American Football Database
Washington Football Team
Current season
Established 1932
Play in FedExField
Landover, Maryland
Headquartered in Redskins Park
Ashburn, Virginia
Washington Football Team helmet
Washington Football Team logo
Helmet Logo
League/conference affiliations

National Football League (1932–present)

  • Eastern Division (1933–1949)
  • American Conference (1950–1952)
  • Eastern Conference (1953–1969)
    • Capitol Division (1967–1969)
  • National Football Conference (1970–present)
Current uniform
NFL-NFCE-Washington Football Team 2020 Jerseys.png
Team colors Burgundy, Gold, White


Fight song Hail to the Redskins
Owner(s) Dan Snyder
General manager Vacant
Head coach Ron Rivera
Team history
  • Boston Braves (1932)
  • Boston Redskins (1933–1936)
  • Washington Football Team (1937–present)
League championships (5)
Conference championships (5)
  • NFC: 1972, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1991
Division championships (12)
  • NFL East: 1936, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945
  • NFC East: 1972, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1999
Home fields

The Washington Football Team, the temporary name of the franchise pending a more permanent team name change, who were formerly named the Washington Redskins, are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia. The Redskins have played over one thousand games since 1932. The Redskins have won five NFL Championships (two pre-merger, and three Super Bowls). The franchise has captured ten NFL divisional titles and six NFL conference championships.[1]


The Redskins won the 1937 and 1945 Championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII, and XXVI. They also played in and lost the 1936, 1940, 1943, and 1945 Championship games, as well as Super Bowls VII and XVIII. They have made twenty-two postseason appearances, and have an overall postseason record of 23 wins and 17 losses. Only four teams have appeared in more Super Bowls than the Redskins: the Pittsburgh Steelers (eight), Dallas Cowboys (eight), Denver Broncos (six), and New England Patriots (six); the Redskins' five appearances are tied with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, and Green Bay Packers.[2]

All of the Redskins' league titles were attained during two ten-year spans. From 1936 to 1945, the Redskins went to the NFL Championship six times, winning two of them.[3] The second period lasted between 1982 and 1991 where the Redskins appeared in the postseason seven times, captured four Conference titles, and won three Super Bowls out of four appearances.[3] The Redskins have also experienced failure in their history. The most notable period of failure was from 1946 to 1970, during which the Redskins did not have a single postseason appearance.[1] During this period, the Redskins went without a single winning season between 1956 and 1968.[1] In 1961, the franchise posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing.[1]

According to Forbes Magazine, the Redskins are the second most valuable franchise in the NFL, behind the Dallas Cowboys, and were valued at approximately $1.55 billion as of 2009.[4] Being the second most valuable franchise, the Redskins remain the highest grossing team in the NFL with $345 million in revenue during the 2009 season.[4] They have also broken the NFL's mark for single-season attendance eight years in a row.[5]

The Redskins were the first team in the NFL with an official marching band. The Redskins were the second team to have a fight song, "Hail to the Redskins".

Franchise history

The team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932. They changed their name to the Boston Redskins the following year, and relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937. In their early years in Washington, the Redskins shared Griffith Stadium with the Washington Senators baseball team.[6] The Redskins played and won their first game in Washington D.C. on September 16, 1937, a victory against the Giants, 13–3.[7] On December 5, 1937, they earned their first division title in Washington against the Giants, 49–14, for the Eastern Championship.[7] The team then proceeded to win their first league championship, the 1937 NFL Championship Game, on December 12, 1937, against the Chicago Bears, their first year in D.C.[7] The Redskins then met the Bears again in the 1940 NFL Championship Game on December 8, 1940.[8] The result, 73–0 in favor of the Bears, is still the worst one-sided loss in NFL history.[8] The other big loss for the Redskins that season occurred during a coin-tossing ceremony prior to a game against the Giants. After calling the coin toss and shaking hands with the opposing team captain, Turk Edwards attempted to pivot around to head back to his sideline. However, his cleats caught in the grass and his knee gave way, injuring him and bringing his season and career to an unusual end.[9]

In what became an early rivalry in the NFL, the Redskins and Bears met two more times in the NFL Championship. The third time was during the 1942 NFL Championship Game on December 13, 1942, where the Redskins won their second championship, 14–6.[8] The final time the two met was the 1943 NFL Championship Game on December 26, 1943, during which the Bears won, 41–21.[8] The most notable accomplishment achieved during the Redskins' 1943 season was Sammy Baugh leading the NFL in passing, punting, and interceptions.[10]

The Redskins played in the NFL Championship one more time before a quarter-century drought that did not end until the 1972 season. With former Olympic gold medalist Dudley DeGroot as their new head coach, the Redskins went 8–2 during the 1945 season. One of the most impressive performances came from Sammy Baugh, who had a completion percentage of .703.[11] They ended the season by losing to the Cleveland Rams in the 1945 NFL Championship Game on December 16, 1945, 15–14.[8] The one-point margin of victory came under scrutiny because of a safety that occurred early in the game. In the first quarter, the Redskins had the ball at their own 5-yard (5 m) line. Dropping back into the end zone, quarterback Sammy Baugh threw to an open receiver, but the ball hit the goal post (which at the time was on the goal line instead of at the back of the end zone) and bounced back to the ground in the end zone. Under the rules at the time, this was ruled as a safety and thus gave the Rams a 2–0 lead. It was that safety that proved to be the margin of victory. Owner Marshall was so mad at the outcome that he became a major force in passing the following major rule change after the season: A forward pass that strikes the goal posts is automatically ruled incomplete. This later became known as the "Baugh/Marshall Rule".[12]

Front-office disarray and integration (1946–1970)

The team's early success endeared it to the fans of Washington, D.C. However, after 1945, the Redskins began a slow decline that they did not end until a playoff appearance in the 1971 season.[13] The Redskins had four different head coaches from 1946 to 1951, including former players Turk Edwards and Dick Todd as well as John Whelchel and Herman Ball, and none were successful. But this did not stop George Preston Marshall from trying to make the Redskins the most successful franchise in the league. His first major alteration happened on June 14, 1950, when it was announced that American Oil Company planned to televise all Redskins games, making Washington the first NFL team to have an entire season of televised games.[14][15] His next major change came in February 1952, when he hired former Green Bay Packers coach Earl "Curly" Lambeau.[15] But, after two seasons, Marshall fired Lambeau following the Redskins loss in their exhibition opener to the Los Angeles Rams and hired Joe Kuharich.[15] In 1955, Kuharich led the Redskins to their first winning season in ten years and was named both Sporting News Coach of the Year and UPI NFL Coach of the Year.[16]

In 1961, the Redskins moved into their new stadium called D.C. Stadium (changed to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 1969). The first game in new D.C. Stadium occurred on October 1, 1961 in front of 37,767 fans. However, the Redskins failed to hold a 21–7 lead and lost to the New York Giants 24–21.[17] That same year, Bill McPeak became the head coach and had a record of 21–46–3 over five seasons. During his tenure, he helped draft future stars: wide receiver Charley Taylor, tight end Jerry Smith, safety Paul Krause, center Len Hauss, and linebacker Chris Hanburger.[18] He also helped pull off two important trades, gaining quarterback Sonny Jurgensen from the Philadelphia Eagles and linebacker Sam Huff from the New York Giants.[19]

One reason for the team's struggles was disarray in the front office. Marshall, team owner and president, began a mental decline in 1962, and the team's other stockholders found it difficult to make decisions without their boss. Marshall died on August 9, 1969,[17] and Edward Bennett Williams, a minority stockholder who was a Washington resident and one of America's most esteemed attorneys, was chosen to run the franchise while the majority stockholder, Jack Kent Cooke, lived in Los Angeles and ran his basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers.[20] In 1966 Otto Graham was hired as the new head coach. Graham coached the Redskins between 1966 and 1968, but whatever magic he had as an NFL player disappeared on the sidelines as the team recorded a mark of 17-22-3 during that time period. After resigning the Redskins' post in favor of the legendary Vince Lombardi, Graham returned as athletic director of the Coast Guard Academy before retiring at the end of 1984.

In 1969, the Redskins hired Vince Lombardi — who gained fame coaching with the Green Bay Packers — to be their new head coach.[21] Lombardi led the team to a 7–5–2 record,[13] their best since 1955, but died of cancer on the eve of the 1970 season.[21] Assistant coach Bill Austin was chosen to replace Lombardi during 1970 and produced a record of 6–8.[13]

Integration controversy

During most of this unsuccessful period, Marshall continually refused to integrate the team, despite pressure from The Washington Post and the federal government of the United States.[22] On March 24, 1961, Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall warned Marshall to hire black players or face federal retribution. For the first time in history, the federal government had attempted to desegregate a professional sports team.[23] The Redskins were under the threat of civil rights legal action by the Kennedy administration, which would have prevented a segregated team from playing at the new D.C. Stadium, as it was owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior and thus federal government property.

In 1962, they became the final professional American football franchise to integrate. First, the Redskins drafted Ernie Davis, the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy.[23] With their second pick in the draft, the Redskins chose another black halfback, Joe Hernandez from Arizona. They also took black fullback Ron Hatcher in the eighth round, a player from Michigan State who became the first black American football player to sign a contract with the Redskins.[23] But, in mid-December, Marshall announced that on the day of the NFL draft he had traded the rights to Davis to the Cleveland Browns, who wanted Davis to join the league's leading rusher, Jim Brown, in their backfield. Davis was traded to the Browns for running back Bobby Mitchell (who became a wide receiver in Washington) and 1962 first-round draft choice Leroy Jackson.[23][24] The move was made under unfortunate circumstances - as it turned out that Davis had leukemia, and died without ever playing a down in professional football.[23] Mitchell was joined by black stars like receiver Charley Taylor, running back Larry Brown, defensive back Brig Owens, and guard John Nisby from the Pittsburgh Steelers.[23] The Redskins ended the 1962 season with their best record in five years: 5–7–2. Mitchell led the league with eleven touchdowns, and caught 72 passes and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

George Allen's Revival (1971–1980)

After the death of Lombardi and Austin's unsuccessful 1970 season, Williams signed former Los Angeles Rams head coach George Allen as head coach on January 6, 1971.[25] Partial to seasoned veterans instead of highly-touted young players, Allen's teams became known as the Over-the-Hill Gang.[26] That season, the Redskins made the playoffs for the first time since 1945 with a 9–4–1 mark.[13] However, they lost in the Divisional Playoffs to the San Francisco 49ers, 24–20.[25] The following season, the Redskins then hosted their first post-season game in Washington since 1942, where they beat the Green Bay Packers 16–3 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.[8] The Redskins reached the NFC Championship Game, defeating Dallas 26–3, only to lose to the undefeated Miami Dolphins 14–7 in Super Bowl VII.[25]

The Redskins again made the playoffs in 1973, 1974 and 1976, only to lose all three times in the first round.[25] After his Redskins failed to make the playoffs in 1977 despite posting a 9–5 record,[13] Allen was fired and was replaced by new head coach Jack Pardee, a star linebacker under Allen in Los Angeles and Washington.[13] In his first year, his team started 6–0 but then lost 8 of the last 10 games. Then in the offseason, Redskins majority owner Jack Kent Cooke moved from Los Angeles to Virginia and took over the team's day-by-day operations from Edward Bennett Williams.[20]

The Redskins chose well during the 1979 NFL Draft, where they drafted future stars Don Warren and Monte Coleman. They opened the 1979 season 6–2 and were 10–5 heading into the season finale at Texas Stadium, against whom a win would assure a playoff spot and a possible NFC East title. Washington led 34–28 with time running out, but quarterback Roger Staubach then led the Cowboys in a fourth-quarter comeback with two touchdown passes. The 35–34 loss knocked the 10–6 Redskins out of playoff contention.[13] Pardee's quick success with the team did not go unnoticed, however, and he was named Associated Press Coach of the Year and UPI NFC Coach of the Year. Pardee's tenure did not last long though, for he was fired after posting a 6–10 record in 1980.[13] He did, however, draft Art Monk in the first-round.

Gibbs' era (1981–1992)

On January 13, 1981, owner Jack Kent Cooke signed the offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers, Joe Gibbs, as their head coach.[27] Also during the off-season, the Redskins acquired Mark May, Russ Grimm, and Dexter Manley in the 1981 NFL Draft, all of whom became significant contributors to the team for the next few years. After starting the 1981 season 0–5, the Redskins won eight out of their next eleven games and finished the season 8–8.[27]

Starting on September 21, 1982,[27] the NFL faced a 57–day long players' strike, which reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule to a 9-game schedule. Because of the shortened season, the NFL adopted a special 16-team playoff tournament, in which eight teams from each conference were seeded 1–8 based on their regular season records. After the strike was settled, the Redskins dominated, winning six out of the seven remaining games to make the playoffs for the first time since 1976.[13]

On January 15, 1983, during the second round of the playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings, Riggins rushed for a Redskins playoff record 185 yds, leading Washington to a 21–7 win and a place in the NFC Championship Game against Dallas, whom they beat 31 to 17.[27] The Redskins' first Super Bowl win, and their first NFL Championship in 40 years, was in Super Bowl XVII, where the Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 27–17 on January 30, 1983.[8] Riggins provided the game's signature play when, on 4th and inches, with the Redskins down 17–13, the coaches called "70 Chip" a play designed for short yardage.[28] Riggins instead gained 43 0[convert: unknown unit] by running through would-be tackler Don McNeal and getting the go-ahead touchdown. The Redskins ended up winning by a 27–17 score.

The 1983 season marked the rookie debut of Darrell Green, selected in the 1983 NFL Draft along with Charles Mann, who played for twenty more seasons. On October 1, 1983, the Redskins lost to the Green Bay Packers 48–47 in the highest scoring Monday night football game in history, in which both teams combine for more than 1,000 0[convert: unknown unit] of total offense.[27] Then during the regular-season finale on December 17, 1983, Moseley set an NFL scoring record with 161 points while Riggins' total of 144 points was second. This marked the first time since 1951 that the top two scorers in a season played on the same team.[27] They dominated the NFL with a 14-win season which included scoring a then NFL record 541 points,[29] many of which came from Riggins, who scored 24 touchdowns. In the postseason, the Redskins beat the Los Angeles Rams 51–7.[8] The next week, Washington beat the San Francisco 49ers 24–21.[8] It was their final win of the season because two weeks later, the Raiders beat the Redskins 38–9 in Super Bowl XVIII.[8]

The Redskins finished the 1984 season with an 11–5 record,[13] and won the NFC East for the third consecutive season.[27] However, they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Chicago Bears, 23–19.[8] On November 18, 1985, while playing against the Giants, Theismann broke his leg during a sack by Lawrence Taylor. The compound fracture forced him to retire after a 12-year career, during which he became the Redskins' all-time leader in pass attempts and completions.[27]

The 1986 offseason's major highlight occurred during the 1986 NFL Draft, when the Redskins picked up future Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien in the sixth round. In 1986, the road to the playoffs was even harder, with the Redskins making the postseason as a wild-card team despite having a regular season record of 12–4.[13] They won the Wild Card playoff against the Rams, and then again in the Divisional playoffs against the Bears. This game was Gibbs 70th career, which made him the winningest head coach in Redskins history.[27] The season ended next week, however, when the Redskins lost to the Giants 17–0 in the NFC Championship game.[8][27]

The 1987 season began with a 24-day players' strike, reducing the 16-game season to 15. The games for weeks 4–6 were won with all replacement players. The Redskins have the distinction of being the only team with no players crossing the picket line.[30] Those three victories are often credited with getting the team into the playoffs and the basis for the 2000 movie The Replacements. The Redskins won their second championship in Super Bowl XXII on January 31, 1988, in San Diego, California. The Redskins routed the Denver Broncos 42–10[8] after starting the game in a 10–0 deficit, the largest come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl history, which was tied by the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV, who trailed the Indianapolis Colts 10-0 after the 1st quarter, and won 31-17. This game is more famous for the stellar performance by quarterback Doug Williams who passed for four touchdowns in the second quarter en route to becoming the first black quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory.[31] Rookie running back Timmy Smith had a great performance as well, running for a Super Bowl record 204 0[convert: unknown unit].[31]

The Redskins returned to the playoffs in 1990 as a wild card team, but lost in the Divisional playoffs to the 49ers, 28–10.[8]

The 1991 season started with a franchise-record with 11 straight victories.[32] Also during the season, "The Hogs" allowed a league low and franchise record nine sacks — the third lowest total in NFL history.[32] After posting a 14–2 record, the Redskins made and dominated the playoffs, beating the Falcons and Lions by a combined score of 64–17.[8] On January 26, 1992, the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI by defeating the Buffalo Bills 37–24.[8] After the Super Bowl, the Redskins set another franchise record by sending eight players to the Pro Bowl.[32]

The Redskins success in 1992 culminated in a trip to the playoffs as a wild card team, but they lost in the Divisional playoffs to the 49ers, 20–13.[8] The most impressive feat during the season occurred on October 12, 1992, when Art Monk became the NFL's all-time leading pass receiver against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football by catching his 820th career reception.[32] The era ended on March 5, 1993, when Joe Gibbs retired after twelve years of coaching with the Redskins.[32] In what proved to be a temporary retirement, Gibbs pursued an interest in NASCAR by founding Joe Gibbs Racing.[33]

Franchise Downturn 1993-present

During the years 1993-2010, hard times have come upon the Washington Redskins franchise. While they still retain a very large and dedicated fan base, the team has only seen 3 playoff victories in 6 appearances. After the 1992 retirement of famed head coach Joe Gibbs, the Redskins fell into a tailspin. Since 1993, the Redskins have had 8 different head coaches, including a 4 year stint with former coach Gibbs from 2004-2007. Many fans place the direct blame on the Redskins' poor performance on owner Dan Snyder, who along with former general manager and friend of Snyder, Vinny Cerrato were together in control of the team for 10 of the past 17 years. Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer (2001) was fired at the end of his first season as head coach with an 8-8 record and subsequently Cerrato was re-hired. Other controversial issues involving Snyder were the 2009 banning of signs at Fedex Field because of their negative nature toward the owner, and the 2009 suing, in which team owner Dan Snyder sued unemployed season ticket holders who backed out of contracts because they could not afford them. In the trial, Snyder sued multiple season ticket holders for multiple years of future payment. The season ticket holders could not afford lawyers and were made to pay over $66,000 each..

End of RFK (1993–96)

After the end of Gibbs' first tenure, the Redskins hired former Redskins player Richie Petitbon for the 1993 season. However, his first and only year as head coach, the Redskins finished with a record of 4–12.[13] Petitbon was fired at the end of the season and on February 2, 1994, Norv Turner was hired as head coach after being the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.[32] On October 9, 1994, linebacker Monte Coleman played in his 206th career game with the Redskins, which broke Art Monk's team record for games played (Coleman retired at season's end with 216 games played).[32] On March 13, 1996, Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, and Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry signed a contract that paved the way for the immediate start of construction for the new home of the Redskins (now FedExField).[32] On December 22, 1996, the Redskins played their final game at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, a victory over the Dallas Cowboys 37–10, and finished their tenure at the stadium with a 173–102–3 record, including 11–1 in the playoffs.[32]

Death of Jack Kent Cooke and the beginning of FedExField (1997–98)

On April 6, 1997, Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke died of congestive heart failure at the age of 84.[32] In his will, Cooke left the Redskins to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, with instructions that the foundation sell the team. His estate, headed by son John Kent Cooke, took over ownership of the Redskins and at his memorial service, John Kent Cooke announced that the new stadium in Landover, Maryland will be named Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.[32] On September 14, 1997, the Redskins played in their new stadium for the first time, and beat the Arizona Cardinals, 19–13 in overtime.[32] On November 23, 1997, they played the New York Giants and the result was a 7–7 tie, the Redskins first tie game since the 1971 season. The result was a 8–7–1 record, and the Redskins missed the playoffs for a fifth season in a row. One bright spot during the season, however, occurred on December 13, 1997, when Darrell Green played in his 217th career game as a Redskin, breaking Monte Coleman's record for games played.[32]

The 1998 season started with a seven-game losing streak,[34] and the Redskins finished with a 6–10 record.

Daniel Snyder becomes Owner (1999–present)


After two seasons, John Kent Cooke was unable to raise sufficient funds to permanently purchase the Redskins, and on May 25, 1999, Daniel Snyder gained unanimous approval (31-0) from league owners and bought the franchise for $800 million,[32] a deal that was the most expensive team-purchasing deal in sporting history.[35] One of his first acts as team owner occurred on November 21, 1999, when he sold the naming-rights to Jack Kent Cooke Stadium to the highest bidder, Federal Express, who renamed the stadium FedExField.[32]

In Snyder's first season as owner, the Redskins went 10–6,[13] including a four-game winning streak early in the season,[36] and made it to the playoffs for the first time in Norv Turner's career, and the first time for the Redskins since 1992 in the final game of the season, on January 2, 2000, against the Dolphins. Running back Stephen Davis rushed for a club-record 1,405 0[convert: unknown unit] and quarterback Brad Johnson completed a club-record 316 passes and threw for more than 4,000 0[convert: unknown unit] in regular play that season.[37] They then beat the Detroit Lions in the first round of the playoffs, but lost to the Buccaneers, 14–13.

The 2000 season started with the selection of future Pro Bowler Chris Samuels and the Tumultuous LaVar Arrington in the 2000 NFL Draft and included five consecutive wins in the first half of the season.[38] However, they ended up going 7–6, and on December 4, 2000, Norv Turner was fired as head coach.[37] Terry Robiskie was named interim coach to finish out the season,[37] which ended with an 8–8 record.[13] During the final game of the season on December 24, 2000, Larry Centers became the NFL's all-time leader in catches by a running back with 685 receptions.[37]


On January 3, 2001, the Redskins hired former Browns and Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer as head coach.[37] The 2001 season began with a loss to the San Diego Chargers, 30–3, two days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. On September 13, 2001, the Redskins announced the establishment of the Redskins Relief Fund to help families of the victims of the attack at the Pentagon. During the course of the season, the Redskins raised more than $700,000.[37] They finished the season with an 8–8 record[13] and Schottenheimer was fired after the final game.

The Washington Redskins face the New York Giants in 2003.

On January 14, 2002, Snyder hired University of Florida coach Steve Spurrier,[37] the Redskins' fifth new head coach in ten years. They finished with a 7–9 record, their first losing season since 1998.[13] A bittersweet moment during the season occurred on December 29, 2002, when Darrell Green concluded his 20th and final season as the Redskins defeated the Cowboys 20–14 at FedExField. During his twenty seasons, he set a NFL record for consecutive seasons with at least one interception (19) and a Redskins team record for regular season games played (295) and started (258).[37]

The Redskins finished the 2003 season with a 5–11 record, their worst since 1994.[13] The one bright note of the season was on December 7, 2003, when defensive end Bruce Smith sacked Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer in the fourth quarter. With his 199th career sack, broke Reggie White's all-time NFL mark (Smith finished the season with 200 career sacks).[37] After two mediocre years, Spurrier resigned after the 2003 season with three years left on his contract.

Return of Joe Gibbs (2004–2007)

For the 2004 season, Snyder successfully lured former coach Joe Gibbs away from NASCAR to return as head coach and team president. His employment came with a promise of decreased intervention in football operations from Snyder.[39] Snyder also expanded FedEx Field to a league-high capacity of 91,665 seats. Gibbs's return to the franchise did not pay instant dividends as the Redskins finished the 2004 season with a record of 6 wins and 10 losses.

Despite an impressive defense, the team struggled offensively. Quarterback Mark Brunell—an off-season acquisition from the Jacksonville Jaguars—struggled in his first season, and was replaced midway through the season by backup Patrick Ramsey. On the other hand, some of Gibbs's other new signings, such as cornerback Shawn Springs and linebacker Marcus Washington, did very well. The Redskins also picked Sean Taylor from University of Miami during the draft in Gibbs's first season.

Partly because owner Dan Snyder has turned the Redskins into the greatest revenue producer in pro football[citation needed], he has spent a lot of money on free agents. These moves did not work out well in the beginning (Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders), but the quality of free agents signed under Coach Gibbs improved by signing or trading for stars such as Cornelius Griffin, Santana Moss, and Clinton Portis.


During the 2005 offseason, the Redskins traded back WR Laveranues Coles to the New York Jets and acquired WR Santana Moss in return.

The Redskins used their first pick of the 2005 NFL Draft on Auburn University cornerback Carlos Rogers. The Redskins used their next first round draft pick (acquired from the Denver Broncos) on Auburn Quarterback Jason Campbell. The rest of their picks included UCLA fullback Manuel White, Jr., Louisville linebacker Robert McCune, Stanford linebacker Jared Newberry, and Citadel College fullback Nehemiah Broughton.

Hoping to improve on the previous season's dismal passing attack, Coach Gibbs added former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave as his quarterbacks coach. For the first time under Gibbs, the Redskins offense utilized the shotgun formation.

The team won its first three games, including a Monday Night Football victory over Dallas, but then fell into a slump, including three straight losses in November, which lessened the chances of the team making the playoffs. However, five consecutive victories at the end of the season allowed Washington to finish the season at 10-6, qualifying for the playoffs as a wild card team. They opened the playoffs on the road against the NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, January 7, 2006. They won the rematch by a final score of 17-10,[8] after taking an early 14-0 lead, which they later seemed to have squandered until replay evidence showed that an apparent touchdown that would have tied the game was in fact an incomplete pass. In that game, the Redskins broke the record for fewest offensive yards (120) gained in a playoff victory, with one of their two touchdowns being from a defensive run after a fumble recovery. The following weekend, they played the Seattle Seahawks, who had received a first round bye. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 20-10,[8] ending the Redskins' hopes of reaching their first NFC Championship Game since 1991.

Three team records were broken during the 2005 season. Clinton Portis set the Redskins record for rushing yards in a season with 1,516 yards, breaking Stephen Davis's 2001 mark of 1,432 yards and Santana Moss's 1,483 receiving yards broke Bobby Mitchell's 1963 record of 1,436 yards. Chris Cooley's 71 receptions broke Jerry Smith's season record for a Redskins tight end.


Redskins' safety Sean Taylor

The inconsistency of the offense during the 2005 season resulted in Gibbs hiring offensive coordinator Al Saunders as the Associate Head Coach - Offense. Saunders came from a similar background as Gibbs through being mentored under Don Coryell and was thought to be able to make the offense become more efficient. Saunders would serve as the primary playcaller. Because of this, it was believed that Gibbs would have the role of Head Coach/CEO with the Redskins in 2006 and would largely deal with personnel matters, as well as having more time to focus on special teams and defense, while Saunders would supplement Gibbs with the offense. Gibbs also added former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray to his staff as Secondary/Cornerbacks Coach. Gibbs did lose quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to the Atlanta Falcons over the summer of 2006.

After bringing in new faces Brandon Lloyd, Antwaan Randle El, Adam Archuleta and Andre Carter with lucrative contracts and lucrative bonuses in the 2005-06 offseason, expectations for the Redskins were high. The expectations would in no way be met. The Redskins struggled every week to stay close in games and hold leads. The Redskins lost a close season-opener to the Minnesota Vikings 19-16. However, the season turned for the worse quickly. The Redskins played another primetime game the very next week against the hated rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night football and fell flat on their face, losing 27-10. The Redskins seemed to turn it around after that, routing the Houston Texans 31-15 and quarterback Mark Brunell setting a then-NFL record by completing 22 consecutive passes. The Redskins then defeated the highly regarded Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime 36-30. However, this 2-game win streak would be the high point. The Redskins entered the next week favored over the slumping rival New York Giants and fell again, being demolished 19-3. The Redskins then hosted the winless Tennessee Titans at home, and lost 25-22, allowing Vince Young to win his first career start. After a loss to Indianapolis Colts, the Redskins returned home for a second jab at the Cowboys. The Redskins rallied to tie the game at 19-19. However, the Cowboys were on their way to victory and lined up for a 38-yard field-goal attempt by renowned kicker Mike Vanderjagt. When the kick went up, it was blocked and returned by Sean Taylor to the Cowboys 47 yard line as time expired, apparently sending the game to overtime, but a facemask on Dallas allowed newly signed kicker Nick Novak attempt a 49-yard field goal on an untimed down. He squeezed it through the uprights and the Redskins won the game 22-19. The next week, the Redskins traveled to Philadelphia to take on the rival Philadelphia Eagles and fell flat again, falling 27-3. After this, Joe Gibbs replaced Brunell with young quarterback Jason Campbell. The Redskins continued to lose games by close margins and blow late leads, winning only two of its final 7 games, and finishing the season 5-11, last in the NFC East.

Analysts differ on exactly why the 2006 season was such a failure. Some point to free agent signings such as strong safety Adam Archuleta and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Others point to the disconnect between the offensive philosophies of Gibbs and Saunders: Gibbs preferring a power-running scheme while Saunders desired an aggressive pass-oriented style. Many looked to the breakdowns in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams's system, while some point to specific player breakdowns in the porous secondary such as the struggles of defensive backs, allowing a league high 30 TD passes, and accumulating an NFL low 6 interceptions. The defense went from 7th overall in 2005 to 29th in 2006.


Redskins' running back Clinton Portis, 2007

The 2007 Washington Redskins season was the team's 75th season, and saw the team achieve a record of 9–7 and a playoff appearance. This was an improvement over the 2006 season in which they went 5–11 and finished last in the NFC East.

The Redskins began the 2007 season by "winning ugly" starting the season off 2–0. The Redskins kept winning and losing close games, the only exception to this a 34–3 rout of the Detroit Lions. The Redskins continued to win ugly and lose ugly to be 5–3 at the halfway mark. However, the Redskins would begin to collapse. The Washington Redskins lost their next three games to fall to 5–6. On Monday, November 26, 2007, Redskins superstar, Sean Taylor was shot by intruders early in the morning in his Miami home. The next morning, Sean Taylor died from severe blood loss.[40] The heartbreak continued for the Washington Redskins, taking a 9–2 halftime lead against the Buffalo Bills, and eventually a 16–5 lead. However, the Bills cut the lead to 16–14, and got into position with just 8 seconds remaining to win the game. In an attempt to ice the kicker, head coach Joe Gibbs called timeout. However, he attempted to re-ice him, and called timeout again, which drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, reducing the field goal from 51 yards to 36, and Bills kicker Rian Lindell nailed it with ease. Following the heartbreaking loss, the Redskins attended Sean Taylor's funeral two days later, with a game to play on Thursday night against the Chicago Bears. The bad news continued, as quarterback Jason Campbell went down for the season with a knee injury. Following this, unlikely hero and backup quarterback Todd Collins led the Redskins to the victory, keeping their playoff hopes alive. Things continued to turn in the right direction behind Collins, who led the Redskins to a 22-10 victory on Sunday Night Football over the New York Giants and routs of the Minnesota Vikings and rival Dallas Cowboys in the final two weeks to propel the Redskins to 9–7 and the final playoff spot in the NFL playoffs.

The Washington Redskins trailed 13–0 entering the 4th quarter to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Playoffs, but rallied back to take a 14–13 lead, but Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham missed a field goal later in the game, and the Seahawks scored on the next drive and converted the two-point conversion. To close the game, Todd Collins threw two interceptions, each returned for touchdowns, and the Redskins fell 35–14.

Zorn era (2008-09)

Redskins' wide receiver Santana Moss, 2008

The Washington Redskins looked to return to the playoffs in 2008 but could not, finishing 8–8. After Joe Gibbs announced his retirement, Jim Zorn was hired as head coach, and brought in a West Coast Offense.

The season started about as well as it could have, as the Washington Redskins started the season 6–2, with their two losses coming by a combined 11 points to the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams. Furthermore, Redskins star Clinton Portis led the NFL in rushing yards and Jason Campbell was just 40 pass attempts away from breaking Bernie Kosar's record of consecutive passes to start the season without an interception. However, the downturn began on the eve of the 2008 Presidential Election, being routed 23–6 by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Clinton Portis' injuries finally caught up to him. The Redskins continued to struggle, falling all the way to 7–7, with their only win a 3-point victory of the then-2–8 Seattle Seahawks, who were at that point 3–11. Despite this, their fast start ballooned them and thus were still barely breathing, but they needed help. The Washington Redskins upset the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, but were eliminated by the Atlanta Falcons due to their 24–17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings that same week. The Redskins lost the final game of the season 27–24 to the San Francisco 49ers, despite having a 17–7 lead at halftime, losing on a Joe Nedney field goal as time expired.


The Redskins signed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a 7-year, $100 million contract in the offseason. They also signed cornerback DeAngelo Hall to a 6-year, $54 million contract. Hall had joined the team for the final seven games of the 2008 season after being released by the Oakland Raiders.

The Redskins also signed offensive guard Derrick Dockery to a 5-year deal, bringing him back to the team that drafted him in 2003. In the 2009 NFL Draft the Redskins, with the 13th pick overall, drafted defensive end Brian Orakpo out of Texas. They also released two veterans, offensive tackle Jon Jansen and wide receiver/kick returner James Thrash. In addition the Redskins selected University of Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon in the third round of the supplemental draft.

After starting the season 2-3 with all-winless opponents, the Redskins hired former NFL offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis as an offensive consultant. Following a close loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Lewis was promoted to playcalling duties with coach Jim Zorn was stripped of those duties. Despite huge controversy of the job security of coach Zorn, Vinny Cerrato had stated that Zorn will be the coach of the Redskins for the remainder of the season. However, Zorn and Campbell would outlast Cerrato himself, as he resigned after Week 14. Three days before the Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants, the Redskins hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen. Despite the fanfare surrounding the Redskins after hiring the son of George Allen, the man who began the winning tradition in Washington, the Redskins were routed 45-12, being swept by the Giants for the third time in four years.

The Redskins finished their 2009 season on January 3, 2010 with a 23-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers. The next day, in the early morning, head coach Jim Zorn was fired. They finished with the 2009 season with a 4-12 record.

Arrival of Mike Shanahan and Eventual Rebuilding

On January 5, 2010 Mike Shanahan agreed to a 5-year contract with the Redskins and announced that he will bring his son, Kyle, from Houston to be offensive coordinator, and ex-NFL Head Coach, Jim Haslett for the defensive coordinator position.[41] Other major changes in the coaching staff included retirement of long-time offensive line coach Joe Bugel and defensive coordinator Greg Blache. Jim Haslett made a major change to the defensive scheme, switching from the traditional 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense, a move which drastically changed the Redskins' plans for defensive personnel.[42] Ahead of free agency, General Manager Bruce Allen cut 10 players off the roster, including notables Antwaan Randle El and Fred Smoot.[43]

Early in his tenure at Washington, Mike Shanahan entered into a heated controversy with star defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. Hayneesworth, unhappy with his position of nose tackle in the new 3-4 defense, refused to attend early training camps and showed up to preseason practice out of shape. Shanahan refused to let Haynesworth practice unless at preseason camp unless he passed a fitness test first. Haynesworth was unable to pass this test for several weeks during which the divide between he and Shanahan grew deeper. To this point Haynesworth's contribution on the field in the 3-4 has been nominal and his relationship with Shanahan seems irrevocable. On December 7, 2010 Haynesworth was suspended for the last four games of the season for conduct detrimental to the team, after he told General Manager Bruce Allen that he refused to speak to Coach Shanahan after Shanahan made Haynesworth inactive Week 13 for poor practice the week prior. Coach Mike Shanahan said the suspension followed a refusal by Albert Haynesworth to cooperate in a series of ways and not only because of the practice absence.

On April 4, 2010, the team acquired pro bowl QB Donovan McNabb from their division rival, Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a second round pick in the 2010 draft and a third or fourth round pick in 2011. On April 22, 2010, in the 2010 NFL Draft, the team selected All-American Oklahoma Tackle Trent Williams with the 4th overall pick. Also during the 2010 draft, they traded their former starting QB Jason Campbell to the Oakland Raiders for a 2012 fourth round draft pick.

The Redskins played in their season opener at FedEx Field, winning the game 13-7 against the Dallas Cowboys on September 12, 2010. The game was also Coach Shanahan's debut with the team.[44]

On October 24, 2010, during a game at Soldier Field playing against the Chicago Bears, DeAngelo Hall tied a team pass interception record with Redskins legend Sammy Baugh. The Redskins would go on to win the game 17-14.

On December 17; only three days before the Redskins traveled to Dallas, Coach Shanahan announced that McNabb would no longer be the starting quarterback, and he was benched in favor of Rex Grossman. McNabb would be the third string quarterback for the remainder of the season. Shanahan also reportedly told McNabb that he could not guarantee that McNabb would be with the team next year. In the game against Dallas, Grossman threw for 322 yards, 4 touchdowns and even 2 2pt conversions, yet he turned the ball over three times. It was not enough, however, to overcome the Cowboys who won 33-30.

The Redskins finished the season with a 6-10 record.


At the conclusion of the 2010 Season, Mike Shanahan stated that The Redskins were going to revamp their roster in the coming offseason via trades, free agency and the draft. It is widely believed and reported that The Redskins are in a rebuilding process. The general consensus is that Shanahan wishes to reduce the age of the roster, and after a quiet salary cap purge during the 2010 Season by Bruce Allen, the team has many options going into a very promising rebuilding process. On February 28th , after finishing the last three seasons on IR, the Redskins released Clinton Portis, due to the $8 million he was scheduled to make next season. The Redskins then released veteran Guard Derrick Dockery and Linebacker Andre Carter. On March 3rd, the Redskins signed O.J Atogwe to a 5 year contract.

Logos and uniforms

Washington Redskins uniform combinations

Redskins logo 1965-1969

Redskins logo 1982

File:Washington Redskins logo.svg.png

Redskins logo 1972-1981, 1983-present

The Washington Redskins' primary colors are burgundy and gold. The Redskins' current basic uniform design was introduced by coach Jack Pardee in 1979. From 1961 through 1978, the Redskins wore gold pants with both the burgundy and white jerseys, although details of the jerseys and pants changed a few times during this period. Gold face masks were introduced in 1978 and remain to this day; previous to that they were grey. From the start of the Joe Gibbs era until 2010, the Redskins were one of three NFL teams that primarily wear their white jerseys at home (the others being the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins; though the Dolphins, who do so because the warm weather that causes many teams to wear white early in the season exists year-round in South Florida, traditionally wear dark jerseys at night). The tradition of wearing white jerseys over burgundy pants at home, which is considered the "classic" look, was started by Joe Gibbs when he took over as coach in 1981. Gibbs was an assistant for the San Diego Chargers in 1979 and 1980, and the Chargers wore white at home during the tenure of coach Don Coryell in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Their burgundy jersey is primarily used when the opposing team decides to wear white at home, which comes mostly against the Dallas Cowboys and occasionally the Philadelphia Eagles, and is normally worn over white pants. It is also worn on the road against other teams that like to wear white at home for games occurring early in a particular season. From 1981 through 2000, the Redskins wore their white jerseys over burgundy pants at home almost exclusively. In 1994, as part of a league-wide celebration of the NFL's 75th Anniversary, during certain games the Redskins wore special uniforms which emulated the uniforms worn by the team in its inaugural season as the Washington Redskins, 1937. Both worn over gold pants, the burgundy jerseys featured gold numbers bordered in white and the white jerseys featured burgundy numbers bordered in gold. The most distinctive feature of both colors of the jersey was the patches worn on both sleeves, which were a reproduction of the patches worn on the full-length sleeves of the 1937 jerseys. Worn with these uniforms was a plain burgundy helmet with a gold facemask. In 2001, the Redskins wore burgundy for all home games in preseason and regular season per a decision by Marty Schottenheimer, their coach for that year. In 2002, the team celebrated the passing of 70 years since its creation as the Boston Braves in 1932, and wore a special home uniform of burgundy jersey over gold pants which roughly resembled the home uniforms used from 1969-1978. The helmets used with this special home uniform during that year were a reproduction of the helmets used by the team from 1965-69.[45] This special home uniform was also worn during one game in 2003. In 2004, when Joe Gibbs became the coach of the Redskins once again, the team switched back to wearing white jerseys at home - in Gibbs's 16 years as head coach, the team never wore burgundy jerseys at home.

Their white jerseys have provided three basic color combinations, two of which have been previously alluded to in this article. The last combination consists of both white jerseys and pants. That particular combination surfaced in the first game of the 2003 season, when the team was coached by Steve Spurrier, during a nationally televised game against the New York Jets, which led many sports fans and Redskins faithful alike to point out that they had never seen that particular combination before. That year the Redskins wore it two more times. That look didn't appear again until midway through the 2005 season when the Redskins wore it in a road game against the St. Louis Rams. The Redskins won six straight games, including one in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wearing that combination and the local media jokingly pointed out that the reason the Redskins were winning was their use of the white over white combination. In the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the eventual 2005 NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, the Redskins wore the all-white uniforms, in hopes that they could keep their streak going; however, they lost 20-10. The Redskins continued to wear the white jerseys and white pants into the 2006 preseason. In the 2006 season, the Redskins started wearing black cleats, something that hadn't been done for quite a while. It was a surprise because they wore white cleats during the preseason. They would have to wear that color for the rest of the season, because the NFL usually asks teams to choose either black or white cleats to be worn throughout the season.

After the white-over-white period which lasted from the mid/late 2005 season into 2006, the classic uniform of white jerseys over burgundy pants reappeared on November 26, 2006, in a home game against the Carolina Panthers. The decision to return to the classic look may have symbolized a desire by the team to turn a new page on their 2006 season, which had been very lackluster previous to that game, the period of success with the white jerseys over white pants having come to an end the previous season. The move may have also been related to the fact that this home game was the second start and first home start of second-year quarterback Jason Campbell, and that the game and the previous week's game were, in the hopes and perceptions of many Redskins fans, the start of the "Jason Campbell era." The Redskins went on to win that game against Carolina, preserving slim hopes of the team's being able to make it to the 2006 playoffs, although they ultimately missed the playoffs.

Redskins 75th anniversary uniform: 2007

In celebration of the franchise's 75th anniversary, the Redskins wore a special throwback uniform for the September 23, 2007 home game against the New York Giants. Players wore a white jersey (in keeping with Gibbs's exclusive use of the color, whereas most other NFL throwback jerseys tend to be dark) with burgundy and gold stripes on the sleeves and the 75th anniversary logo on the left chest. The pants were gold, with white and burgundy stripes down the side. The helmet was yellow-colored with a burgundy "R" logo. The helmet and uniform styles (besides the anniversary patch) were the same as the ones the franchise used during the 1970-71 seasons. While this throwback uniform was worn during a home game, it was actually the away uniform for 1970-71. (The helmet was discontinued after the 1971 season, while this basic away uniform design, minus the helmet, was used through the 1978 season, as well as during the 1969 season.) The legendary Vince Lombardi, who coached the Redskins in 1969 before passing away during the 1970 pre-season, was the inspiration behind the helmet. Lombardi pushed for the logo, which sat inside a white circle enclosed within a burgundy circle border, with Indian feathers hanging down from the side, because of its similarity to the "G" on the helmets worn by his Green Bay Packers for many years.

On September 14, 2008, Week 2 and game two for the team of the 2008 season, the Redskins again donned the white-on-white look, reminiscent of the successful stretch at the end of the 2005 season.

On November 3, 2008, the Redskins wore burgundy jerseys over their burgundy pants in a Monday night home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers the night before the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. The Redskins lost the game, 23-6.[46] It was the first time the Redskins went with the dark "monochrome" look that many NFL teams have adopted in some form over the past few years. This uniform combination made a reappearance in 2009 against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on November 22 and a home Monday night game against the New York Giants on December 21.

The Redskins, after wearing white exclusively in the '80s and '90s, have since 2001 occasionally reverted to using their burgundy jerseys for home games during the later weeks of the season, but will still wear white against the Dallas Cowboys. In 2010, however, the team wore burgundy jerseys matched with gold pants for all regular season home games (with two exceptions, vs Green Bay and Tampa Bay), including the game hosting the Dallas Cowboys.[47] In Philadelphia on October 3, with the Eagles wearing white at home, the team wore white pants with their burgundy jerseys - and did the same at when visiting Dallas in December. Against Tennessee on November 21, the "new" gold pants were matched with the white jerseys for the first time - the same combination would be worn against the Giants two weeks later, but the burgundy pants returned for the final white-jersey game against Jacksonville on December 26.

Native American mascot controversy

Some people consider the namesake and logo of the Washington Redskins insensitive towards Native Americans.[48] There have been movements by certain groups to change the name,[49] but the attempts have been unsuccessful. Others[who?] make the case in defense that the Redskins name is intended to honor the bravery and dignity of Native Americans and that, regardless of past usage, the word redskins today refers to the football team. Notwithstanding the protests of activists, a 2002 poll commissioned by Sports Illustrated found that 75% of those Native Americans surveyed had no objection to the Redskins name.[50] The results of the poll have been criticized by Native American activists due to Sports Illustrated's refusal to provide polling information (i.e. how participants were recruited and contacted, if they were concentrated in one region, if one ethnic group is over represented and the exact wording and order of questions).[51][52] But in 2004, a poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania essentially confirmed the prior poll's findings, concluding that 91% of the American Indians surveyed in the 48 states on the mainland USA found the name acceptable and setting out in detail the exact wording of the questions.[53]

In 1992, a group of Native Americans led by Suzan Harjo filed Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc. to have the United States trademarks associated with the Redskins name cancelled under statutes which prevent registration of disparaging terms. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in 1999 ruled in favor of the petition and cancelled the trademarks. Following appeals, in 2005 the D.C. Court of Appeals in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Harjo reversed the cancellation, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to support the finding of disparagement and holding that the majority of the petitioners were barred by laches from maintaining the suit.[54] Had the cancellation of the trademark been successful, the team could have still used the name, and it still would have had enforceable trademark rights under state and local law. It would thus have been able to prevent others from using its marks on promotional goods, such as jackets and caps. It would, however, have lost various benefits of federal trademark registration, such as the ability to enlist the aid of the U.S. Customs Service to seize infringing imports at the border. On May 15, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed an earlier ruling that the Native Americans had waited too long to challenge the trademark. The trademark was registered in 1967. Native Americans successfully got the court to reconsider based on the fact the one of the plaintiffs, Mateo Romero, was only 1 year old in 1967 and turned 18 in 1984. The court decision affirmed that, even accepting the 1984 date, the Native Americans had still waited too long for the 1992 challenge.[55] In November 2009, in Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc., Case No. 09-326, the U.S. Supreme Court declined certiorari and refused to hear the Native American group's appeal.

Season-by-season records

Record vs. opponents

  • See List of Washington Redskins opponents

Cowboys rivalry

The Cowboys–Redskins rivalry is a sports rivalry between two professional American football teams in the NFL that have won 31 combined division titles and ten World Championships, including eight combined Super Bowls.[56] The rivalry started in 1960 when the Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team.[57] During that year they were in separate conferences, but played once during the season. In 1961, Dallas was placed in the same division as the Redskins, and from that point on, they have played each other twice during every regular season.

Texas oil tycoon Clint Murchison, Jr. was having a hard time bringing an NFL team to Dallas, Texas. In 1958, Murchison heard that George Preston Marshall, owner of the Washington Redskins, was eager to sell the team. Just as the sale was about to be finalized, Marshall called for a change in terms. Murchison was outraged and canceled the whole deal.[58] Around this time, Marshall had a falling out with the Redskin band director, Barnee Breeskin. Breeskin had written the music to the Redskins fight song, now a staple at the stadium.[58] He wanted revenge after the failed negotiations with Marshall. He approached Tom Webb, Murchison’s lawyer, and sold the rights for $2,500.[58] Murchison then decided to create his own team, with the support of NFL expansion committee chairman, George Halas. Halas decided to put the proposition of a Dallas franchise before the NFL owners, which needed to have unanimous approval in order to pass. The only owner against the proposal was George Preston Marshall. However, Marshall found out that Murchison owned the rights to Washington's fight song, so a deal was finally struck. If Marshall showed his approval of the Dallas franchise, Murchison would return the song. The Cowboys were then founded and began playing in 1960.[58]

Players of note

Current roster

Washington Football Team current rosterview · talk · edit

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

  • 10 Antonio Gandy-Golden
  • 10 Dontrelle Inman
  • 17 Terry McLaurin
  • 89 Cam Sims
  • 15 Steven Sims RS
  • 83 Isaiah Wright

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

  • 52 Ryan Anderson OLB
  • 93 Jonathan Allen DE
  • 98 Matt Ioannidis DE
  • 91 Ryan Kerrigan OLB
  • 94 Daron Payne NT
  • 97 Tim Settle NT
  • 96 James Smith-Williams DE
  • 90 Montez Sweat OLB
  • 99 Chase Young DE
  • 53 Jon Bostic MLB
  • 58 Thomas Davis, Sr. OLB
  • 51 Shaun Dion Hamilton OLB
  • 55 Cole Holcomb MLB
  • 47 Khaleke Hudson OLB
  • 54 Kevin Pierre-Louis OLB

Defensive Backs

  • 30 Troy Apke FS
  • 26 Landon Collins SS
  • 31 Kamren Curl FS
  • 23 Ronald Darby CB
  • 22 Deshazor Everett SS
  • 29 Kendall Fuller CB
  • 32 Danny Johnson CB
  • 25 Fabian Moreau CB
  • 20 Jimmy Moreland CB
  • 37 Greg Stroman CB
Special Teams

Reserve Lists

  • 96 Caleb Brantley DT
  • 56 Reuben Foster LB (IR) Injury icon 2.svg.png
  • 80 Emanuel Hall WR (NF-Inj.) Injury icon 2.svg.png
  • 13 Kelvin Harmon WR (NF-Inj.) Injury icon 2.svg.png
  • 40 Josh Harvey-Clemons OLB
  • 69 Michael Liedtke G (IR) Injury icon 2.svg.png
  • 46 Thaddeus Moss TE (IR) Injury icon 2.svg.png
  • 75 Brandon Scherff G (IR) Injury icon 2.svg.png
  • 14 Jordan Veasy WR (IR) Injury icon 2.svg.png

Practice Squad

Restricted FAs

  • currently vacant

Unrestricted FAs

  • Currently vacant

Exclusive-Rights FAs

  • currently vacant

Rookies in italics
Roster updated September 24, 2020
Depth ChartTransactions

More rosters

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Washington Redskins inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Number Name Positions Seasons Number Name Positions Seasons
9 SONNY JURGENSEN QB 1964–1974 17 TURK EDWARDS OT-DT 1932–1940
20 CLIFF BATTLES RB-CB 1932–1937 26 Paul Krause S 1964–1967
27 KEN HOUSTON S 1973–1980 28 DARRELL GREEN CB 1983–2002
33 SAMMY BAUGH QB-S-P 1937–1952 35 BILL DUDLEY RB-CB 1950–1953
40 WAYNE MILLNER TE-DE 1936–1941 42 CHARLEY TAYLOR WR 1964–1977
44 JOHN RIGGINS RB 1976–1985 49 BOBBY MITCHELL RB 1962–1968
68 RUSS GRIMM G 1981–1991 70 SAM HUFF LB 1964–1969
73 Stan Jones DT 1966 75 Deacon Jones DE 1974
78 Bruce Smith DE 2000–2003 81 ART MONK WR 1980–1993
55 CHRIS HANBURGER LB 1965–1978 21 Deion Sanders CB 2000
Number Name Positions Seasons Number Name Positions Seasons
GEORGE ALLEN Head coach 1971–1977 RAY FLAHERTY Head coach 1936–1942
JOE GIBBS Head coach 1981–1992, 2004–2007 Otto Graham Head coach 1966–1968
Curly Lambeau Head coach 1952–1953 Vince Lombardi Head coach 1969
GEORGE PRESTON MARSHALL Owner & founder 1932–1969 Mike McCormack Assistant coach 1965–1972
Emmitt Thomas Assistant coach 1986-94

Note: Names that are all capitalized are Hall of Famers who have made significant contributions to the organization.

Retired numbers

Unofficial retired numbers

The Redskins' policy since Baugh's retirement has been to not retire numbers. However, some numbers are unofficially retired and are usually withheld from being assigned to new players. The following numbers of past Redskin greats fall into that category.

The use of unofficial retired numbers drew controversy during Steve Spurrier's first year as head coach.[59] Quarterbacks Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews first wore 7 and 9 respectively during training camp. The resulting sports talk furor led to them switching to 17 and 6.[59] During the season, reserve tight end Leonard Stephens wore number 49 for the season. After his retirement as assistant GM, Bobby Mitchell blasted the team, accusing late owners Edward Bennett Williams and Jack Kent Cooke of racism for not being considered for GM and was upset that the team would let a player like Leonard Stephens wear his number.[60]

Washington Hall of Stars

The Washington Hall of Stars is a series of banners hanging at RFK Stadium honoring D.C. performers from all sports. It was previously located on a series of white-and-red signs ringing the face of the stadium's mezzanine level. Another version hangs on a large sign on one of the parking garages at Nationals Park. The Redskins honored on it include Hall-of-Famers Allen, Battles, Baugh, Dudley, Houston, Huff, Jurgensen, Marshall, Millner, Mitchell, Riggins, and Taylor; "retired number" honorees Brown, Monk, Moseley, and Theismann; and the following:

Despite having been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Turk Edwards, Ray Flaherty, Joe Gibbs, and Paul Krause are not on the Hall of Stars banners. Edwards, Flaherty, and Gibbs had been honored on signs on the prior version of the Hall of Stars.

Redskins Ring of Fame

When the Redskins moved out of RFK Stadium, the signs commemorating the Washington Hall of Stars were left behind and the team began a new tradition of honoring Redskins greats via the "Ring of Fame," a set of signs on the upper level facade at FedEx Field. Unlike the Hall of Stars, which honors historical greats from all sports, the Ring of Fame is limited to honoring Redskins greats. The following is a list of members of the Ring of Fame:[61][62]

The 70 Greatest Redskins

Mark May, offensive lineman for the Redskins between 1981 and 1989, was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins.[63]

In honor of the Redskins' 70th anniversary, on June 13, 2002, a panel selected the 70 Greatest Redskins to honor the players and coaches who were significant on-field contributors to the Redskins five championships and rich history. They were honored in a weekend of festivities, including a special halftime ceremony during the Redskins' 26–21 win over the Indianapolis Colts.[64]

The panel that chose the 70 consisted of former news anchor Bernard Shaw; former player Bobby Mitchell; Senator George Allen (son of coach George Allen); broadcaster Ken Beatrice; Noel Epstein, editor for the Washington Post; former diplomat Joseph J. Sisco; Phil Hochberg, who retired in 2001 after 38 years as team stadium announcer; Pro Football Hall of Fame historian Joe Horrigan; sportscaster George Michael; sports director Andy Pollin; NFL Films president Steven Sabol; and news anchor Jim Vance.[64]

The list includes three head coaches and 67 players, of which 41 were offensive players, 23 defensive players and three special teams players.[64]

Among the 70 Greatest, there are 92 Super Bowl appearances, with 47 going once and 45 playing in more than one. Twenty-nine members possess one Super Bowl ring and 26 have more than one. Also, before the Super Bowl, members of the 70 made 18 World Championship appearances including six that participated in the Redskins' NFL Championship victories in 1937 and 1942.[64]

# Name Position Years
21 Terry Allen RB 1995–98
41 Mike Bass CB 1969–75
20 Cliff Battles B 1932–37
33 Sammy Baugh QB 1937–52
31 Don Bosseler B 1957–64
53 Jeff Bostic C 1980–93
4 Mike Bragg P 1968–79
80 Gene Brito DE 1951–53,55–58
43 Larry Brown RB 1969–76
77 Bill Brundige DE 1970–77
65 Dave Butz DT 1975–88
21 Earnest Byner RB 1989–93
84 Gary Clark WR 1985–92
51 Monte Coleman LB 1979–94
53 Al DeMao C 1945–53
36 Chuck Drazenovich LB 1950–59
35 Bill Dudley RB 1950–51,53
17 Turk Edwards OT 1932–40
44 Andy Farkas FB 1938–44
37 Pat Fischer CB 1968–77
28 Darrell Green CB 1983–2002
68 Russ Grimm G 1981–91
55 Chris Hanburger LB 1965–78
57 Ken Harvey LB 1994–98
56 Len Hauss C 1964–77
27 Ken Houston S 1973–80
70 Sam Huff LB 1964–67,69
66 Joe Jacoby OT/G 1981–93
47 Dick James RB 1955–63
9 Sonny Jurgensen QB 1964–74
22 Charlie Justice RB 1950,52–54
17 Billy Kilmer QB 1971–78
26 Paul Krause DB 1964–67
79 Jim Lachey OT 1988–95
14 Eddie LeBaron QB 1952–53,55–59
# Name Position Years
72 Dexter Manley DE 1981–89
71 Charles Mann DE 1983–93
58 Wilber Marshall LB 1988–92
73 Mark May OT 1981–89
79 Ron McDole DE 1971–78
63 Raleigh McKenzie G 1985–94
53 Harold McLinton LB 1969–78
40 Wayne Millner E 1936–41,45
49 Bobby Mitchell FL 1962–68
30 Brian Mitchell RB 1990–99
81 Art Monk WR 1980–93
3 Mark Moseley K 1974–86
29 Mark Murphy S 1977–84
21 Mike Nelms KR 1980–84
52 Neal Olkewicz LB 1979–89
23 Brig Owens DB 1966–77
65 Vince Promuto G 1960–70
44 John Riggins RB 1976–79,81–85
11 Mark Rypien QB 1987–93
83 Ricky Sanders WR 1986–93
76 Ed Simmons OT 1987–97
87 Jerry Smith TE 1965–77
60 Dick Stanfel G 1956–58
74 George Starke OT 1973–84
72 Diron Talbert DT 1971–80
84 Hugh Taylor E 1947–54
42 Charley Taylor WR 1964–77
7 Joe Theismann QB 1974–85
67 Rusty Tillman LB 1970–77
85 Don Warren TE 1979–92
25 Joe Washington RB 1981–84
17 Doug Williams QB 1986–89
George Allen head coach 1971–77
Ray Flaherty head coach 1936–42
Joe Gibbs head coach 1981–92,04–07

All-time first-round draft picks

Coaches of note

Current staff

Washington Redskins staffv · d · e
Front Office
  • Owner – Daniel Snyder
  • General Manager/President – Bruce Allen
  • Senior Executive – A.J. Smith
  • Personnel Executive - Doug Williams
  • Vice President of Football Administration – Eric Shaffer
  • Director of Player Personnel – Scott Campbell
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Alex Santos
  • Director of Player Development – Malcolm Blacken
Head Coaches
Offensive Coaches
Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator – Ben Kotwica
  • Assistant Special Teams – Bradford Banta
Strength and Conditioning
  • Head Strength and Conditioning – Ray Wright
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Chad Englehart

Coaching Staff
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Single-season records

* NFL Record

Redskins career records

NFL records


  • The Washington Redskins have had two 14 win seasons, in both 1983 and 1991. This is sixth place all time.[72]
  • The Redskins scored 541 points in 1983, an NFL record that was surpassed by the 1998 Minnesota Vikings and again by the 2007 New England Patriots, and is still third all time.[73]
  • The Redskins' 72 points against the New York Giants on November 27, 1966, is the most points ever scored by an NFL team in a regular season game and the 72 to 41 score amounted to 113 points and the highest scoring game ever in NFL history.[73] The second half scoring for the game amounted to 65 points, the second highest point total for second half scoring and the third highest total scoring in any half in NFL history.[73] The Redskins' ten touchdowns are the most by a team in a single game and the 16 total touchdowns are the most combined for a game.[74] The Redskins' nine PATs is the second most all time for a single game and the 14 combined is the most ever in a game.[75]
  • The Redskins set a record for most first downs in a game with 39 in a game against Detroit on November 4, 1990. They also set a record by not allowing a single first down against the N.Y. Giants on September 27, 1942.[76]
  • The Redskins have led the league in passing eight times, in 1938, 1940, 1944, 1947–48, 1967, 1974, 1989. Only the San Diego Chargers have led more times.[77] The Redskins led the league in completion percentage 11 times, in 1937, 1939–1940, 1942–45, 1947–48, 1969–1970, second only to the San Francisco 49ers.[77] Their four straight years from 1942–45 is the second longest streak.
  • The Redskins' nine sacks allowed in 1991 is the third fewest allowed in a season.[77]
  • The Redskins' completed 43 passes in an overtime win against Detroit on November 4, 1990, second most all-time.[77]

The redskins have sold out every home game since 1958


  • The Redskins recovered eight opponent's fumbles against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 25, 1976, the most ever in one game.[78]
  • The Redskins' allowed 82 first downs in 1937, third fewest all-time.[79]
  • The Redskins have led the league in fewest total yards allowed five times, 1935–37, 1939, and 1946, which is the third most.[80] Their three consecutive years from 1935-37 is an NFL record.[80]
  • The Redskins have led the league in fewest passing yards allowed seven times, in 1939, 1942, 1945, 1952–53, 1980, and 1985, second only to Green Bay (10).[81]
  • The Redskins had 61 defensive turnovers in 1983, the third most all-time.[82] The turnover differential of +43 that year was the highest of all time.
  • The Redskins had only 12 defensive turnovers in 2006, the fewest in a 16-game season and second all time. (The Baltimore Colts had 11 turnovers in the strike-shortened 1982 Season which lasted only 9 games.)[83]

Special teams

  • The Redskins led the league in field goals for eight seasons, 1945, 1956, 1971, 1976-77, 1979, 1982, 1992. Only the Green Bay Packers have ever led more. Their 49 field goals attempted in 1971 is the most ever attempted in a single season.[84]
  • The Redskins and Bears attempted an NFL record 11 field goals on November 14, 1971, and the Redskins and Giants tied that mark on November 14, 1976.[84]
  • The Redskins 28 consecutive games, from 1988 to 1990, scoring a field goal is third all time.[84]
  • The Redskins have led the league in punting average six times, in 1940-43, 1945, and 1958, second only to the Denver Broncos.[85] Their four consecutive years from 1940–43 is an NFL record.[85]
  • The Redskins have led the league in average kickoff return yards eight times, in 1942, 1947, 1962–63, 1973–74, 1981, and 1995, more than any other team.[86]



As of 2008, the Redskins' flagship station is WTEM (ESPN 980), owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, which in turn is owned by Snyder.[87]

Larry Michael, formerly of Westwood One, is the team's play-by-play announcer and director of broadcasting.[88] Michael replaced longtime announcer Frank Herzog in 2004.[89] Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff are the color analysts.[89] Rick "Doc" Walker is the sideline reporter.


Telecasts of preseason games not shown on national networks are aired in HD exclusively on Comcast SportsNet in the overall Mid-Atlantic region. WRC broadcasts preseason games in SD in the Washington, D.C. area. Comcast SportsNet also airs a pregame show and an extensive game recap program after each Redskins regular season Sunday game.

Kenny Albert does play-by-play, former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann is the color analyst, and Rick "Doc" Walker is the sideline reporter.

Superstition regarding US Presidential elections

For 17 of the past 18 United States Presidential elections, a win for the Redskins' last home game prior to Election Day coincided with the incumbent party winning re-election. The exception was in 2004, when the Republican Party incumbent George W. Bush won re-election despite the Green Bay Packers beating the Redskins.[90] Other than this exception, this "Redskins Rule" has proven true since 1936 when they won and incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt won re-election, prior to the Redskins' move from Boston in 1937.[91]

In 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Redskins on the eve of Election Day 23-6, and Barack Obama won the presidency the following evening.

The Redskins Rule was discovered by Steve Hirdt, executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau, while searching for discussion fodder in 2000 for a game between the Redskins and Titans.[92]


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External links

Preceded by
San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl Champions
Washington Redskins

Succeeded by
Los Angeles Raiders
Preceded by
New York Giants
Super Bowl Champions
Washington Redskins

Succeeded by
San Francisco 49ers
1989 and 1990
Preceded by
New York Giants
Super Bowl Champions
Washington Redskins

Succeeded by
Dallas Cowboys
1993 and 1994