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Fisher on Redskins' O-line: 'It's Dallas all over again'

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We saw something different on Sunday from the typically blasé Washington Redskins.

A quality of plays that changes our feeling about a team that many had written off long before the season.

Coach Jay Gruden's squad brought a newfound nasty streak to the table in their 24-10 thumping of St. Louis. Instead of being pushed around by the Rams, Washington was doing the pushing on both sides of the line.

"If I could give you five reasons for us playing so well, it would be those five guys," Kirk Cousins told The Washington Post of his offensive line, a unit that held its own against a Rams defensive front considered among the best in the NFL.

Giving up just two sacks, Washington blazed through the Rams for 182 yards on the ground, anchored by rookie sensation Matt Jones and his 123 yards at 6.5 yards per clip.

For all the summertime nonsense surrounding the team's carousel of quarterbacks, Cousins is capable of anything Robert Griffin III can do in this offense -- and he does it more decisively. The horde of draft picks given up for RGIII still stings, but Washington showed Sunday that Cousins -- 23-of-27 passing on the day -- is the better fit for Gruden's West Coast-styled scheme.

Gruden also deserves credit for hiring offensive line guru Bill Callahan away from the Cowboys. After he turned Big D's front five into the league's top line one season ago, Sunday's performance left Rams coach Jeff Fisher "fired up," per Dan Steinberg of The Post, saying: "Coach Callahan has done a great job with that offensive line. It's Dallas all over again."

To back Fisher's point: Like the Cowboys of last autumn, Washington's line prowess and ground game have helped the Redskins chew up the clock to an unsual extent. They owned the ball for 37:44 on Sunday after holding it for 37:54 in Week 1 against the Dolphins -- the first time they've topped 37-plus minutes of possession in back-to-back games since 1992.

"What's cool, man, is a lot of people give us a lot of crap," guard Shawn Lauvao told the newspaper. "I mean, everybody's entitled to their opinion, obviously. We're professionals. You have a lot of people who didn't play any sports just kind of dictating things. I think a lot of times, you just take it with a grain of salt."

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Rookie guard Brandon Scherff agreed, saying: "Listen, you can't really pay attention to that outside noise. We know what we can do, and we've just got to go out and play football. We can be as good as we want to be."

It's not just on offense. Defensive linemen Jason Hatcher and Stephen Paea along with outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy have anchored a front seven that held St. Louis to just 67 yards on the ground and passer Nick Foles to just 150 yards through the air.

Washington won the battle on both lines, echoing the desire of Scot McCloughan, the first-year Redskins general manager, who declared in April, per ESPN.com: "We want big, tough, nasty, strong guys. I want this team when they go out -- when you get done playing the Washington Redskins, you know you're playing them. You're going to feel it. I want those guys."

We're just two weeks into a wide-open race in the NFC East, but this refashioned Redskins squad showed evidence of McCloughan's war cry against the Rams. The DNA is there. The team many laughed at weeks ago has something cooking in the nation's capital.

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