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The Best Part. . .

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The Best Part. . .

The best part about it was that there were so many best parts about it. It was Dallas, in Dallas, on a Monday night. All Redskins fans have had to put up with so much from the Dallas fans who always seemed to crawl out from everywhere after yet another loss to the Cowboys. It was the stunning, unexpected nature of it after such a listless offensive effort for 55 minutes. It all combined together to make for a day that provided more spontaneous smiling by Redskins fans than any since the few giddy days after Joe Gibbs came back as coach.

And that was one other great part about it--Gibbs’ reaction. The mild-mannered coach’s most demonstrative expression of emotion generally is to break into a broad smile and to look for others to congratulate as he did after each of the Redskins’ Super Bowl wins. Not this time; after this game ended, it was party time:

That’s Gibbs on the left, after the Gatorade bucket bath and after he jumped up into the air and brought his knees to his chest. He celebrated with everyone he could find to celebrate with and then went in and called the win one of his greatest moments in sports, this from a man who has lifted the aforementioned three Lombardi Trophies and a couple of Winston Cups.

Gibbs had stuck his neck out in making one of the quickest quarterback changes in history. Well before that, in March, he had stuck his neck out even more by trading away Laveranues Coles for Santana Moss, taking a huge salary cap hit in the process. After the game, John Madden revealed that Gibbs had said that he felt like the Cowboys were treating the Redskins like a homecoming opponent, what with the scheduling of the Ring of Whatever ceremonies for the night of the game. His offense, his specialty, was, at its better moments, sputtering.

You can agree or disagree about the QB move and the long-term effectiveness of the offense, but you have to agree that nobody in sports has earned a moment of sheer joy more than Joe Jackson Gibbs.

Predictions Recap

Not bad, not bad at all in the end. I did say that the team employing the running back between Julius Jones and Clinton Portis that had the better night would prevail. Jones did outgain Portis on the ground 81 yards to 52 but Portis picked up another 25 in receptions so their output was pretty even. As was the score and the bottom line here was:
Last year the policy in this space was that there would never again be a prediction that the Redskins would beat the Cowboys until such time that the Redskins actually did beat them. But, keeping with the theme here that what’s in the past is irrelevant, the final will be:
Washington 17, Dallas 16
After I posted this prediction, I received a number of emails from some who evidently were Dallas fans who were questioning my football knowledge, my sanity and/or possible intake of banned substances. The following was typical:
In accordance to your final score prediction to monday nights game........don't count your chickens before they hatch bubba.In reply, I didn’t bother telling him that examining things that haven’t hatched yet is the very nature of a prediction. Some concepts are way to difficult for room-temperature IQ Dallas fans to grasp. As I did with the other emailers of his ilk, I just told him to enjoy the game and come back around and share his razor-sharp insights after the game. I have yet to hear from him or any of them.

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Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

MOBILE – Jay Gruden provided a glimmer of optimism for Redskins fans freaked out about Kirk Cousins' contract situation. 

"I totally anticipate him coming back to the Washington Redskins," Gruden said. 

The Redskins coach talked from the sidelines of the Senior Bowl where he and much of the team's staff were scouting college seniors. 

Gruden explained he had texted back and forth with Cousins a few times this offseason and looked forward to watching him play in the Pro Bowl. 

Since Gruden named Cousins starter in 2015, the quarterback had passed for more than 9,000 yards and twice broken Skins franchise passing records. 

Some indications of a long term deal for Cousins land in the $120 million range, but the Washington organization also has the flexibility to use the franchise tag this season at a cost of nearly $24 million. 

MORE REDSKINS: Who else might want to trade for Cousins?

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The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th worst play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th 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. 5 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Lions Week 7

0:22 left in Q4, Lions ball at the Redskins 18, 3rd and 10, Redskins leading 17-13

Matthew Stafford pass short left to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

More Redskins: Podcast--All eyes now on Cousins

Tandler: The Redskins had just taken the lead on a nifty 19-yard option run by Kirk Cousins with 1:05 left to play. All they had to do was keep the Lions out of the end zone but the defense was not up to the task. In fact, it was laughably easy for Stafford. The first three times he dropped back he completed passes for 23, 14, and 20 yards and just like that the Lions were in the red zone. It looked for a minute like the Redskins might hang on as two passes went incomplete. But on third down Stafford found Boldin open inside the five and the defense couldn’t get there quickly enough to keep him out of the end zone.

Related: Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky

Finlay: 65 seconds was all the 'Skins defense needed to preserve a win by holding the Lions without a touchdown. 65 seconds away from a five-game win streak, and knowing what we do now, a playoff berth. The Redskins defense couldn't stop Stafford, or Boldin, and lost in Detroit. A gut wrenching loss as the momentum on the Washington sideline seemed incredibly high just minutes before when Cousins ran in what looked like the game-winning score. 

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!