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Players-Only Meeting Strengthens Redskins' Effort Sunday

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Before taking on the division rival Giants, safety Dashon Goldson called a players-only meeting to get players on the same page.

The belief inside the Redskins locker room was that the talent is there, it just hadn't been fully tapped 10 games into the season. Players were frustrated with the results of a team that expected more out of itself and yet were still in the thick of a division race.

So on the eve of a big matchup with the Giants, safety Dashon Goldson called a players-only meeting.

"It was much needed," Goldsons said following the Redskins' 20-14 dismantling of New York.

Check out images of the Washington Redskins celebrating their 2015 Week 12 victory over the New York Giants Nov. 29, 2015, at FedExField.

"We knew what was at stake," he continued. "We knew what we wanted to do coming into this game and that it was going to be a hard fought game. They got us last time, and I think everybody was up for the challenge… Everybody got stuff off their chest; how they were feeling, what they thought about the team, and what we need to do to progress."

Goldson said the message was simple – he wanted his teammates to play as a team, to come together and "turn on that switch" once it was game time. He also made sure to facilitate conversation so that he wasn't the only one expressing his point.

It had been a couple weeks since players had all sat down together for an internal progress report. Goldson, as a team captain, knew the time was right before a divisional opponent, which could spark some momentum with the Cowboys in town the following week.

Other players responded. The Redskins ended the Giants' five-game winning streak against them and dominated in all three phases Sunday afternoon, continuing their dominance at FedExField.

"It had to be said," Redskins defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois said, via ESPN.com. "Just telling everybody that we have the players on the team, now we have to play like we have the players. We don't need the big names that most teams carry. All we need is the heart of a Redskin, just go out there and play ball, execute your assignment. If you do your job, all the other guys will do the same. When one person doesn't do their job, that's when you always see that someone messes up and it's always a touchdown or a turnover. Everyone was on the same accord."

Wide receiver Pierre Garçon didn't over-hype the content of what was spoken.

"Stop losing. Bring the energy. Bring the effort," he said. "Everybody had to bring their effort in. We saw it today and it all worked out well for us."

Players noted how the last week of practice was one of their best, even with the distractions Thanksgiving brings in remaining focused. Terrance Knighton also noticed how quarterback Kirk Cousins has become more of a leader each week, building on the confidence of his own game. 

"We got too much talent to be out there losing by 40. So I kind of took that and ran with it," running back Matt Jones said. "From that conversation we had, I just took that. I'm going to put everything on the line for the team and everybody did the same thing. We did the best of it."

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