LANDOVER - SEPTEMBER 12: Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins shakes hands with head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys after the NFL season opener against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on September 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 13-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
There were any number of miscues in last night’s 13-7 season opening loss to Washington, but if one stuck out as ultimately damning--and absolutely unnecessary--it was the half-ending fumble by Tashard Choice. For those who have long repressed this painful memory, it went something like this:
With time running out on the half, Dallas attempted a Hail Mary; without any options downfield however, Tony Romo flipped a pass to Choice, who had the ball ripped from his grasp by Redskins’ cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Hall returned it for a touchdown, giving Washington a ten-point lead going into half.
Afterward, Head Coach Wade Phillips took the blame for the decision to run a play in that situation, adding that, after a holding penalty pushed Dallas back ten yards, they should have just kneeled on the ball and gone in with a three-point deficit.
"That's my fault before the half," Phillips said, per the Dallas Morning News. "We should've taken a knee ... the right thing to do was go in 3-0 and we didn't do that. Now, you catch the ball with four seconds left you don't need to make an extra yard or two. Get down with the ball.
"They declined the penalty and we were going to run a Hail Mary. Then when they took it back and took the penalty, then we needed to call it off and we didn't do it."
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