Sure seems weird, doesn’t it. A news story breaks that Jerry Jones is personally intervening in Roger Goodell’s contract extension, then a few hours later, Dallas is penalized 8 times for 89 yards, which you point directly to contributing to a 14 point swing away from Dallas, while Washington is flagged 5 times for 32 yards.
I’m certain that’s a coincidence, because there’s nothing in the last 12 years of Roger Goodell’s reign that suggests he’s anything like a mediocre-brained cartoon supervillain with no real idea of what he’s doing next, except to prevent the league from accepting any responsibility for CTE whatsoever.
It’s silly to even talk about.
Anyway, Dallas blocked a field goal and that is newsworthy.
The Play: 3:19 left in the second quarter, 36 yard FG is blocked by Tyrone Crawford and returned 86 yards by Orlando Scandrick
Dallas started this game severely stunted, turning over the ball on the game’s opening play, as well as by starting Jeff Heath as safety. While Washington was only able to convert the opening turnover into three points, Dallas was clearly chasing those points for a good segment of the game.
So as Dak Prescott warmed on the sideline for a pending two minute drill before the half, he was probably expecting to take over at Dallas’ 25 down 16-7.
Instead, Tyrone Crawford got a hand on the kick -- maybe beating David Irving to the punch -- and Orlando Scandrick got 1.75 hands on the free ball (because of his left hand is held together with screws… get it…?) and took it down to the WAS 6, and Dallas was generously gifted two extra yards because kicker Nick Rose… I dunno, he fell down awkwardly like what kickers do when they’re asked to do something vaguely athletic on a football field. Look, if you’re looking for logic in this game’s officiating, I don’t know what to tell you.
An interlude, and a confession: I am a Gym Dad. Being as such, I’m familiar with Gym Dad level athleticism. You don’t often see it on an NFL football field; Jason Witten has a bit of gym dad to him, but that’s also because everything he does on a field he’s done 10,000 times so there’s no real value to be added with being fast or smooth with his actions; he’s just gonna get there and do what he does, he doesn’t care how he looks.
But a Gym Dad cornerback? This is unheard of. And this return was extremely Gym Dad. Somewhere around the 20 Scandrick was actively begging a Washington player to tackle him. Please, end this, I don’t want the guys to see film of me running in open field after this.
In terms of Win Expectancy, the needle moved from a 77% chance Washington would win to a 71% chance because Dallas still had to punch it in. But a sinking ship is still a ship, after all.
Two plays later, Ezekiel Elliott scored his second touchdown of the game, to give Dallas a 14-13 lead it would not cede. It was a crushing ten point swing for Washington though they would manage to hold the edge in Win Expectancy for three more plays, until it finally nudged over to 54% Dallas after they punted just before halftime. The third quarter continued with more of the same and would end with a 92.5% Dallas Win Expectancy.
On a final note, I hope you kept one eye on Kirk Cousins (particularly late-game Kirk Cousins, who kept throwing hopes and prayers to Dallas defenders until Byron Jones -- the man with hands made of concrete -- finally took one from him) and one on Dak Prescott, and are now thanking whatever deity it is you converse with regularly that it is Prescott and not Cousins who suits up with a star on his helmet.
Was the blocked field goal the biggest play of the season so far? Share your takes with Joe on Twitter @thejoeursery.