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Jay Gruden: No regrets on DeSean Jackson's return

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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