to win it. It doesn’t appear that the team has made any progress since then.
—Josh Doctson still has a lot of work to do but it looks like he could be the real deal. He was wide open on his one catch, a 57-yarder. Cousins tried to hit him with a couple of fades in the end zone; Doctson really didn’t have a chance on either one of them. You’ll see more and more of him in the coming weeks.
—Josh Norman is a keeper. After all of the controversy during the week the cornerback was on in on six tackles, knocked down two passes, and forced a fumble. If everyone played as well as he has the Redskins wouldn’t have any problems.
—But the rest of the Redskins defense needs some work. I’m not sure if it was scheme or players not being where they were supposed to be but any time the Cowboys wanted to pick up a first down on the slant to Dez Bryant it seemed like they could. Dak Prescott had a clear land to Bryant on several key occasions.
—The last thing we learned is that the Redskins don’t know how to do things the easy way. Following the tough game against the Steelers on Monday they don’t have a game against a 2015 playoff team until the play the Bengals in London on October 30. They have squandered part of that opportunity and unless the quarterback plays together it will be gone before they know it.
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