If you were one of those Cowboys fans giddy at the prospect of the Redskins trading away their best defensive lineman right before Washington plays Dallas on Sunday Night in the season opener, Mike Shanahan is about to disappoint you. The Skins head coach told reporters yesterday that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth will be with the team on Sunday. From Jason Reid at the Washington Post:
Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, again the subject of trade reports this week, will be on the roster Sunday night when the Redskins kick off the regular season against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field, Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday afternoon.
"If he wasn't here, I think you'd call me a liar, wouldn't you?" Shanahan said while addressing the media at Redskins Park. "And you'd have the right to do that. Okay?"…
"Albert will be with us this week," Shanahan said. "For sure."
Not stated specifically in Shanny’s statements is just what role Haynesworth will play against the Cowboys. No one disputes that Big Fat Al is the most talented defensive lineman on Washington’s roster. But there’s a very large gap between this man’s potential and the reality of his current level of play. Skins coaches deemed Haynesworth awful in the final preseason game, and he’s clearly not in game shape yet.
There’s no winning option for the Redskins as it stands right now. Haynesworth is better than the guys replacing in him, but only in theory. They’re going to have to decide whether or not to play scrubs, or to play an out-of-shape Haynesworth. The most likely scenario is that they’ll throw in Haynesworth for about 15 running downs, and take him off the field in passing situations. Either way, if Tony Romo and company can’t move the ball against this weakened defensive front, then something is very wrong in Cowboyland.
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