While the outcome of Sunday’s game wasn’t life or death for a Washington Redskins team that had already secured a trip to the playoffs, beating the Cowboys in Dallas is always enjoyable.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins started the game, threw just enough passes to set a few franchise single-season records and then was removed from the game to ensure he stayed healthy for the postseason, which meant veteran backup Colt McCoy saw his first action of the 2015 season. Needless to say, he was happy to get some meaningful snaps before the regular season came to an end with a 34-23 victory over the Cowboys.
“I hadn’t played all year and I hadn’t gotten any reps, but I knew there was a chance I could come in and play in this game,” McCoy said. “I just talked to Jamison [Crowder], Ryan [Grant] and [Rashad] Ross and told them to just do what they do. I’m gonna get warmed up and we’ll figure this thing out. I felt terrible about missing Ross early in the game, but it happens. I was a little rusty and missed the blitz one time, but once I got settled in and knocked off a little bit of the rust, I actually felt pretty good. Once I threw the touchdown pass in the third quarter and we had the big lead, we basically just ran the clock out.
“It was really nice to beat the Cowboys,” he continued. “It was really nice to get out there on the field. I felt bad for Kirk because he was in the zone and I hate to see guys come out when they’re just on fire. The last three or four weeks Kirk has just played lights out, so I hope we can carry that momentum into the playoffs and I was glad to be able to secure the win for us on the road.”
For the second consecutive season, McCoy had a hand in beating the Cowboys in Dallas. What is it about AT&T Stadium that brings the best out of the Texas native?
“It’s kind of nice coming into a game with a 17-point lead, so I didn’t want to mess that up. Again, I can’t explain how hard it is when you haven’t played all year and you really don’t get any time in practice to step in. You know it on paper and you see everything, but seeing it live on the field it took me a couple series to get my feet under me. I thought the offensive line did tremendous and once I got comfortable out there, I was feeling good.”
When McCoy hooked up with Ross for a 71-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, it was the longest pass completion of his career. The explosive play didn’t happen by accident.
“They hit me with a lot of pressure early — they pressured me a lot to see if I could handle it. They lined up in a pressure and I changed the protection and got everything to where I wanted it. I left our concept for that play on and saw the corner bite on the out-route and the safety wasn’t getting enough depth. I had seen that blitz on tape a couple times. I’m just happy that I saw it live and made it work.”
So what’s going through McCoy’s head as he drops back and throws that long ball?
“I had missed him once already and that timing is real — the more you throw with your guys the more comfortable you get. But I didn’t second guess myself. I let it go like I felt I should and he did the rest.”
Bigger picture, how difficult was it to be a spectator for the bulk of the season?
“I’ll tell you this — we all want to play. I very happy for Kirk. He’s done an outstanding job this season. I was glad to get some time out on the field and the last thing I’d ever want to do is take away from our team’s success, so I’ve just tried to help our team behind the scenes as much as I can, whether it’s helping Kirk or helping the receivers, giving our scout team a good look for our defense and just find ways to improve as a quarterback.”