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Need to Know: AT&T Stadium North on Sunday?

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Need to Know: AT&T Stadium North on Sunday?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 18, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

AT&T Stadium North on Sunday?

When the Redskins play this Sunday’s game against the Cowboys (yes, Washington is still playing games beyond competing leaks), a shot at a division title will be at stake. Of course, that playoff spot is only available to Dallas. The Redskins were eliminated mathematically a few weeks ago and realistically several weeks before that.

Last December, the Cowboys came to town in what amounted to the first round of the playoffs. The winner played on, the loser went home. Alfred Morris ran for 200 yards, Rob Jackson intercepted Tony Romo in the clutch (even though that’s a pretty big group Jackson’s in, it’s still a feather in his cap), and the victorious Robert Griffin III consoled Romo after the clock stuck 0:00. This year it has been players on the other team telling Griffin to hang in there as the losses have mounted.

The Cowboys are in contention but they are far from content. They just blew a 23-point halftime lead to the Packers. Romo threw not one but two key interceptions, coach Jason Garrett took heat for the paucity of running plays in the second half as Dallas’ lead slowly bled away, and receiver Dez Bryant went back to the locker room with over a minute left on the clock.

FedEx Field will be an interesting place on Sunday aside from the two franchises in flames on the field. There is always a fairly strong contingent of Cowboys fans at FedEx Field even when the Redskins are doing well. There are over 4,000 tickets available on StubHub alone. They are currently priced at $52 and up but they are bound to go down in price as Sunday approaches. It adds up to the possibility that the scene will be AT&T Stadium North, just without the big video board running the length of the field.

Nobody knows just what Dan Snyder is thinking right now about Mike Shanahan’s future with the Redskins. But you would have to think that the owner sitting in his box at the stadium surveying stands filled with silver and blue and cheering the “visiting” team on to an important win would not be feeling very warm and fuzzy about his current head coach.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins are a solid ninth in the NFL in yards gained. However, they have only scored 21.8 point/game, 23rd in the league.

Timeline

—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 4; Redskins @ Giants 11; 2014 NFL Draft 141

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan and Kirk Cousins news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 2:00)

In case you missed it

Players speak at charity fundraiser 

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”

Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.

Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2012 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston

It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.

2013 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson

They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

2014 Raiders (3-13)

Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson

Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.