Cowboys - Redskins Report Card

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe had a solid bounce-back performance Sunday night against the Redskins.

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Quarterback Drew Bledsoe had a solid bounce-back performance. He did not make many mistakes, including not throwing an interception while also connecting with two touchdown passes. In fact, Bledsoe would have had an even better day if not for eight dropped passes.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- The Cowboys rushed for 138 yards, including 20 for 94 yards by Julius Jones. Marion Barber had 39 on eight carries. The Cowboys had another 18 yards wiped away on penalties.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- The Cowboys dominated Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell. They sacked him six times. Of his 197 yards passing, 133 came in the fourth quarter when the Redskins were down by 17 points and playing catch-up. Roy Williams also got his second interception in as many weeks.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- The Redskins had a solid yards-per-carry average of 4.7, rushing for 93 yards on 20 carries. However, 19 yards came on a reverse by receiver Santana Moss. The Cowboys were very solid otherwise.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-plus -- Punter Mat McBriar averaged 49 yards on seven attempts, including a 61-yarder. Kicker Mike Vanderjagt had field goals of 26 and 50 yards. The Cowboys did allow a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

COACHING: B -- The Cowboys avoided the dreaded 0-2 hole. Bill Parcells had them ready to play in a September must-win game. But he is not happy with the penalties. They have committed 18 in two games.

OTHER NOTES:
--WR Terrell Owens underwent surgery on his right hand on Monday. He suffered a fractured ring finger in Sunday's 27-10 victory against the Redskins. He will be out two to four weeks. He said he is a fast healer, but his much-anticipated return to Philadelphia Oct. 8 is now in jeopardy. The Cowboys have a bye this Sunday and play the Titans on Oct. 1.

--Coach Bill Parcells said his team responded correctly to the season-opening loss to the Jaguars. Drew Bledsoe had a bounce back performance and the team had a payback performance against the Redskins while avoiding an 0-2 start.

"I thought it was important," Parcells said. "That may be the most empty feeling you can have. To open the season ... you spend all summer getting ready and you didn't win. So that can be a demoralizing thing. And then have a division opponent that beat us twice last year, coming down here, I just felt like the importance was pretty high. I was pretty stressed for it myself."

--K Mike Vanderjagt had a strong debut against the Redskins, kicking field goals from 26 and 50 yards. Not bad for a kicker not good enough to be active in the season opener after struggling in the preseason with injuries and inconsistency. It is what you expect from the most accurate kicker in NFL history, who was given a three-year, $5.4 million contact in the offseason.

"That's the guy's job, you're supposed to be able to make kicks," Parcells said. "I'm just happy he made the kick for his own well being. That was a big kick and it wasn't an easy kick. That certainly helps him and helps everybody involved."

--QB Drew Bledsoe keeps playing and moving up in the NFL record book. He tied Boomer Esiason for 13th on the NFL touchdown pass list with 247.

--LB Greg Ellis is having a strong transition from defensive end. He has 1.5 sacks and 11 tackles in two games. "It's not just about sacks, although everybody likes to get those," Ellis said. "It's about batting the ball down, trying to flush the quarterback and getting in his face."

--SS Roy Williams will appeal a $7,500 fine levied against him by the league for an excessive hit on Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich in the season opener.

--TE Anthony Fasano recorded thee catches against the Redskins. It was the first three of his career for the rookie second-round pick who is starting in the two-tight end offense opposite Pro Bowler Jason Witten.

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