Around the NFL  


DeAngelo Hall passes on Washington Redskins TD

  • By Kevin Patra
More Columns >

DeAngelo Hall did his best Deion Sanders impression to end the Washington Redskins' Thanksgiving Day victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Unfortunately, it was Sanders' slide into second base, and not his high-step into the end zone, that Hall emulated.

Lombardi: Turkey Day lessons
Michael Lombardi says all three Thanksgiving showdowns taught us something. Plus, 10 thoughts around the league. More ...

The Cowboys cut their deficit to 38-31 with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Naturally, they lined up for a last-ditch onside kick. Dan Baily's kick bounced perfectly to a hard-charging Hall, who dashed by every Cowboys defender toward the end zone.

Instead of scoring, though, Hall slid down at the 2-yard line with 12 seconds left. Robert Griffin III came out for the final snap of his dominant day, knelt it -- ballgame.

The question after the game was why Hall didn't just dance his way into the end zone.

"As big of a selfish guy as y'all think I am," he said and laughed, according to The Washington Post. "Kyle (Shanahan) even joked with me about going in there to score. He wants to be the No. 1 scoring offense.

"I was always told that the offense closes the game. That's the best formation, or the best plays, to be able to take a knee. I was surprised I was that wide open. The ball was kind of bouncing and took that one good bounce. Before I knew it, I was at the (2-yard line). I was like, 'What am I doing?' and I took a little baseball slide."

We should give Hall props for an unselfish play. Too often, we point out players' selfishness without mentioning when they make a team play.

Take a look at photos from the Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Redskins and Cowboys.

Hall might have thought scoring would give the Cowboys an outside chance at creating the miracle of all miracles. We could give Hall the benefit of the doubt of not knowing there were just 12 seconds left, and even if Usain Bolt was returning the kick, there was no way the Cowboys could have scored twice. Or, you know, maybe a star tight end gets injured on the extra-point try -- anything could have happened.

Athletes are reactionary, not analytical in the middle of a contest. Slide = win. Touchdown = Cowboys get the ball.

We should give Hall praise for his decision. The reason we can't lies buried in the minutia on this NFL Tiebreaking Procedures page.

We already forked the Redskins, but they have RG3ed their way back into the outskirts of the playoff picture. If they somehow got into a tiebreak scenario for either the NFC East title or a wild-card spot, points could become a factor. Points scored play a role in tiebreakers seven through 11 of division play and six through 10 of wild-card play.

The chances those 2 yards that Hall didn't take will come back to bite the Redskins are infinitesimal. But they are bigger than the chance the Cowboys would have had for a comeback if he had just Deioned his way into the end zone.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.


Fan Discussion