After a disappointing loss to the Cowboys, the Redskins know they must focus their attention on the Giants as they look to quickly rebound from their 0-2 start.
In the moments following the Redskins' 27-23 defeat to the Cowboys, players entered in hushed tones and sat down facing their lockers. They spoke about missed opportunities and how they failed to capitalize when they needed to the most against their division rival.
But the somber tone wasn't laced with hopelessness, as though the season was already over and that time had slipped away. They've started their year losing two games, which has sapped some of their early optimism for 2016, but not dried it all up.
What's remaining must be channeled into this week, when the Redskins travel to New York to face another division rival and try to get into the win column.
"It's still a long season. We have 14 games left," linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. "It's two disappointing games so far and we dropped two at home, which is really not good. But, we still got a long way to go and we gotta come back and prepare well this week for New York."
"0-2 is definitely not where we want to be, but it's not the end of the world. It's definitely not the end of the world," safety DeAngelo Hall said. "We've got 14 more games to play."
What made this particular start to the season tough to swallow was the sense that a victory against Dallas was in Washington's fingertips. In their last three trips to the red zone, the Redskins offense mustered two field goals and an interception, the latter play and drive which could have put the Redskins ahead by 10 points but instead returned momentum to the Cowboys.
They took advantage. Washington's defense couldn't prevent the Cowboys from marching down the field after the fourth quarter turnover – thanks to a couple of key penalties – and a missed fourth down conversion on the Redskins' ensuing drive set up a last-second attempt to go down the field, which came up short on an overthrown Hail Mary.
The disappointment felt in the quick turnaround, players said, will need to be digested quickly while being used as fuel for the upcoming practice week.
"The urgency is immediate. We got to come out here and win. We can't go 0-3. Season is shot if you go 0-3, our goals aren't going to be able to be accomplished," cornerback Bashaud Breeland said afterward, still emotional from it all.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson felt the urgency, too.
Check out the top images from the Washington Redskins' 2016 Week 2 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys Sept. 18, 2016, at FedExField.
"You don't want to get to a point where everything's okay, okay, it's cool, it's cool. It's not and you got to face it. I felt there's been enough of that, everything's cool, we'll figure it out, stay calm, be cool," Jackson said. "There's a lot of veterans in this locker room, there's a lot of guys that want this … So we're going to try and answer for it, correct it, face it, come back to practice next week starting Tuesday."
In many ways, next Sunday's game against the Giants will be the team's best test in dealing with adversity, not only playing their first road game against a division rival, but in the way they challenge themselves throughout the week.
"I'm best when the back's against the wall -- during crunch time," cornerback Josh Norman said. "That's kind of how I elevate the game. Play with me. Come at me. I get excited for those games and those periods. That's when I evolve into something else. I really do get up for those moments. When your back is against the wall. How are you gonna come out? Are you gonna fight or are you gonna hit your head and I'm coming out stretching? When you come out and make a victorious play, there's nothing like it. There really isn't."
The Redskins would prefer to fight. They have experience with doing so, too, after beginning last season losing two of their first three games. Now, it's a matter of moving on, after watching film and speaking with coaches, from Sunday afternoon and trying to refocus.
"Everybody's gonna have to do things with enthusiasm and energy and we gotta make sure we're a part of that," linebacker Will Compton said.
"I've got to put this aside because if I don't, I'm going to drag this into the next week," defensive end Ricky Jean Francois said. "I've got Eli Manning to play against. I've got the big G-Men to play against this week. I don't care anymore about Dallas. There isn't anything we can do about it."