It was far from pretty, but the Dallas Cowboys are still in the playoff race after using a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the Redskins in Washington on Sunday, 24-23.
After forcing a three-and-out on the Redskins’ first possession, newly signed return man Michael Spurlock took Sav Rocca’s punt 62 yards to the Washington three-yard line. A play later, DeMarco Murray took it in for the score and a 7-0 Dallas lead. Murray would finish with 96 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, as well as a receiving touchdown.
The Redskins came back to within a point with a pair of Kai Forbath field goals, but Tony Romo, Murray and co. orchestrated a 93-yard drive in the second quarter that was capped when Romo hit Dez Bryant in the back of the end zone to pull ahead 14-6, a score that’d stand until half. Romo finished 17 of 27 passing for 226 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Bryant only had four catches on the day, but those were good for 73 yards and the score.
The third quarter was dominated by the Redskins and, for a good while, it looked like the Cowboys were intent on squandering yet another halftime lead. Pierre Garcon--who spent the day abusing Brandon Carr, finishing with 11 catches and 144 yards--caught an eight-yard touchdown pass to cap the first Redskins’ possession of the half and cut the Dallas lead to 14-13.
After Romo was picked off by DeAngelo Hall on the ensuing drive, the Redskins took the lead. Alfred Morris’s four-yard touchdown run made it 20-13 Washington, and Forbath added a field goal early in the fourth to extend the lead to 23-14.
Then, somewhat surprisingly for fans that’ve watched this season, the Cowboys got resilient.
Dan Bailey hit a 25-yard field goal with about six minutes left to make it a one-score game once again, 23-17.
Then Romo, who had suffered an unspecified lower body injury earlier in the half, led the team 87 yards to the Redskins’ one. On third-and-goal, Murray received the handoff and went backwards, trying to make something out of nothing. When he finally went down, Dallas was facing a fourth-and-goal from the Washington 12-yard line.
On that crucial 4th down--with about a minute left--Romo bought time in the pocket and found Murray, who took the pass, turned and fell into the end zone. Bailey added the extra point to give Dallas an improbable 24-23 victory.
At 8-7, the Cowboys will face the Eagles next week at AT&T Stadium with the NFC East title on the line.
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