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Redskins need a strong showing against Cowboys

Obviously, this is a big week in the history of the Redskins. Coach Mike Shanahan begins his first season against Washington's archrival -- the hated Cowboys. And in a fitting touch for Washington's high-profile coach/top football official, the NFC East rivals meet Sunday night on NBC.

The Redskins went winless (0-6) against the division last season, so there's that problem to correct. In Week 16 of the 2009 season, the Cowboys shut out the Redskins, 17-0, in the FedEx Field season finale. It was another miserable outing on offense in former coach Jim Zorn's next-to-last game, and the overall performance was among the many disappointing moments for fans at the team's home stadium.

A win over the Cowboys on NBC's Sunday-night stage would do a lot to energize a fan base eager for major success again after many seasons of the opposite. Owner Daniel Snyder gave Shanahan everything he wanted to win games such as the one the Redskins will play to kick off the regular season.

Although one game does not a season make, Shanahan and Snyder need a strong showing against the Cowboys, who are widely considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender despite their offensive line issues. Shanahan has changed the culture of the organization for the better, many team sources say, and the football operation is being run more professionally than it has been in a long time.

For all of Shanahan's success with the Denver Broncos, however, he only won one playoff game after John Elway -- the greatest quarterback in NFL history -- retired following the 1998 season. Shanahan failed to lead Denver to the playoffs in his six of his last 10 seasons with the franchise, including his final three.

Shanahan is considered second-to-none in the league on offense (some of his former assistants admiringly refer to him as "Moses"), but nothing is guaranteed. Shanahan also had player-personnel control in Denver.

As for Snyder, well, last season was a disaster unlike any the franchise had experienced. Snyder listened to the fans (and the league office) in making sweeping organizational change and in changing the way he does things, and he needs to see results for his efforts. He has a lot of money tied up in Shanahan and Shanahan's second in command in the football-operation, General Manager Bruce Allen.

Of course, rebuilding a once-successful franchise is not an easy job. The roster overall has only started and Shanahan and his son, offensive coordinator Kyle, are in this for the long haul. But a fast start would be really nice for everyone at Redskins Park.

By Jason Reid  |  September 6, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Mike Shanahan  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Banks and Williams go from bubble to roster
Next: Albert Haynesworth may have lost chance to start

Comments

Hmm... Elway the greatest ever?

I'm probably in the minority, but I actually tend to agree...

Posted by: Rypien11 | September 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

DALLAS WEEK!!!!

Posted by: wattsicon | September 6, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Can we get some updates on Jamaal Brown, how McNabb has looked in practice recently, and some rationale on the roster decisions directly from the staff?

Posted by: saltine182 | September 6, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Although one game does not a season make"

Did you learn English from Yoda in Star Wars?

Posted by: narielnasl | September 6, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse


Reid, could you tell us something we don't already know ?

Posted by: hessone | September 6, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

DALLAS WEEK!!!!

Posted by: wattsicon | September 6, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

WHAT HE SAID!!!!!!!!!!

I am so pumped. It's like shark week only better.
Flag in car window waving like a redneck.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | September 6, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Point: We'd like to see the skins develop a similar passing attack where 3-4 speedy young, affordable players who catch 35-45 passes are at a premium over 1 or 2 older pass catchers.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 6, 2010 10:30

Actually that's a great point.

Posted by: will_ga | September 6, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Man... I hope we sign Housh... I think Seattle is dumb to release a guy & still have to pay the difference of his pay. Just don't cut Devin Thomas... I still think he can breakout this year in this offense.

I still have a hard time understanding Brandon Banks on this team... He made crucial mistakes that will burn us if given the same opportunity in the regular season. Speed kills but so do turnovers.

Posted by: tony325 | September 6, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

In actuality, we don't know what we'll see Sunday night...

We have a GM, a HOF coach, a brilliant young offensive mind and a borderline HOF QB.

Last year we had a boob of a VP of Football Operations, an inept "hippie" coach, two offensive coordinators-one of which was a bingo caller, and a QB afraid of his own shadow...


I like our chances this year!

GO!

Posted by: rickyroge | September 6, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Really?

We need a strong showing? In the opening game,on national TV, at home, against our biggest rival, under a new coach, QB, FO?

In a 16 game season where every week is do or die?

Thanks for the news flash big fella.

In other news, you can't buy things without money and I think Kate Beckinsale is OK looking....just OK.

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | September 6, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The Skins need a strong showing against EVERY opponent this season.

Posted by: skinztattoo89 | September 6, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Elway? The greatest quarterback ever? You didn't actually write that, did you?
Give me Montana, Marino, Favre, Unitas or Manning before a 3 time SuperBowl loser like Elway.

Posted by: unquiltom | September 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse


moe at 46 in the bed with a horny mrsmoe:

Girl, the only thing I'm hitting tonite is a pillow.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 6, 2010 10:16 AM |

Half of a v!agra later, I'm hitting the pillow hoping I'm asleep in 4 hours and not seeking medical treatment !

Posted by: hessone | September 6, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Top 10 Questions About the Game on Sunday:

1. Will D. McNabb's ankle hold up?

2. Will J. Brown be back 100%?

3. Will M. Kemoeatu be effective?

4. When will A. Haynesworth make it into the game?

5. Will A. Haynesworth actually apply himself and stick to his assignments (ie...no freelancing)?

6. Will the 3-4 D be effective?

7. What type of passing game will we have?

8. Will C. Portis return to his Denver-Type numbers?

9. Will T. Williams keep D. McNabb standing or at least from being killed?

10. Will the Skins be able to win the turnover ratio with the new emphasis on getting the ball back?

Posted by: DC2AZ99 | September 6, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: unquiltom | September 6, 2010 11:16 AM

He also won two. Marino never won one. Favre lost one and choked away two NFC champ games.

Tough to say with Montana, who had the best talent/coaching around him. Unitas? Nobody here watched him play. Manning, maybe when its all said and done.

Posted by: Rypien11 | September 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Braves on the Warpath! Fight for old DC!

Posted by: Hail2theChief | September 6, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

CindyBoren

Holy mama! RT @redskinsblog: Whoa. RT @Adam_Schefter: #Ravens reach agreement with TJ Houshmandzadeh on a one-year, $855,000 deal.

Posted by: will_ga | September 6, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Braves on the Warpath! Fight for old DC!

Posted by: Hail2theChief | September 6, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Adam Schefter reports Housmanzadeh signs with the Ravens - who'd a thunk?

Posted by: thinker11 | September 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Snyder listened to the fans (and the league office) in making sweeping organizational change and in changing the way he does things"

Whoa... JR are you suggesting that the league pressured Snyder to change his methods/ownership style? That seems like a very interesting story. I'd like to read about that. Can we get a little more info, please?

Posted by: bigfoot1 | September 6, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh well, we didn't need no stinkin TJ anyway. Feh, who wants consistent production when you can have the weekly thrill of wondering if anyone will catch the ball besides Santana or Cooley.

Posted by: will_ga | September 6, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Adam Schefter reports Housmanzadeh signs with the Ravens - who'd a thunk?

Posted by: thinker11 | September 6, 2010 11:36 AM

Really disappointing news.

Posted by: TWISI | September 6, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Top 10 Questions About the Game on Sunday:

1. Will D. McNabb's ankle hold up?

2. Will J. Brown be back 100%?

3. Will M. Kemoeatu be effective?

4. When will A. Haynesworth make it into the game?

5. Will A. Haynesworth actually apply himself and stick to his assignments (ie...no freelancing)?

6. Will the 3-4 D be effective?

7. What type of passing game will we have?

8. Will C. Portis return to his Denver-Type numbers?

9. Will T. Williams keep D. McNabb standing or at least from being killed?

10. Will the Skins be able to win the turnover ratio with the new emphasis on getting the ball back?

Posted by: DC2AZ99 | September 6, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse


Answers:

1) Yes

2) Yes

3) Yes

4) 1st Quarter

5) No.

6) Sort of.

7) None. Our offense will look exactly as Gibbs left it: Decent running game with no pass attack.

8) No.

9) Yes, but Rabach & Company wont.

10) Yes, but mostly because the tepid offense yields few turnovers, not because the defense gets many.

Posted by: jboogie1 | September 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Top 10 Questions About the Game on Sunday:

1. Will D. McNabb's ankle hold up?

2. Will J. Brown be back 100%?

3. Will M. Kemoeatu be effective?

4. When will A. Haynesworth make it into the game?

5. Will A. Haynesworth actually apply himself and stick to his assignments (ie...no freelancing)?

6. Will the 3-4 D be effective?

7. What type of passing game will we have?

8. Will C. Portis return to his Denver-Type numbers?

9. Will T. Williams keep D. McNabb standing or at least from being killed?

10. Will the Skins be able to win the turnover ratio with the new emphasis on getting the ball back?

Posted by: DC2AZ99 | September 6, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse


Answers:

1) Yes

2) Yes

3) Yes

4) 1st Quarter

5) No.

6) Sort of.

7) None. Our offense will look exactly as Gibbs left it: Decent running game with no pass attack.

8) No.

9) Yes, but Rabach & Company wont.

10) Yes, but mostly because the tepid offense yields few turnovers, not because the defense gets many.

Posted by: jboogie1 | September 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"In a surprise move, the Baltimore Ravens reached agreement with former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a one-year, $855,000 deal, according to league sources."

Oh well.

Posted by: rachel216 | September 6, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

TJ went to Baltimore

Posted by: BREV1 | September 6, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh well, we didn't need no stinkin TJ anyway. Feh, who wants consistent production when you can have the weekly thrill of wondering if anyone will catch the ball besides Santana or Cooley.

Posted by: will_ga | September 6, 2010 11:38 AM

True. Also what if Moss pulls a hammy in week one. Who needs another certified producer to step up. When can use the "hot" receiver approach to see who the new #1 will be.

Posted by: TWISI | September 6, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who'd love to hear about Snyder listening to "the league offices" regarding the organizational changes?

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | September 6, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The Ravens look like a title contending team. Maybe the guy just wants to win. He would be getting $7 million either way.

Posted by: thinker11 | September 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Plus, what better way to stick it to Marvin Lewis than helping beat the Bengals and win the division, which the Ravens are capable of doing.

Posted by: will_ga | September 6, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Elway the greatest ever?I'm probably in the minority, but I actually tend to agree...
Posted by: Rypien11"

Definitely a minority view. Most talented maybe...

Posted by: Samson151 | September 6, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

beeps.

Posted by: TWISI | September 6, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

i hope we sign tjh also i mean the dood may be old but not as old as Galloway and r team would have a great running game put banks on P.S let him him learn to hold the ball and give him a shot next year if not trade him so we can get someone that will hold the ball thats one main reason we let randel el go

Posted by: xredskinzx | September 6, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The game could get out of hand early if the Cowboys attack Doughty and Andre Carter (Rabach will be major weak spot too). Gotta admit I'm curious to see Dez Bryant. Dude is going to be a serious weapon.

Posted by: coparker5 | September 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Talk about burying the lead! You hint/suggest the the NFL may have coerced Snyder into making changes and simply let it drop? JR, you really suck at the this reporting thing! Are there no editors working on the holiday? Plus, it is really great to read ANOTHER post that is the equivalent of saying the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

Posted by: Ebola_22039 | September 6, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The Skins need a strong showing?

The Skins need to WIN!

Posted by: ccwbambam | September 6, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"Shanny only won one playoff game without Elway..." And what has Bilicek done without Brady?... Shanny is a great coach!

Just think if we had hired a decent coach rather than Zorn two years ago. We still be floating around 8-8 every single year. It was a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you have to take two steps back to move ten forward. Thank goodness we have Shannahan now!!

Posted by: redskinbo | September 6, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Did you mean 'overhaul' and not "overall' in the last paragraph?

Posted by: MajorFacemask | September 6, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

My son just bought me a brand new Clinton Portis all star jersey. I'm ready to wear it with pride in Panthers country. We need a WIN

Posted by: ncskinfan | September 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins need to win. No strong showing no great effort. WIN. The biggest problem for the Redskins will be to cover Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice and Anderson coming out of the backfield. The Redskins have converted defensive ends covering fast running backs. It is probably going to be a track meet with Andre Carter tring to run with Marion Barber and Felx Jones. Even Brian Orakpo cannot cover these guys in the flat or drop back. Why the Redskins keep changing systems without the personnel is beyond me. The Cowboys will probably hang a 40 or a 50 on the Redskins with the defensive ends trying to cover fast running backs. It is not going to work.

Posted by: bill_brack | September 6, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

redskinbo

I always thought the hiring of Zorn was a temporary position but I thought it was while we were waiting on Cowler not Shanahan

Posted by: ncskinfan | September 6, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Boy, what a outsider: "Strong showing". Man reserve that pantsy cramp for the Cowgirls from Texas. The Skins need to "Win" or it don't mean Pooh-Pooh.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | September 6, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe 1% of the football world, think John Elway is the best QB ever. Who knows what brought that kneel before--opinion of likely super-bullcrap.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | September 6, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Elway is the best i've ever seen. Led his team to 3 SB's (I Think) with little talent on offense. It's no wonder it was easy for him to win with talent whem MS & crew came along. Just beat Dallas. I know it's only one game , but 4 of the first 6 games are tough. So beating everybody's pre season Super Bowl Champs is a good start.

Posted by: dmayfiel | September 6, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Why is the media memory so short? The team was in the playoffs in 2007 and started 2008 at 6-2. The franchise has not been "down" for long unless you mean Superbowl appearances. The Ravens last made the Superbowl in 2000. Does anyone consider them "down" for last 10 years? A team can still be successful. The Skins made the playoffs in 2005 and 2007 and were considered Superbowl contenders in 2006 until Portis' injury. The 4-12 record last year is mostly due to injury and lack of depth. It was not the worst in team history. 1993's record of 4-12 was worse and so was 1994's record of 3-13. I just hate JReid's categorization of the franchise. It's not accurate.

Posted by: tramellcanady | September 6, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I would take Steve Young an Montana over Elway anyday, Elway was good but not on the same level as those 49ers...

Posted by: BeatDontStop | September 6, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

LOL@Reid throwing in his opinion on John Elway being the greatest QB ever haha

Posted by: jeffbo_80 | September 6, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Although one game does not a season make"

Did you learn English from Yoda in Star Wars?

Posted by: narielnasl | September 6, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Now thats funny!

Posted by: DCFanatic | September 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Is this an opinion piece? I like how you casually state Elway as the greatest QB of alltime. I have Montana #1 and many old timers would say Unitas.
There's only three players you can call the greatest ever at their position: Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White. I omit Jim Brown because Barry Sanders is in the mix.

Posted by: manwray | September 6, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Is this an opinion piece? I like how you casually state Elway as the greatest QB of alltime. I have Montana #1 and many old timers would say Unitas.
There's only three players you can call the greatest ever at their position: Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White. I omit Jim Brown because Barry Sanders is in the mix.

Posted by: manwray | September 6, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Haslett's D is pressure, pressure, then more pressure. Oh wait, time to jack it up a bit more! If it works, Tony Romo'll be seeing stars before the end of the first quarter. If not, it could be ugly! I am actually more concerned about run D than pass. Barber on quick hitters against blitz packages could be devastating. I hope not!

For the naysayers on the other side of the ball, a tepid offense would be a major improvement! I think it may, at least occasionally, be a bit better than that.

Still year 1 of rebuilding, 8-8 would be huge progress with our schedule.

Posted by: fr3dmars | September 6, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

redskins will have 2 division wins this year none against Dallas....

7-9 at best

Posted by: dannyboyrules | September 6, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Elway was good but certainly not the greatest.

Of players I've seen, Manning, Marino, Montana are/were better.

Possibly Unitas, Baugh, and others were as well, but I never saw them play.

Posted by: mhaslup | September 6, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

It's a big game in the sense that every divisional game is big and every Dallas game is even bigger, but in the overall view of this season (and the Shanny era) it's importance will be exaggerated.

As fans, we should be very happy if we can reach 9-7 this year with a new system and a roster-in-progress. The ceiling is 10-6. If we beat Dallas, we should look at it as one win out of the nine we need for a successful season. If not, there is still plenty of time to win nine. The good news? Nine wins will have us playing meaningful December football (been a while) and will possibly put us in a wildcard.

Posted by: mhaslup | September 6, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Now I see why everyone dislikes J Reid here-- Elway was the greatest ever? End of story? No way!

Posted by: AWeiss3 | September 7, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Elway didn't win any SB till Shanny got to Denver. Shanny was good for at least 21 point in the 1st qt. alone for 10 out of 16 weeks. I live in denver and I used to bet against Denver and Shanny made me pay everytime! Now he's in DC where my beloved skins are it's time to get pay. HTTR

Posted by: woworakpo | September 7, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey Jason, that's really going out on a limb. Don't the 'Skins ALWAYS need a strong showing against Dallas? Who gave this clown Jason Reid a job? And John Elway the 'greatest QB in NFL history'? Ever hear of a guy named Joe Montana?!!! Go work for the Enquirer.

Posted by: RunninUteDB | September 7, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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