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Need to Know: Romo's scrambling has the attention of Redskins' defense

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Need to Know: Romo's scrambling has the attention of Redskins' defense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 10, three days before the Redskins visit the Cowboys on Sunday night.

Nickel coverage

Five things from yesterday at Redskins Park:

1. We have a couple of takes on the elusive Tony Romo here. The first is from Rob Jackson.

Once you beat the guy in front of you, you've still got to bring Tony Romo down. That's one of his upsides, he's so difficult to tackle. … He has great instincts, he seems to know where you are without looking at you.

2. The other one is from nose tackle Barry Cofield:

His pocket presence and his willingness to extend the play is his biggest attribute. A lot of quarterbacks want to get rid of the ball, they want to get that pressure off of them. They throw it out of bounds they feel like they've done their job. His willingness to extend plays, his ability to make those throws from any type of body position and the trust he has in his receivers make him tough.

3. Another one from Cofield on the team’s state of mind:

I think this team is confident despite the way we've started. I think we have a lot of confidence in general. People trust the plan that we have, I think that's the biggest thing. We have a lot of faith in our coaches, we have a lot of faith in our front office. We love our locker room we feel like we have a lot of high-character guys who we can rely on. Whenever you have that type of mindset, that type of trust and faith, you're very reluctant to crumble and you're very reluctant to lost confidence.

4. The Cowboys switched from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 this season. Here’s Mike Shanahan on studying film on a defense that has many of the same personnel but a drastically different scheme.

Sometimes when you go back and you look at games last year with a different scheme, it’s about personnel, studying someone from last year – might be a defensive end, linebacker, secondary – not as much scheme. [You] see if somebody has changed within the last year or how they’re playing, but not from a strategy standpoint.

5. And Robert Griffin III admitting what we already knew, that there was some rust for that opening game against the Eagles.

“You come out and the way we played – the way I played that first game – that was not up to my standards or up to our standards as a team in general. That was disappointing. When it comes to timing here, timing there, sometimes you might be a little bit off coming back from an injury like I had, and you have to work through those growing pains, but we didn’t think it was going to be what it ended up being those first couple of games, so that’s no excuse at all. You just have got to move on from that and try to be better – or be better.”


Stat of the day

—Since the divisions realigned in 2002 the 11 Cowboys-Redskins games in Dallas have been decided by an average of five points.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Cowboys 4; Bears @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Broncos 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Jim Haslett news conference 12:00; Practice 1:00 (open to media for first 30 minutes); After practice (approx. 3:00) news conferences from Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan.

Young: We can't look past anything

In case you missed it

 

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

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. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all 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!

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

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!