WFT weekly reaction: Three takeaways from whatever that was against the Cowboys

By Gibson Hirt

Washington Football Team. The acronym is supposed to be WFT, but after Sunday night’s fiasco, it’s safe to say fans are in more of a WTF mood. When the only fight you show is against your own teammates, it’s hard for fans to be anything except angry. It was an embarrassing showing from every single player on the team, ultimately leading to the Cowboys’ 56–14 annihilation of Washington.

Here are three takeaways from the WFT’s monstrosity of a performance on national television:

Taylor Heinicke was heinous

During Washington’s winning streak, Taylor Heinicke played some of his best football of the season and started to show fans that he deserved to be the quarterback of the future. After his primetime performance, however, his doubters have re-appeared. In the first loss against the Cowboys, Heinicke didn’t play particularly well, but he wasn’t the main reason for the loss. On Sunday night, however, Heinicke played by far and away his worst game of the season. He completed 7/22 passes, good for a cool 31.8% completion percentage. Not ideal. Along with just 121 yards, one touchdown and two picks, it was a downright horrendous outing from Heinicke. The first interception was a horrible, overthrown ball intended for an open Terry McLaurin that Trevon Diggs was easily able to pick off. The second was a phenomenal play from Demarcus Lawrence, who channeled his inner Randy Gregory by leaping in the air, tipping the ball to himself and returning it to the house, putting Dallas up by 21 in the first quarter. All night long, Heinicke was missing open throws and throwing into double, triple as well as even quadruple coverage. He wasn’t able to find Terry McLaurin a single time, making it the second straight matchup versus the Cowboys where the two have been unable to connect. If Heinicke is unable to drastically improve his play during the final two games of the season, discussions questioning his future as Washington’s starting QB will certainly pick up steam.

Dak Prescott was unstoppable

In complete contrast to Heinicke, Dak Prescott was damn near immaculate on Sunday night. Normally, getting benched after the third quarter isn’t good for a starting quarterback, but in Dak Prescott’s case, it shows just how amazing his performance was. After just three quarters of play, Prescott had thrown for 330 yards, four touchdowns while completing 71.9% of his passes. At that point, it was 49–7, and Dallas realized they had bullied Washington enough, so they sent in Cooper Rush to run the offense for the remainder of the game. All Rush did was complete two passes for 70 yards and another touchdown, effectively beating an already dead horse. While Prescott was playing, he looked impeccable, hitting his receivers in stride and in the right spots on nearly every throw. Washington was unable to generate much pressure on Prescott, allowing him to stand in the pocket and throw bullets all night long. He also looked unhindered by his ankle, rolling out of the pocket and throwing on the run when necessary, something he hadn’t looked comfortable with for most of this season. Sunday night was a different story, and Prescott absolutely obliterated Washington.

Dallas’ defense deserves credit

While it is true that Washington played extremely poorly on both sides of the ball, the Cowboys’ defense also deserves some credit. They held Washington to just 257 total yards, picked up five sacks, two interceptions — including one for a touchdown —  as well as a punt blocked for a score. Once again, it was the d-line leading the charge for Dallas. Micah Parsons added yet another sack to his absurd rookie campaign. Parsons is now at 13 sacks on the year, putting him just 1.5 sacks away from tying Jevon Kearse’s 1999 single-season rookie sacks record of 14.5. Demarcus Lawrence also had a great game, adding a sack of his own as well as the aforementioned pick-six. To add salt to an open wound, the Cowboys’ special teams unit blocked a Tress Way punt late in the third quarter and recovered it for a touchdown, putting Dallas up by 42. After their defense forced a turnover on downs and another Washington punt, the game finally came to an end after a dominating performance.

Washington is technically still alive for the final NFC Wild Card spot, but with the way they are currently playing, the season is as good as over. With just two games left to play, it’s going to take an absolute miracle for the Washington Football Team to make the playoffs. Thankfully, it can’t get any worse than Sunday…or so we hope.