It's not often that you'll hear Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall give a negative assessment of his own abilities on the football field — one of the most notable aspects of Hall's career, going back to his time with the Atlanta Falcons, has been the frequent discrepancy between Hall's opinion of himself and what the tape actually showed.
The mercurial veteran has always been inconsistent, which makes him a tougher read — he's prone to scads of interceptions followed by major dry spells in which opposing receivers are able to use him as a practice turnstile.
That's what made Hall's take on his effectiveness after the Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys so interesting. In that 27-24 overtime defeat, Hall was burned for two touchdowns (you can see him dragging behind tight Jason Witten on one of them in the picture above), and he allowed the long third-down completion to Dez Bryant that set up Dallas' winning field goal. Bryant's first-quarter touchdown was particularly ugly, as Hall got posterized on a stutter-go route and was 5 yards behind by the time Bryant hit the end zone.
What did Hall think of his value to the Redskins after that game? Pretty simple — he believed that the team should release him.
"I can't point a finger at anybody but myself," he said. "The way I'm playing right now, they need to go cut me, because I'm definitely not worth what I'm getting. You can't slip. I'm the reason we lost the game. Second time in a row against Dallas. I'm definitely a little P.O.'d at myself."
Last time Hall took on the Cowboys, he threatened to "plant a helmet" on the broken ribs of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo but wound up getting toasted by the also-injured Bryant. Last time, Hall was content to take his shots at defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and the game's officiating crew. In this game, Romo continued the hot streak he's been on of late, completing 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns.
Hall did finish Sunday's game with 11 tackles, but as we know, tackles are often a deceiving stat when it comes to defensive backs — they can mean that you were in the vicinity and couldn't make the play on the ball. That's certainly what happened to Hall on Sunday.
"Hopefully they see something in me and bring me back next year," he continued. "But the way things are going right now, I'm definitely not playing up to par."
The numbers back up Hall's assertion. Through the first half of the season, per Football Outsiders, he had a horrible Stop Rate against the pass of 29 percent, the sixth-worst among NFL cornerbacks with at least 20 pass plays in their area.
Stop Rate is the percentage of plays a defender stops short of this success level: 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down, and 100 percent of needed yards on third or fourth down. To put it in simple terms, Hall is allowing opposing receivers to get the job done more than 70 percent of the time.
Should the Redskins cut Hall? No point now, as they're already on the hook for $5 million in 2011. They signed him to a six-year, $55 million contract in February of 2009. The deal had $22.5 million guaranteed and is set to pay Hall $6 million in base salary in 2012. If the Redskins are going through yet another demolition project after the disappointments of 2011 come to a stop, it certainly would have to be a serious consideration.
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