ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 13: DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys jumps over a tackle during the first half of a game against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
10. Weird sight: A fullback wearing No. 58. Linebacker Kyle Bosworth was DeMarco Murray’s lead blocker in short-yardage situations. And then Murray left with a sprained knee. And the Cowboys stopped running, handing the ball off only five times after the first quarter.
9. First career touchdown for rookie running back Joseph Randle, but he had a lot of help. Rookie center Travis Frederick deserves an assist for shoving Randel into the end zone.
8. Robert Griffin III was only a shadow of the player who embarrassed the Cowboys last Thanksgiving. He seemed a step (or two) slow – despite those two iffy late-hit penalties he was awarded - and didn’t react to constant pressure from Dallas’ depleted defensive line. After Orlando Scandrick’s 4th-quarter interception, a derisive “RG3” briefly broke out in the crowd.
7. Miles Austin’s return was underwhelming at best. By my math he was targeted four times but produced 0 catches, a drop, a quit on a route and minimal effort/zero success on a ball tipped by DeAngelo Hall in the end zone. At this point Tony Romo more trusts Cole Beasley than Austin.
6. Familiar faces at AT&T Stadium included Kevin Durant, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jon Bon Jovi. Oh, and some artist named Anish Kapoor, who convinced Jerry Jones to pay him a gazillion dollars for a giant, concave mirror located on the East Plaza. It’s called “Sky Mirror.” I couldn’t make up something that dumb. Sounds more like a James Bond movie than a poignant piece of art.
5. Nice birthday present for Jerry, who turned 71 years young Sunday. The Cowboys have held a lead of at least 6 points in every game this season. And the Redskins still haven’t beaten the Cowboys three straight games since Dallas’ head coach was a guy named Tom Landry (1987-88).
4. At one point the beleaguered Cowboys’ defensive line was manned by guys named Rayford, Carter, Hayden, Hatcher and Selvie. And the game’s biggest play may have been made by Kyle Wilber via his sack-and-strip of Griffin. That’s what happens when you’re missing guys named Ware, Ratliff, Spencer, Crawford and Bass. These defensive linemen don’t necessarily have pedigree, but they do have passion.
3. Let’s face it, Dwayne Harris beat the Redskins. Washington more than doubled the Cowboys’ yardage (433-213), but Harris’ punt-return of 86 yards broke open a close game and his 90-yard kickoff return snatched the momentum from the Redskins in the third quarter. His 222 combined return yards are the 3rd-most in franchise history behind only Reggie Swinton’s 224 in ’01 and Mel Renfro’s record 273 set in ’64.
2. Put Romo’s third-quarter improvised touchdown pass to Terrance Williams in his highlight reel. It’s everything we like about him: Athletic escape from a sack, followed by a perfect on-the-run throw to the rookie the back corner of the end zone. Only a handful of NFL quarterbacks make that play. Said Jason Garrett, "Just a fantastic play. That was a heck of as play. Something else."
1. So how do you overcome the losses of DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware? Two long kick returns by Harris set up 14 points and Wilber’s fumble recovery fostered a 3-yard drive for another touchdown. Give the Cowboys credit, they overcame last week’s kick-to-the-crotch loss plus the departures of two of their top players and found a way to win.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.