Green up to the task against Irvin

Redskins notebook

December 14, 1992|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- He was having trouble breathing because of his bruised sternum. He played on a bruised heel much of the game.

But cornerback Darrell Green met the challenge of facing Michael Irvin in the Redskins' 20-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys yesterday.

Irvin had his moments as he caught five passes for 105 yards, including a 40-yarder, but Green stripped the ball away from him for a fumble and helped the Redskins win.

Even though the Redskins failed to capitalize on the play, it was a costly turnover for the Cowboys, denying them of some badly needed momentum.

"He made a good play," Irvin said. "I didn't know where he was. After I caught it, I was tying to see where he was, and he was right on my elbow."

Irvin said the Cowboys can't dwell on the loss.

"[A loss] is never a minor bump in the road, especially when it's in the division," he said. "We had a setback. Now we've got to bounce back and move on."

Said Green: "It was a very hard game. They're not the games you love while you're playing in them, but I'm really enjoying it now that it's over. If I could breathe better, I could enjoy it more."

Green suffered both of his injuries in the first half. He got a helmet in the sternum and hurt his heel while jumping to bat a long pass away from Irvin in the first half.

"I jumped too early and I felt like Michael Jordan hanging in the air. I need to learn how to come down. I hurt my heel. I was pretty banged up from that point on in terms of my wheels," he said.

Green said his broken forearm is healed and wasn't a problem and brushed off Irvin's talk about trying to hurt it.

:. "He really couldn't hurt my arm," he said.

Gibbs defends Rypien

Coach Joe Gibbs still is defending his quarterback.

When Gibbs was asked about quarterback Mark Rypien's shaky performance, he said, "He fought his guts out."

Rypien missed Gary Clark on a flea-flicker and said he didn't get a hold of it before he threw it.

"That's one of those things if you get it clean, you got a big play. If you don't, you look like an idiot," Rypien said.

"It seems like the way this year has gone we couldn't catch a break. Today, we were very fortunate."

Feeling the heat

Safety Danny Copeland is into the Dallas Cowboys rivalry now.

Copeland, who joined the Washington Redskins last year as a Plan B free agent from the Kansas City Chiefs, said, "I didn't understand until we lost to Dallas the first game of the season what a Dallas Cowboys game meant not only to the team, but to the community. I don't think you can put anything above a Cowboys game for me."

Copeland, who became a starter last year at strong safety when Alvin Walton was injured and played so well that Walton was released this year, recovered two fourth-period fumbles.

He said it was one of the highlights of his life.

"It ranks pretty high as far as football. I'm blessed with a daughter and a foster son and those are the biggest moments," he said.

Copeland said there was a lot of talking during the game.

"More goes on between plays than you guys actually see, especially when they make a play," he said.

What do they say?

"I can't tell you," he said.

Smith falls short

Emmitt Smith fell one yard short of his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game against the Redskins. He finished with 99 yards.

Injury report

The Redskins didn't suffer any major injuries. Besides Green's injuries, Fred Stokes dislocated a finger, Tony Barker pulled a hamstring, Robert Green bruised a shoulder and James Jenkins bruised a shoulder. Clark had his hamstrings taped during the game, but didn't make the injury report.

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