Three Phases: Cowboys-Redskins - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Three Phases: Cowboys-Redskins



    Three Phases: Cowboys-Redskins
    Getty Images
    LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 28: Running back Alfred Morris #46 of the Washington Redskins is tacked by outside linebacker Anthony Hitchens #59 and outside linebacker Bruce Carter #54 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter during a NFL football game at FedExField on December 28, 2014 in Landover. Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    Every week, we'll grade the Cowboys on the three phases of the weekend's game.

    Offense: A+

    Sure, the third quarter was ugly, but by that point the game was essentially over before the Cowboys really ended things in the fourth quarter. Once again, Tony Romo was pretty great despite a pick on an athletic play by former Plano West and Texas standout Jackson Jeffcoat. Dez Bryant set the franchise record for touchdown catches in a season with two more added to his ledger, and DeMarco Murray set a new single-season franchise mark for rushing yards in a season on the play before Bryant's record-setting TD. It was another dominant performance from an offense that has been firing on all cylinders for the entire month of December.

    Defense: A

    They allowed more than 400 yards of total offense, but the Cowboys also made several big plays on defense. Most importantly, they held Alfred Morris to just 43 rushing yards after he entered the game averaging better than 100 yards per game in his five previous starts against the Cowboys. They intercepted Robert Griffin III twice (both by Bruce Carter) and recovered two fumbles, including one from Griffin that was returned for a touchdown by Anthony Spencer.

    Special teams: A

    Dan Bailey made all three of his field goal attempts and executed a perfect onside kick to help build the Cowboys' lead even more in the first half as Jason Garrett kept the pedal to the floor. It was one of those plays that, if successful, is a stroke of genius, and it ended up being just that.