Tinsman: What does Washington’s win over Dallas mean? That depends…


Like beauty, Sunday’s drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys by the Washington Football Team is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. As a result, some D.C. sports fans aren’t even happy in its aftermath, something that would seem unlikely, given the history of the rivalry.

In order to better understand your fellow fan on Monday’s staff Zoom call, let’s address the win from the most common fan perspectives.

Washington Sports Homer: Thrilled

They’ve told you at least one of the following, probably multiple times: “I don’t care if we go 2-14 as long as we beat Dallas twice.” Or: “WE WANT DALLAS! WE WANT DALLAS!” Or: “I really think Ron Rivera will turn this franchise around.”

For these fans, Dallas Week is a holiday and each week is a season unto itself. Forget the obvious issues with this year’s team -- they went undefeated in Week 7 and that is the only thing that matters.

These glass-overflowing fans will continue to ride the emotional rollercoaster that the 2020 season is likely to be, and will celebrate any coach, player, or analyst who gives Washington a chance at winning the NFC East.

In their eyes, everyone who isn’t that excited is just a hater or a Cowboys fan in disguise.

Tank for Trevor Fans: Furious

For every homer there is a masochist, and this crowd hoped that Washington would lose every game and draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick. These people are devastated by Sunday’s win.

Much like the “Such for Luck” or “Tank for Tua” campaigns of yesteryear, fans fall in love with a college player, usually, a quarterback, believing he can fix all of their problems. They’re usually wrong, but really passionate about it.

Unfortunately for this crowd, a two-win season could dash D.C.’s hopes of landing Lawrence. After all, the New York Jets have patented the art of losing, and could probably start selling Lawrence jerseys today if they wanted to.

Fortunately for D.C.’s “Tank for Trevor” crowd, Washington needs a lot more help than just one quarterback. Be kind to them this week.

Pragmatic Peters/Pattys: Happy?

Despite being burned many times and wishing they didn’t care, this fan can’t help but get excited when they win. They are also cursed with being able to see both sides.

Yes, Washington’s defense was amazing, tagging Dallas for a safety and an interception, but it came against Andy Dalton and former James Madison product Ben DiNucci.

Yes, safety Landon Collins had a monster first half, and then his season likely ended with an Achilles’ injury. Yes, linebacker Jon Bostic had a good game before being ejected for a dirty hit.

Yes, quarterback Kyle Allen played well but maybe Dwayne Haskins could have done the same and taken a step forward. The offensive line played well but tackle Morgan Moses suffered an injury and will join Saahdiq Charles and Geron Christian on the injury report.

Yes, Washington beat Dallas, bumping them into second place in the NFC East and percentage points behind the Eagles for the lead, but fighting to be the best of the league’s worst division feels hollow.

This fan will relish the win for winning’s sake, but that smile is more than a little forced.

Fair-Weather Fans: Still in Hibernation

You know this person but you won’t have to deal with them this week. Even after pounding the Cowboys in every statistical category, this performance was not enough to prod fair-weather sports fans into noticing.

That’s the silver lining.

These fans are too busy ordering a Lakers’ championship shirt, justifying their newfound love of the Rays, or bingeing on pumpkin spice products. Thank goodness.

Washington has a bye week next week, during which they could move up in the standings by virtue of not being able to lose. If that happens, watch out; even at 2-5, a first-place ranking could bring fair-weather fans out of hiding before the Giants rematch in Week 9.

Generally speaking, each of these fans has a perspective that other fans could learn from. It feels good to beat the Cowboys, wish for a better team in 2021, acknowledge that Dallas and the NFC East stink, and withhold your emotions until the team wins consistently.

Looking ahead to and through the bye week, Washington has a chance to improve and learn from its Week 6 loss to the Giants. A win in Week 9 would ensure at least a .500 division record, which is somehow an improvement over 2019.

Brian Tinsman has covered D.C. sports since 2011, both from the team marketing and skeptical fan perspectives. Tweet your criticisms @Brian_Tinsman.

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