Despite a third consecutive loss for the Washington Commanders, there were some bright spots that should be recognized.
Allen came to play on the Cowboys’ side of the line of scrimmage, registering 4 tackles for a loss, most for both teams. The Commanders totaled 7 tackles for a loss, thus, Allen had more than half himself. His sack in the first quarter on a 3rd and 3 set the tone early, and he was a force all day. He also knocked down a Cooper Rush pass in the end zone that could have been an easy touchdown.
The rarely used running back in only five carries accumulated 48 yards (9.6 YPR). Williams enjoyed an 18-yard run to the left behind Logan Thomas and John Bates. In the 3rd quarter, Williams ran for 23 yards to the right getting a huge push downfield from Saahdiq Charles and good blocks from Thomas and Bates again both lined up together on a side.
Wentz to Dotson
Wentz struggled throughout, appeared rattled, unable to settle down and step into passes. However, trailing 6-0 in the second quarter, Carson lofted a beautifully well-timed pass to Jahan Dotson at the back right pylon for a touchdown on a 3rd & 2 from the 10-yard line.
Later in the 3rd quarter with the Commanders trailing 15-7, the two again connected, this time on a 3rd & 9 completion of 31 yards. Wentz had to step up, and extend the play, and Dotson had to make a shoestring catch.
Often Payne was matched up against All-Pro Zack Martin, the older brother of the Commanders new center, Nick Martin. Payne had 2 solo tackles, 5 total tackles, 1 TFL and 1 pass defended.
Joey Slye and Tress Way
Slye was successful on his lone field goal attempt, a 45-yarder in the 3rd quarter. Way punting six times managed to place five punts inside the 20.
Commanders Run Offense and Run Defense
The Commanders gained a very adequate 142 yards in 27 rushing attempts (5.3 YPC). This effort permitted the offense more opportunities as well as provided the defense some needed rest on the bench. The defense responded physically, limiting Dallas to a mere 62 yards in their 29 rushing attempts (2.1 YPC). The defense shut down Tony Pollard entirely, as his 8 carries gained only 6 yards.
Consequently, the Commanders ran 71 offensive plays to only 57 for Dallas, winning the time of possession battle 33:06 to 26:54.
Commanders 3rd Down Defense
Washington’s 3rd down defense in 2021 was at times nothing short of abysmal. They finished the season ranked 31st in the NFL. Sunday they held Dallas to converting only 5 of 15 third downs.
[mm-video type=playlist id=01eqbykgy681k112p8 player_id=none image=https://commanderswire.usatoday.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]