*This week's Redskins Drive of the Game, presented by Ford, was a nine-play, 87-yard drive capped by a Josh Doctson touchdown that cut into the Cowboys lead. *
Down by 17 points early in the fourth quarter, the Redskins needed to find some quick offense against a Dallas defense that had given it problems for most of the night. Quarterback Kirk Cousins enhanced the tempo, fired a series of quick passes and engineered an impressive nine-play, 87-yard touchdown drive in the team's 38-14 loss to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
With limited personnel along the offensive line, Cousins knew he had to tire out the Cowboys' pass rush to give the offense a chance at stringing together a crucial scoring drive. That started with a couple of first downs on a 10-yard pass to running back Samaje Perine and a 15-yard pass wide receiver Jamison Crowder.
Cousins went back to Perine for the next two plays – a four-yard pass and a handoff he took for three yards – before converting on third down with a 13-yard pass to wide receiver Ryan Grant, who made five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown on the night.
"It's tough because you want to run the ball, use your play action and not just drop back," Cousins said. "But when you get behind, now you have to do that. We were most effective in that two minute drive. They got a little tight, a little worn down, so their pass rushers slowed down and that helped us. When you pressure the quarterback, most of the times, you are going to be effective."
Continuing to find success through the short passing game, Cousins went back to Crowder over the middle for seven yards and then used a screen pass on the left side of the defense to Perine for 17 more yards. Cousins found tight end Niles Paul before looking for the end zone.
Noticing man coverage on wide receiver Josh Doctson, Cousins threw a perfect 14-yard jump ball that his big target leapt to grab just out of the reach of safety Byron Jones. He landed on his back securing the football, cutting the Cowboys' lead to 10 points after Nick Rose's extra point.
The score marked the first time in Doctson's career that he scored a touchdown in consecutive games, raising his total to five on the season. It was the final scoring drive the Redskins would achieve in a game that effectively ended their playoff hopes.
"We've got to figure out a way to beat the last four games," head coach Jay Gruden said. "We've got a competitive locker room in there, so that's just what we're going to do. We're going to figure out a way to compete against the Chargers next week and take one game at a time and go from there."