4-1-DAL 32 (8:59) (Field Goal formation) 6-S.Suisham 49 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Left, Center-67-E.Albright, Holder-4-D.Frost.
That was the play. Fourth and one at the Dallas 32 yard line. That was the moment, the time for the ultimate question in this game, and perhaps the pivotal point not only in this season, but in the second tenure of Joe Gibbs. The Redskins were up 7-0 and driving for another score. The Cowboys had been stymied so far by the Skins' defense on their first three possessions. This was the third time with the ball for the Redskins offense, the first had been a wonderful drive for a TD and the second a three and out. The Skins were again moving the ball, making plays...
One yard. Just one yard.
Sure, Suisham had hit from beyond fifty yards which this kick called for, but not without question. Sure, during the first part of the season the defense had seemed unbreakable against the top offenses in the league, but in recent games they had lost their top two secondary defenders, and the best players on both the line backing and defensive line units were playing injured. Add to this a young offense just starting to pick up their stride after absorbing an unheard of amount of injuries to the line and receivers, but regaining their stride nonetheless especially behind the running of Clinton Portis and the revamped line...
Just One Yard.
Back in the year that the Skins last captured their Super Bowl, a young Cowboys team invaded RFK and won a game, meaningless to the Skins on their way to the Lombardi, but meaning everything to the upstart Cowboys and their fans who had endured a decade of mediocre play, and everything to Jimmy Johnson who was building a dynasty out of the dregs of 3-13 and 1-15 teams. Johnson threw everything in the playbook, and some things not in the playbook, at the more talented and experienced Redskins. Johnson not only won that game, he set the tone for a team that would win three out of four NFL Championships.
This was the moment, needing just one yard, that Joe Gibbs could have turned this organization around for much better things. This was the moment that this young quarterback, this rebuilt on the fly line, and this running back in the midst of recapturing the aura a greatness that two injury plagued years had sapped needed to set the stage for possible greatness. Get the first down, drive for the score, put the Dallas offense in a hole and let the defense tee off on Tony Romo... Knock off the team being crowned as this year's NFC Super Bowl representative in their house. That yard, just that one yard, could have done that.
Instead, Coach sent out Suisham and gave the Cowboys excellent field position and they proceeded to tie up the game. The Skins gamely battled, especially on offense, but the battle was uphill and the grade too steep from there. Instead of dominating Dallas, putting the "foot on the neck" as the expression goes, that one yard, just one yard, got the Cowboys back in the game and stole the momentum from the Skins' offense. That one yard could be the last chance for the second Gibbs regime to be the one to bring championship football back to Washington.