Our first recipient of this award is Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who made an enormous play to strip Dallas Cowboys running back Tashard Choice of the ball and then return the fumble 32 yards for a touchdown. It wasn't a play that was headed anywhere, so most defenders would've simply taken Choice to the ground.
DeAngelo Hall's fumble return gave the Redskins a 10-0 lead.
Hall remembered all those strip drills during training camp and began ripping at the ball. When another Redskins defender arrived, the ball squirted free and Hall was off to the races.
That extra effort by Hall led to a 10-0 halftime lead for the Redskins and electrified the 90,000-plus fans at FedEx Field. And he punctuated the score with a forward somersault once he crossed the goal line.
New defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has strapped footballs to blocking dummies and asked his players to swipe at them in drills. The defensive backs take it to another level and constantly try to work on their scooping skills whenever the ball hits the ground in practice.
This defense feeds off of Hall's energy and the play at the end of the first half turned out to be the difference in the game. Haslett has challenged his defense to score points, and on this night, his unit outscored the offense.