Big plays were limited for Griffin and the Redskins’ offense

Posted Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Despite finding his running legs for the first time this season, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins offense found little traction in a 31-16 loss against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium.

Griffin, who rushed for 77 yards on nine carries, failed to make plays when they mattered most, taking three sacks, throwing an interception, and fumbling deep in Redskins territory in the fourth quarter. Dallas converted the fumble into a quick touchdown, increasing its lead to 15 points, effectively putting the game out of reach.

Griffin finished just 19 of 39 for 246 yards, his lowest output of the young season.

The return of Griffin’s running game did manage to open up some gaps in the Dallas defense, giving Alfred Morris room to run for the first time this season. Morris provided the lone touchdown for the Redskins, a 45-yard burst up the middle with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter. The score was Morris’ fifth in three games against the Cowboys and the longest of his career.

Linebacker Rob Jackson, making his first start since serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, made an immediate contribution, intercepting Tony Romo’s second-quarter pass at the Washington 35-yard line. The pass, tipped by Josh Wilson at line of scrimmage, fell right into the arms of Jackson for his fifth career pick.

Rookie tight end Jordan Reed and second-year kicker Kai Forbath both made key contributions, making their first starts since coming off injuries sustained earlier in the season.

Reed, who missed the Redskins’ Week 5 matchup against Oakland with a deep thigh bruise, finished with 58 receiving yards on four catches, making a bid to supplant veteran tight end Fred Davis on the depth chart.

Forbath made his first start since being sidelined with a strained groin suffered in practice leading up to the Redskins’ Week 2 game against the Packers. The sophomore kicker connected from 20, 32, and 33 yards out, but his 49-yard attempt early in the fourth quarter sailed wide left, killing any Redskins momentum.

Special teams play, an area of focus for coach Mike Shanahan during the bye week, continued to be an issue for the Redskins who gave up 222 return yards and a touchdown to Dallas’ Dwayne Harris.

Redskins rookie cornerback David Amerson suffered a concussion on a brutal helmet-to-helmet collision on Harris’ 90-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. Amerson, who had a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Raiders in Washington’s only win this season, will have to pass league-mandated concussion tests in order to return for Week 7.

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