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Loss leaves Garçon in no mood to celebrate record

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Loss leaves Garçon in no mood to celebrate record

Pierre Garçon set a Redskins team record that had stood for nearly 30 years but he wasn’t in much of a mood to revel in his accomplishment afterward.

With about six minutes left in the third quarter, Garçon caught a 19-yard pass from Kirk Cousins, his 107th catch of the year. That broke the Redskins record set by Hall of Fame wide receiver Art Monk, who had 106 catches in 1984. The reception set up an Alfred Morris touchdown that gave the Redskins a 20-14 lead over Dallas.

But when it was over, the Cowboys walked off the field with a 24-23 win and Garçon was not happy despite his accomplishment.

“It’s pretty cool but, you know, with the season going in it’s very hard to celebrate right now,” said Garçon. The loss dropped Washington to 3-12 on the season.

When he made the catch to set the record Garçon noticed it but did not acknowledge the cheers of the crowd.

“Yeah, but we had a play after that so, it was alright,” he said.

Garçon, who has been in the league for six seasons, the last two in Washington, has never caught more than 76 passes in a season. He now has the 107 catches for 1290 yards on the season with one game left to play.

“You believe in yourself you know you can do things. The records are always made to be broken,” he said.

Garçon has proven to be a free agent home run for the Redskins. Mike Shanahan brought him in and, as he often does, talked about the receiver’s attitude.

“It tells a lot about Pierre and his preparation during the offseason, what he brings every week,” said Shanahan. “Week in and week out he’s a competitor.”

Cousins knew that Garçon was close to the record but he didn’t know he had broken it until he was told by the media. “He’s fearless,” said Cousins. “He’s the kind of guy you want on your side when you are backed into a corner. You want Pierre standing with you.

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Robert Kelley, Su'a Cravens, Colt McCoy among Redskins who'll have new numbers in 2017

Robert Kelley, Su'a Cravens, Colt McCoy among Redskins who'll have new numbers in 2017

The next time Robert Kelley plows over a helpless linebacker, he'll do it with a new number on his uniform.

The second-year running back is switching from No. 32 to No. 20, according to Redskins.com. And he's not the only returning player who'll take the field in 2017 with a new pair of digits.

Su'a Cravens will no longer be No. 36 for Washington. Instead, he'll change to No. 30. DJ Swearinger will be taking over No. 36 after coming over from the Cardinals, a number that he reportedly purchased from Cravens for $75,000

Then there's Colt McCoy. McCoy has donned No. 16 for the past three seasons, but he's throwing it back to his college days and will now rock No. 12.

MORE REDSKINS: THE ULTIMATE REDSKINS DRAFT PREVIEW

Finally, second-year corner Kendall Fuller only spent one year with No. 38. As he hopes to improve in his sophomore campaign, he'll be doing so with No. 29.

As for the free agents, Terrelle Pryor will be replacing DeSean Jackson in more ways than one when kickoff rolls around. Not only will the ex-Brown have to shine as a top receiver for Kirk Cousins like Jackson did, but he'll also be sporting Jackson's No. 11.

New linebacker Zach Brown, meanwhile, is now No. 56, linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain are Nos. 92 and 97 respectively and Brian Quick will keep No. 83 from his Rams days.

For a complete list of all the changes, click here.

RELATED: IS REUBEN FOSTER WORTH THE RISK?

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How big a need do the Redskins have at running back?

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How big a need do the Redskins have at running back?

Do the Redskins have a draft need at running back? It depends on who you ask.

Jay Gruden seems to be very happy with incumbent running back Rob Kelley. Here is what he had to say last month about the second-year back, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane, last month:

“Oh, man, I love Rob Kelley,” Gruden said. “I thought he played great. You throw a rookie free agent into the fire like that and see him play and compete. Not one time did I feel like it was too big for him. Not once. That’s a hell of a thing to say for a kid out of Tulane who only had a couple of carries his senior year. He came right in, he competes on every play.”

[Related: Full Redskins Seven-Round Mock Draft]

Kelley played in 15 games last year and rushed for 704 yards and scored six touchdowns. He started the last nine games and if you project his numbers in this games out over a 16-game season you get about 1,050 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s not Ezekiel Elliott or Le’Veon Bell production but it’s good for a team that is going to rely mostly on the pass.

Gruden also praised third-down back Chris Thompson and backup Mack Brown. In a telling sign, he acknowledged that 2015 third-round pick Matt Jones is still on the roster but he didn’t have much good to say about him.

Why, then, do you see so many draft analysts listing running back as one of the team’s most urgent needs? Mark Maske, who is the Post’s national NFL writer but also a former Redskins beat reporter, has them taking Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey in his mock draft. “There certainly are issues on defense for the Redskins,” writes Maske. But there also is a need at running back.”

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said that the Redskins “obviously” need a running back as his rationale for mocking Florida State’s Dalvin Cook to Washington at No. 17.

So, what is it? Is Kelley adequate for the Redskins’ needs considering they call pass plays on over 60 percent of their offensive snaps? Would they run more often if they had a back like McCaffrey or Cook? And if they did run more would the offense improve?

I think that running back is like several positions with the Redskins. If they have to get through the 2016 season with what they have they will be OK. But if there is an upgrade on the board when they are on the clock they won’t hesitate to make the pick if he’s the best player available.

We will see what happens if, say, McCaffrey is still on the board when the Redskins pick at No. 17 and top defensive targets like Rueben Foster and Haason Reddick are off the board. That will be the true test to see how committed Gruden and the rest of the organization are to Kelley, Thompson, and company. 

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