Cowboys Vs. Redskins: Three seasons later, Mike Shanahan's team comes good

Patrick McDermott

What a difference 841 days make.

Mike Shanahan's third regular season as head coach of the Washington Redskins ended the same way his first regular season began: with a home game on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys. We watched last night's festivities on television, but we saw the 2010 season opener live and in color.

The box score makes for interesting reading: Donovan McNabb, making his burgundy-and-gold debut, completed 15 of 24 passes for 171 yards. Graham Gano kicked two field goals and an extra point. Clinton Portis carried the ball 18 times for 63 yards. (Larry Johnson added nine yards on three carries.) Albert Haynesworth (remember him?) recorded two split tackles, one of which was with LaRon Landry).

The game itself was dire the Redskins scored a defensive touchdown on a fumble return by DeAngelo Hall just before halftime, and only held on to win 13-7 after Dallas' game-winning touchdown pass on the last play of the game was wiped out by offensive holding. The 90,670 who attended, most of whom went home happy, couldn't have known at the time that that season and the one after it would collapse under the weight questionable personnel decisions (Rex Grossman), obfuscation from the top ("cardiovascular endurance"), misplaced faith (Grossman again), off-field embarrassment (Haynesworth again), and generally poor on-field performance. (Shanahan's Washington record entering Week 11 of this year: 14-27).

It's been 841 days since Mike Shanahan's first regular season game as the head coach of the Washington Redskins. At times, it's felt even longer. But last night, Shanahan's team came good by winning a division title. And the hopes that fans had leaving FedEx Field three Septembers ago (not the first time they had been re-kindled) were finally rewarded.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation DC

You must be a member of SB Nation DC to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation DC. You should read them.

Join SB Nation DC

You must be a member of SB Nation DC to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation DC. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.