If there were any doubts as to how much the absence of starting offensive linemen Marc Colombo and Kyle Kosier would affect the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday night in Washington put them to rest, as an ugly performance resulted in a 13-7 Cowboys loss to open the 2010 season.
On the Redskins’ opening drive, kicker Graham Gano nailed a 29-yard field goal, giving the team a 3-0 lead. Thanks, among other things, to a missed David Buehler field goal attempt, that lead would stand until the very end of the half.
As time ran out on the half, Tony Romo threw an ill-fated shovel pass to Tashard Choice, who had the ball ripped from his grasp by DeAngelo Hall. Hall then scooped it up and took it back for one of the ugliest and most inexplicable touchdowns in recent memory, for Cowboys fans, giving Washington a 10-0 halftime lead.
The early second half saw something of a resurgence from Dallas, composed equally of actual merit and good luck. After an offsides penalty on cornerback Orlando Scandrick nullified a made field goal attempt, Washington was set up with a first and goal situation. Washington was unable to make anything of the opportunity, even when an illegal contact call on Terence Newman nullified an interception, eventually settling for a short field goal try. Punter Josh Bidwell bobbled the snap, however, giving Dallas a much needed break.
Now Dallas was unable to do anything with this break, but, on their next drive, after a short punt from Bidwell, Romo drove the Cowboys the necessary 34 yards to paydirt, hitting Miles Austin for a four-yard touchdown pass to cap a six-play drive. At 10-7, Dallas was back in the game. Oh, but the patchwork offensive line...
Even after a Gano field goal extended the Washington lead to six, Romo and company appeared poised to top the ‘Skins on their final drive; they really did. After driving to the Washington 13, with three seconds on the clock, Romo hit Roy Williams in the endzone for a game-winning touchdown--only it wasn’t. Alex Barron, the replacement for Marc Colombo and most penalized offensive lineman in the past five years in the NFL, was called for a hold, resulting in the end of the game. Dallas had a total of 12 penalties for 91 yards on Sunday night, just a part of an overall ugly performance.
Dallas faces the Chicago Bears in the home opener next week.
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