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Redskins stock up-stock down at Dallas

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Redskins stock up-stock down at Dallas

There were a lot more ups than downs for the Redskins following their 38-31 win over the Cowboys on Thursday:

Up—OK, he didn’t post a perfect QB rating and he did throw a key interception but the Redskins don’t even come close to winning that game in the days before the arrival of Robert Griffin III.

Up—Pierre Garçon was almost silent in his return to the lineup last Sunday, leading many to wonder if the team’s top free agent find would be productive before 2013, if ever. He answered the questions with five receptions for 93 yards including a nifty 59-yard catch and run in the third quarter. He now 16 catches, two of them TD’s of 59 yards or longer. The Redskins had zero such plays all of last year.

DownTrent Williams allowed four QB hurries and was bailed out a few times by RG3’s mobility. He wasn’t all that good in run blocking, either.

Up—For a while, Aldrick Robinson was buried on the bench, getting very limited action despite the absence of Garçon. In the past two games he has emerged as a deep pass specialist with two targets, two receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Very efficient, to say the least.

Up—Tony Romo didn’t throw in DeAngelo Hall’s direction much. Of his 62 passes only either were targeted at Hall’s receiver. Hall allowed five receptions for just 36 yards and had an interception that set up the Redskins’ fourth second-quarter touchdown.

Down—Josh Wilson spent most of the day covering Dez Bryant, who is getting hot. Wilson was thrown at 10 times and he allowed seven receptions for 166 yards and two touchdowns.

Up—Perry Riley didn’t make as many big plays as he did against the Eagles but the was rock solid with eight tackles, one of them for a loss.

Up—Alfred Morris keeps on chugging. He rushed for 113 yesterday and should go over 1000 yards for the year sometime in the first half against the Giants (18 to go).

Down—What were you thinking, Brandon Banks, when you ran that punt out of the end zone? Yeah, you’re desperate to make a big play but you have to use your head out there. 

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Poll: Grade the Redskins' performance vs. Rams

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Bob Youngentob for CSN

Poll: Grade the Redskins' performance vs. Rams

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RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

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

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Jay Gruden presser recap: Coach impressed with rookies Perine, Nicholson

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Bob Youngentob for CSN

Jay Gruden presser recap: Coach impressed with rookies Perine, Nicholson

Here are some of the topics Jay Gruden discussed during his conference call with reporters on Monday.

—We covered the extensive injury list in a separate post. To sum it up, there is a lot of pain but perhaps few if any missed games.

—Talking about the offense in the fourth quarter, Gruden said that he “challenged” Kirk Cousins. Then he backed off a bit on a follow-up question. “I didn’t really, just, ‘It’s the fourth quarter, man.’ It’s his time,” he said. “It’s time for him to make the plays that he’s going to make. We had a lot of confidence in him and he had a lot of confidence walking out there and performed well.”

—Yesterday, I wrote about the Redskins’ improvement in defending the run (with the appropriate small sample size warning). When asked about it, Gruden pointed to improved personnel. “I just think overall the team defense, I think we’re better personnel-wise, quite frankly,” he said. I think that helps. I think when you add Jonathan Allen… I think Matt Ioannidis had a heck of a game and you bring in Ziggy Hood, who is playing good nose guard football.” Hood and Ioannidis are not new to the team but both are playing better than they did last year, particularly the second-year player Ioannidis. He also mentioned free agent acquisitions Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

—Rookie RB Samaje Perine came in to spell Rob Kelly a bit early in the game and then took the main load when Kelly went out in the second quarter with a rib injury. While gained 67 yards and averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, his 21 rushing attempts were key to keeping the clock moving. “I think he did a nice job, really,” Gruden said when asked about the rookie’s debut from scrimmage. “I think I felt him run with a lot of power. Even after his 10th, 12th, 15th carry, I still think he had power left in the tank, which was good to see.”

—At the time of the press conference, the Redskins’ statement on putting Su’a Cravens on the reserve/left team list, ending his season, had not yet been issued. Gruden was asked about a Sunday report that he had talked to Cravens about coming back. “No, I haven’t heard anything from Su’a or about Su’a,” he said. That’s what you call a flat denial.

—In his first two years as a starter, Cousins completed 68.3 percent of his passes. This year his completion percentage is 61.2. His passer rating is down for 99.3 to 82.9. It’s complicated, said Gruden. “I think there are a lot of things involved in his completion percentage,” he said. “We have taken more shots. We haven’t done as many of the quick passing game that really get your stats up to around 70 percent. I think those will come. I think the quick passes will come and I think we will hit some more shots down the field.”

MORE REDSKINS: INJURY LIST LONG, PAINFUL BUT NONE SERIOUS

—Early in training camp, fourth-round safety Montae Nicholson couldn’t fully participate in practice as he recovered from a shoulder injury. In Week 2, he started at strong safety. “I think he has just progressed,” said Gruden when asked about the change. “We started him in training camp – obviously he wasn’t on PUP, but he was unable to practice, but he was getting all the walkthrough reps, so he was getting all the mental reps, which is important for him. Then when he was able to practice, he just got in there and made some plays. He is a big, physical guy that can run and we are excited about his prospects.”

Junior Galette has played 39 snaps in two games. He got a sack against the Eagles but it was wiped out by a penalty. Still, Gruden likes the way he’s playing. “Oh, yeah, we’re happy with where he’s at,” he said. “We’ll try to get him more and more in there, but with Kerrigan and Preston, we’re trying to get all three of them on the field from time to time. But I like where Junior is at. He’s getting better and better.”

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