The Redskins didn’t get a win in Dallas yesterday, but they did get a glimpse down their quarterback depth chart, and they had to be pleasantly surprised with what they saw.Rex Grossman, who started in place of benched Donovan McNabb, passed for 322 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. He led them all the way back from a 27-7 deficit, before the Cowboys won 33-30 on a last-minute field goal.
Known for his costly turnovers during his tenure with the Bears, Grossman did throw two picks and fumbled once leading to 14 Cowboy points. But he threw for more touchdowns than McNabb did in a single game all year, matched his predecessor’s completion percentage, and blew away the 171 yard, 0 touchdown performance McNabb posted against the same Cowboys earlier this season.
After the game, coach Mike Shanahan told SI‘s Peter King he wanted to see how his team performed with other quarterbacks at the helm. He knows what he has in McNabb. (And with 13 turnovers in the team’s past 7 games, he probably doesn’t like it). As the 2010 season winds down without any chance for the playoffs, Shanahan wants to see whether Grossman, or second-year quarterback John Beck have more to offer.
He did so at the cost of burning whatever bridges remain between McNabb and a 2011 go-around with the ‘Skins. He’ll surely play somewhere else in 2010. Meanwhile, Washington has two more games to evaluate their quarterback depth as they prepare for the draft. In the short-term they played much better against a division rival than most expected, and in the long-term they’ve moved on from a 34-year-old quarterback that led them to a 5-8 record. Call it a win-win.
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