After a strange game, full of miscommunication, field goals and cringe-inducing hits, the Dallas Cowboys prevailed over the Washington Redskins on Monday night, 18-16.
Washington's Graham Gano opened up the scoring with a 46-yard field goal on the Redskins' opening drive. Dallas answered with a 41-yard field goal by Dan Bailey on the ensuing drive to tie it up at 3-3. This is how the first half would go--and most of the game, for Dallas--not that these teams didn't have some golden opportunities.
Kevin Ogletree fumbled at the Dallas 10-yard line late in first quarter, a play that, after challenged, would eventually be ruled Redskins' ball. But the Dallas defense made a stand, featuring a big tackle and a near interception from second-year linebacker Sean Lee to force the Redskins to attempt another field goal, a successful 27-yard attempt from Gano to retake the lead at 6-3.
Lee intercepted Rex Grossman early in the second quarter to set Dallas up in the red zone, but the offense could only manage a field goal, a 27-yarder from Bailey. The teams would once more trade field goals in the final 2:30 of the first half to leave the game tied at 9-9 at intermission.
The field goals would continue in the second half--the nine made in the game would set an NFL record, as a matter of fact--but the Redskins would score the only touchdown of the game in the third quarter, a one-yard pass from Grossman to running back Tim Hightower to give the Redskins a 16-9 lead.
Dallas continued to struggle on offense in the second half. Second-year center Phil Costa seemed to have some major communication issues with Romo, and that would prove a great hurdle in the second half. Still, Romo and co. would do enough to set Bailey up for three more field goals, the last of which, a 40-yarder with less than 2:00 remaining, would give Dallas the lead at 18-16.
Washington's attempt at a comeback came to an end quickly, when the Cowboys' Anthony Spencer forced a fumble out of 'Skins' quarterback Rex Grossman on a second-and-ten, which was recovered by Dallas, effectively ending the game at 18-16.
The injured Romo finished 22-36 for 255 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Running back Felix Jones--who was dealing with a shoulder injury--finished with 115 yards on 14 carries, easily the best rushing performance for Dallas in this young season. Bailey, as you might've noticed, finished with six field goals.
At 2-1, Dallas will welcome the Detroit Lions into Cowboys Stadium next Sunday.
Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW Sports on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe to this free service. Read more about it here.