However, the contest was concluded by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo‘s clutch play and the golden foot of rookie kicker Dan Bailey, who kicked all of Dallas’s points and booted the Redskins out of Dallas, 18-16.
The rivalry between the Redskins (2-1) and Cowboys (2-1) has not been the battle for the ages of late due to the teams’ lack of winning and growing pains. Nevertheless, bad blood will always be embedded among the players and fans because of the history that is shared.
Entering the contest, the Redskins looked to be the team with the upper hand—in terms of being healthy—while the Cowboys were the walking wounded.
Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin was out due to a sore hamstring, running back Felix Jones had a shoulder injury and wide receiver Dez Bryant was nursing his thigh.
Jones and Bryant were expected to play, but the main question mark centered around Romo, who sustained a broken rib and a punctured lung in the team’s overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.
However, under the instruction of Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and the new passion of Washington’s defensive players, the Redskins were not worried about the Cowboys’ list of the walking wounded.
Landry, who returned to the playing field for the first time since Week 10 of last season against the Philadelphia Eagles, set the tone for the Redskins in the first half; he blasted any Cowboy that was near him.
In the first quarter, with 2:07 left, Landry forced a fumble after hitting wide receiver Kevin Ogletree from behind. Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson recovered the loose ball to pick up four yards, stopping at the Dallas 10.
No. 30 informed the NFL world of his return when he hit wide receiver Laurent Robinson out of bounds with 10:07 remaining in the second quarter, setting a devastating atmosphere in Cowboy Stadium.
The Redskins and Cowboys entered the third quarter tied, 9-9—all on field goals. The last time two teams ended a half tied for three field goals each was on Dec. 19, 1971, when the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs squared off.
Romo expressed frustration throughout the contest for bad snaps, miscommunication among his receivers and being battered by the Redskins defenders. With broken ribs and all the downs of the game, however, Romo created great plays in the clutch in the final ticks of the game.
With a 16-15 Redskins lead with 2:20 remaining on the clock, Romo, who completed 22-of-36 attempts for 255 yards (with an interception and no touchdowns), connected with Bryant for a 30-yard pass in the middle of the field on 3rd-and-21 to get to the Redskins 40.
Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s facemask on Bryant did not help his team’s chances; the penalty added 15 yards to give the Cowboys 1st-and-10 on the Redskins 25.
Bailey was 5-for-5 on field goals for the evening and finished the drive like he did on his previous attempts, supplying the final points of the evening for the Cowboys, with 1:52 remaining, off a 40-yard field goal.
The Redskins had their opportunity with 1:40 left in the game.
After converting two first downs, the Redskins were shot down when Cowboys’ outside linebacker Anthony Spencer hunted down the Redskins’ Rex Grossman (who finished with 250 passing yards after going 22-of-37 with a touchdown and an interception) for a sack—causing him to fumble with 0:38 left.
The Cowboys are the first team in NFL history to play nine consecutive games decided by three points or less.
Game Notes: Redskins at Cowboys via press release from Washington
- With a first quarter catch, Chris Cooley secured his 423rd career reception, passing former Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek for sole possession of 19th all-time in receptions by a tight end.
- Cooley finished with four catches for 41 yards. Cooley now has 426 career receptions, one shy of tying Mike Ditka for 18th all-time in receptions by a tight end.
- Cooley’s three-yard run on the Redskins’ opening drive was the first rush of Cooley’s career. Cooley had played in 105 career games before getting his first carry.
- Punter Sav Rocca placed three punts inside the 20, giving him the NFL lead with nine.
- Rocca had a season-long 58-yard punt in the first quarter. His previous long of 56 was set on Sept. 11 against the New York Giants.
- The Cowboys opened the game 0-for-5 on third down and did not convert a third down until the second half. The Redskins entered the game with the league’s top third down defense, holding opponents to conversions on 21 percent of attempts. The Cowboys finished the game 3-of-12 on third downs (23 percent).
- With a 46-yard field goal by Graham Gano, the Redskins scored on their opening drive for the first time this season.
- Gano hit a 50-yard field goal to end the first half, setting a career long. Gano’s previous long was 49 yards, set on Sept. 12, 2010 vs. Dallas.
- Gano hit three field goals in the first half, marking the first time in his career he has hit three field goals in a half.
- Dating back to the 2010 season, the Redskins had gone four straight games without surrendering points on an opening drive. The last time the Redskins had allowed points on an opening drive was Dec. 19, 2010 in the Redskins’ last game at Dallas.
- Safety LaRon Landry forced the sixth forced fumble of his career in the first quarter. His last forced fumble was Oct. 10, 2010 vs. Green Bay.
- On the play, cornerback Josh Wilson recovered the sixth fumble of his career. His last fumble recovery was Oct. 24, 2010 vs. Buffalo.
- On the fumble, the ball was initially ruled out of bounds prior to Wilson’s recovery. Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan challenged the call and is now 1-for-1 on challenges this season and 40-for-97 for his career. Shanahan was 2-for-7 on challenges a season ago.
- Wilson had a career-high four passes defensed.
- Tim Hightower’s one-yard receiving touchdown in the third quarter was the first receiving touchdown and his 25th all-purpose touchdown of his career.
- On the play, Rex Grossman threw the 45th touchdown pass of his career. Grossman completed 22-of-37 passes for 250 yards, the 12th time in his career he has thrown for 250 yards or more.
- Wide receiver Santana Moss’s 36-yard catch in the third quarter was his longest of the 2011 season. His previous long was 22, set on Sept. 11 against the New York Giants.
- Moss’ 36-yard catch gives him 12 receptions of 25-plus yards against Dallas, the most of any active player.
- Moss finished with a team-high 70 receiving yards on five receptions. It is the first time this season he has led the team in receiving yards in a game.
- Moss now has 78 career receptions against Dallas, the most of any active player in the NFL.
- The Redskins scored first and led after the first quarter. It was the first time the Redskins had achieved either feat since Dec. 26, 2010 in a 20-17 overtime win against Jacksonville.
- Rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan forced the first fumble of his career in the third quarter.
- The Redskins forced three fumbles, tying the team high for the most during the Mike Shanahan era. The Redskins forced three fumbles on Oct. 3, 2010 against Philadelphia.
- The Redskins surrendered points on an opponent’s opening drive for the first time this season, allowing a 41-yard field goal on the Cowboys’ opening drive.
- The Redskins were called for four penalties and have now been penalized 10 times this season, an NFL low.
- Cornerback Kevin Barnes’ third quarter interception was his first of the season and second of his career. His only other career interception came on Dec. 26, 2010 at Jacksonville.
- Fullback Mike Sellers played in his 21st game against Dallas, the second-most of any active non-kicker in the NFL (Brian Dawkins – 25).
Article via Bleacher Report