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Jay Gruden: No regrets on DeSean Jackson's return

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DeSean Jackson had returned just two punts in two years with Washington when the Redskins coaches opted for his playmaking potential late in the fourth quarter of Monday night's 19-16 loss to the Cowboys.

Trying to make something out of nothing, Jackson reversed field, lost ground and ultimately fumbled deep in his own territory.

Although Jackson atoned with a 28-yard touchdown reception a minute later, he still owned up to the egregious error on special teams.

"It was a roller coaster, man. Just one of those games," Jackson said. "We just fell on the short end of the stick this time. Personally, I'm very frustrated. I know I need to protect the ball and it got away from me. That's on me.

"It was just one of those things where I was just trying to make a play for my team ... I just got to take that on the chin, you know, the fumble, I know better than that."

Coach Jay Gruden had no second thoughts about replacing primary punt returner Jamison Crowder with Jackson in a game that was tied at nine deep in the fourth quarter.

"DeSean has a history of making big plays in key situations," Gruden explained, "and I don't regret that decision one bit."

The special teams issues went beyond Jackson's fumble. Dustin Hopkins missed a 43-yard field goal earlier in the fourth quarter, and the coverage unit allowed Lucky Whitehead a 46-yard return to set up the game-winning kick.

The Redskins came up short with sole possession of first in the NFC East on the line. They will travel to Dallas early next month with a shot at redemption in the season finale.

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