Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Carrollton Newman Smith grad Anthony Armstrong has breakout performance against Cowboys
ARLINGTON - Who knows who the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback will be next season? There's a good chance he will be throwing to Carrollton Newman Smith graduate Anthony Armstrong.
The free-agent rookie whose route to the NFL included stops with the Odessa Roughnecks of the Intense Football League and the arena league's Dallas Desperados was instrumental to Washington's second-half offensive revival Sunday. He had five catches - all longer than 10 yards, all for first downs - with four coming in the second half.
Armstrong finished with 100 receiving yards, his highest total for the year. He has 40 catches for 772 yards in 13 games, becoming a starter in mid-October.
"It meant a lot, being able to come back against your hometown team you grew up watching, the team that you wanted to play for," said Armstrong, 5-11 and 185 pounds. "It was an emotional game. I really wanted to put up my best performance."
Armstrong was undrafted in 2005 after playing at West Texas A&M. His play indoors earned him a spot on practice squads in Miami and Washington last season. He was one of nine players signed by the Redskins to futures contracts on the day Mike Shanahan also signed on.
"Armstrong's been consistent for us all year," Shanahan said. "For a young guy coming in, not having any experience, having as many big plays - he's very smart, and he knows all the different positions. For a first-year guy even though he's a little bit older, to handle himself with the poise that he does is very encouraging for the future."
After the Cowboys built a 27-7 lead on their first possession of the second half, Armstrong caught a 47-yard pass from Rex Grossman on a deep middle route to put Washington at Dallas' 24-yard line. He added a 14-yard gain two plays later to set up Santana Moss' 10-yard touchdown catch. Armstrong had two catches on Washington's next touchdown drive, including a fourth-down conversion.
"Armstrong is an unbelievable athlete that has great hands and is really starting to understand this offense and play at an extremely high level,' Grossman said. "I'm very excited to have him on our team."
Armstrong was very excited some friends and relatives already had tickets for the game and he only had to spring for 16.
"That saved me a couple dollars," he said.