Loss to the Cowboys – Four takeaways from Washington’s 56-14

A 56-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football” significantly hurt Washington’s playoff chances and resulted in Jonathan Allen punching Daron Payne on the sidelines. Below are four key takeaways from the game.

loss to the Cowboys

Frustrations boil over in Washington’s blowout loss: On the visitors’ sideline at AT&T Stadium, NBC’s cameras captured an animated meeting of Washington’s defensive linemen as the Cowboys led by 21 late in the second quarter. During that discussion, Daron Payne poked Jonathan Allen in the head, which caused Allen to swat Payne’s hand away before he stood up and took a swing at his former Alabama teammate. Afterward, they parted ways.

The embarrassing moment occurred in an ugly game for a unit that had good reason to be frustrated, especially given its performance during Washington’s three-game losing streak. The Dallas defense allowed 232 yards, 13 first downs and three touchdowns on the Cowboys’ first four possessions Sunday night after giving up 519 total yards in Tuesday’s loss to Philadelphia. Dallas gained 497 yards despite Washington being without several regular starters due to concussions and injuries.

Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne scuffle on the sidelines as WFT is humiliated by the Cowboys

Cowboys take control with dominating first quarter:

Ron Rivera’s team had a turnover-filled opening 15 minutes as it fell to the Cowboys 18-0 two weeks ago. The start on Sunday, in front of a national television audience, was somehow worse. The Cowboys scored on a nine-play touchdown drive after Washington’s Taylor Heinicke threw an interception on a deep pass on its first play from scrimmage.

Dallas led 14-0 later in the quarter when defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence intercepted a third-down pass by Heinicke and ran 40 yards to the end zone for a 21-0 lead. Putting points on the board wasn’t an issue for the Dallas offense. By halftime, Dak Prescott had completed 27 of 35 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns, including a touchdown pass to 310-pound tackle Terence Steele. A franchise record 42 points were scored by the Cowboys in the first half.

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Washington’s offensive struggles continue: Heinicke wasn’t sharp after returning to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s loss to the Eagles while in the Coronavirus protocol. In the first half, he completed 5 of 14 passes for 93 yards, with more than half of those coming on a 48-yard completion to wideout Dyami Brown, and in the fourth quarter, Kyle Allen took over. Washington was 3 for 13 on third down and running back Antonio Gibson rushed for 29 yards before spending most of the second half on the bench with a toe injury.

Terry McLaurin is also experiencing a dry spell. McLaurin missed most of the second half of Washington’s loss to the Cowboys earlier this month with a concussion and was held without a catch for the first time in his career before catching three passes for 40 yards Sunday. The intended target of Heinicke’s first interception was Trevon Diggs, who hauled it in for his 11th pick of the season. McLaurin has been targeted more than usual in his past four games, resulting in eight catches for 113 yards.

Brewer: Ron Rivera’s steady rebuilding of the WFT descended into chaos in one half of football and fighting

Washington’s playoff hopes are in jeopardy: The team still has a mathematical chance to return to the postseason, but it needs to win out and get all kinds of help over the final two weeks. Sunday’s game gave little reason for optimism.

The Redskins are two games behind the Eagles for the last NFC wild-card spot heading into Sunday’s game at FedEx Field. In the playoff standings, the San Francisco 49ers (8-7), Minnesota Vikings (7-8), Atlanta Falcons (7-8) and New Orleans Saints (7-7) – who play the Miami Dolphins on “Monday Night Football” – are all ahead of Washington. Washington’s playoff chances dropped from 11 percent to 5 percent as a result of Sunday’s loss, according to FiveThirtyEight. The Cowboys clinched the NFC East before kickoff, which means the division has not had a repeat champion since 2004.

Here are some highlights from the game.

Final: Dallas 56, Washington 14

Dak Prescott threw four first-half touchdown passes as Dallas dominated Washington 56-14 at AT&T Stadium to extend Washington’s losing streak to three games.

Washington trails 56-14 after John Bates’s first career TD

John Bates, Washington’s rookie tight end, caught a 12-yard pass from Kyle Allen and recovered his own fumble in the end zone for his first career touchdown. (2:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, Dallas 56, Washington 14)

With Dallas leading 56-7, Kyle Allen replaces Taylor Heinicke

Both starting quarterbacks are now out of the game, with Kyle Allen starting the previous drive for Washington in place of Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke completed 7 of 22 passes for 121 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a score. The quarterback was also sacked four times. The score was 56-07 at 9:48 in the fourth quarter for Dallas.

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Loss to the Cowboys
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