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Woody:Cowboys whips Redskins

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http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031772620616&path=!sports!redskins&s=1045855935462

Cowboys whips Redskins

Back in playoff form, Dallas shuts out Washington for the first time in 32 years

BY PAUL WOODY

TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

Monday, December 15, 2003

COWBOYS 27, REDSKINS 0

LANDOVER, Md. - Just when you think you've seen it all, you see that Washington Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck had a quarterback rating of 1.7 at halftime. That's a real eye-opener.

Just when you think it can't get worse, you look at the final stats and see that Hasselbeck ended the game with a quarterback rating of 0.0. Since an average NFL quarterback has a rating of around 70 to 80, a 0.0 rating does not portend good things for the quarterback or his team.

When the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Redskins ended yesterday, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Actually, after an afternoon of a persistent, cold, misting rain, there wasn't a dry anything in the house, except for the Redskins' offense, which was left high and dry in a 27-0 loss.

Dallas (9-5), which has won 12 of the past 13 games in this series, shut out Washington for the first time since a 13-0 victory Nov. 21, 1971.

But there was even worse news for the Redskins (5-8). They were blanked for the first time since 2001, when the Marty Schottenheimer-coached Redskins lost 37-0 in Green Bay. The Redskins were shut out for the first time in a home game since the Richie Petitbon-coached Redskins lost 3-0 to the New York Jets late in the 1993 season.

Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, both coaches were fired at the end of those seasons.

For current Redskins coach Steve Spurrier, it was the first time one of his teams had been shut out since 1987, when his Duke Blue Devils lost 7-0 to Rutgers in a rain-soaked game in the Meadowlands.

"Dallas is a better team than we are," Spurrier said. "They kicked our tails pretty good. Give the Dallas defense credit. They're No. 1 in the league, and they played like it."

Unlike the first game between these teams this season, the Cowboys yesterday were able to shut down the Redskins without using any extraordinary defensive tactics. Instead of bringing multiple blitzes from every conceivable angle, as the Cowboys did in Dallas against the Redskins, they dropped into zones and waited for Hasselbeck to make mistakes.

The Cowboys were amply rewarded for their patience.

Hasselbeck completed just 6 of 26 passes for 56 yards. Four passes were intercepted, three by Cowboys rookie cornerback Terence Newman.

"I wish I could have days like this more often," Newman said.

Said Hasselbeck: "You're going to have days like this if you play in this league."

Well, not many quarterbacks have days, and ratings, such as the one Hasselbeck had yesterday.

"There are going to be bad nights," Hasselbeck said. "I had a bad night."

Bad barely begins to describe it. Hasselbeck missed on short passes. He missed on deep passes. Passes were batted down at the line, and passes were batted into the air and intercepted. Hasselbeck became the 89th starting quarterback in NFL history to throw a minimum of 10 passes in a game and finish with a rating 0.0, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Tim had a tough time," Spurrier said. "He had some pressure on him. He didn't really have a whole lot of guys open."

The Cowboys didn't have that many guys open either, and Dallas quarterback Quincy Carter threw his share of passes into the ground. He managed to complete just 10 of 24 attempts for 108 yards in the sloppy, difficult conditions.

The Cowboys did open some holes for running back Troy Hambrick, though. He romped and powered for 189 yards on 33 carries. The Cowboys piled up 225 yards on the ground and enjoyed almost a 14-minute advantage in time of possession.

The Cowboys opened the game with a 10-play, 74-yard touchdown drive. The Redskins finally mounted a response to that in the second quarter when they moved to the Cowboys' 27. On a second-and-8 play, though, Hasselbeck threw the first of his interceptions, and Newman made the first of his interceptions. Hasselbeck was trying to hit wide receiver Laveranues Coles on a fade route. But Coles took the route outside, and Hasselbeck threw the pass inside, where Newman was positioned.

Things had not been going swimmingly for the Redskins to that point, and they were completely submerged after that play. The Redskins moved into Dallas territory just once the rest of the night.

"This was bad," said Redskins wide receiver Rod Gardner. "To me, this was a disgrace."

That might have been a charitable description of the Redskins performance yesterday.

Contact Paul Woody at (804) 649-6444 or pwoody@timesdispatch.com

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I think if we look at Dallas, Carolina and KC and what the coaches there have done to resurrect moribund franchises, we can see that we are NOT getting $5 million a year of value out of Steve Spurrier.

What is he bringing to the table that a soon to be fired Jim Fassel or Art Shell could not, and for less money to boot :)

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