Cowboys allow twice as many 200-yard receivers
IRVING, Texas (AP)
Before this month, the Dallas Cowboys had allowed only two receivers to gain 200 yards in a game in their 50-season history. That total has doubled in two games.
Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson and Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne hit the 200-yard mark in December.
''There's no secret, let's run over here and do this different or play this different coverage,'' cornerback Orlando Scandrick said Wednesday. ''We just need to play better.''
Along with consecutive 200-yard receivers, the Cowboys have given up at least 30 points in their last three games - one more than all of last season.
The Cowboys (4-9), already guaranteed their first losing record in six seasons, are ranked 27th in the NFL in pass defense, and 25th overall on defense going into the home finale Sunday against Washington (5-8).
Wayne had 14 catches for 200 yards in the Colts' 38-35 home loss to the Cowboys. His longest catch was for 40 yards.
Jackson needed only four receptions to gain 210 yards last week against Dallas in Philadelphia's 30-27 victory. He had a 60-yard catch on the first play of the game, then turned a short pass into a game-clinching 91-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday night.
''You're behind the eight-ball when you give up a 90- and a 60-yarder,'' Scandrick said. ''Stop giving up big plays.''
Before Wayne, it had been 37 years since Dallas allowed a 200-yard receiver.
''We've just got to eliminate some critical errors that we had, that's it,'' safety Gerald Sensabaugh said.
''Obviously, we don't want a receiver catching 200 yards worth of passes. We know that,'' safety Alan Ball said. ''There's no magic to it, we've just got to execute.''
Harold Jackson had 238 yards receiving for the Los Angeles Rams against the Cowboys on Oct. 14, 1973. The other 200-yard receiver before this month was Chicago's Johnny Morris with 201 on Nov. 18, 1962.
The Redskins feature Santana Moss, who in three of his five road games against Dallas has at least 121 yards receiving. He did have only five catches for 38 yards last year in the only one of those games at Cowboys Stadium.
With most of the same players on the defensive unit that finished in the top 10 overall last season, and ended the regular season with consecutive shutouts for the only time in team history, the Cowboys have already given up 366 points - 116 more than all of last season.
The most points the Cowboys have ever given up in a season was 405 in 2004. This year's team will have the dubious distinction of breaking that if they allow 40 points or more over the next three games.
Six opponents have already scored at least 30 points against Dallas. That includes Philadelphia, who they play again on the road in the season finale Jan. 2, though Washington's 13 points in the season opener match the fewest against Dallas.
''Just because you have a car and it's the same as another car, it doesn't mean they are both going to ride the same,'' Scandrick said. ''We're not playing well. It doesn't matter if it's the same names, different names. There's no way to slice it, we're not playing well, not playing smart football.''