LANDOVER, MD — Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins waited for wide receiver Pierre Garcon to come open in the back of the end zone, waited to extend the lead over the Dallas Cowboys, waited to make a big play early in the fourth quarter.
It was a beat too long. Instead, Cousins fired late over the middle to Garcon and into the arms of Dallas Cowboys defensive back Barry Church. Eleven plays later it was the Cowboys celebrating a decisive touchdown in a 27-23 victory over Washington at FedEx Field on Sunday night.
Instead of evening their record at 1-1, the Redskins, defending NFC East champions, have fallen into an 0-2 hole. It’s not insurmountable. But it isn’t ideal, either, with both losses coming at home.
Cousins completed 28 of 46 passes for 364 yards, but again appeared hesitant on some throws and inaccurate on others. He was sacked twice and that devastating interception kept his team from at least extending the lead to six points and maybe putting the game out of reach.
“It wasn’t good enough, obviously,” Cousins said. “I need to play better, I can play better. And I believe going forward I will play better.”
He has to. There are too many other flaws right now for Washington to win otherwise, especially on defense. Cousins overthrew both DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder when he had chances to hit big plays against the Cowboys on Sunday. There were other curious throws that skidded in the dirt or sailed off target.
And an ugly pass behind Garcon on 4th-and-1 at midfield ended a potential go-ahead drive down 27-23. That led to a scene of utter frustration – smashed helmets and outbursts from players all over the field. Cousins jogged toward the sidelines with his shoulders slumped. There would be one last chance on the final play of the game, but a Hail Mary prayer of a pass into the end zone went unanswered. Now, Cousins and the Redskins are left searching for answers.
“We’ve got the New York Giants as soon as we leave here so he can watch the tape, find out what’s going on if he’s not sure what the indecision might be, why he’s missing some throws,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “It’s a tough game. He’s got people around his feet. He’s got to make some tough throws and usually ones he would normally hit. But he missed a few today.”
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