NFL Game Summary - Dallas at Washington|
(Sunday, September 12th)
Final Score: Washington 13, Dallas 7
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - DeAngelo Hall returned a fumble for a score
and Graham Gano kicked two field goals, as the revamped Redskins held on to
edge the Cowboys, 13-7, after a last-play Dallas touchdown was nullified by
Washington made its debut under new head coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback
Shanahan, who directed the Denver Broncos to a pair of Super Bowl victories
and seven playoff appearances during a successful 14-year run from 1995-2008,
was hired by the Redskins in January to replace Jim Zorn, who was fired
after a 4-12 season.
Washington acquired McNabb from NFC East rival Philadelphia in April. McNabb
spent his first 11 NFL seasons with Philadelphia, leading the team to five
NFC Championship Games and becoming the franchise leader in many
categories. The six-time Pro Bowl selection completed 15-of-32 passes for 171
yards Sunday to help the Redskins (1-0) win their season-opener for the first
time since 2007.
"We made enough plays and drove the ball, and got the chains moving and got in
the red zone. We've just got to finish it," McNabb said. "That's discouraging
for us because we have been progressing all throughout the preseason as well
as we had a great week of practice. So we have to be very critical of
ourselves on the offensive side and be able to make sure that we make the
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw for 282 yards and a touchdown, and led
Dallas (0-1) on a potential game-winning drive with under two minutes left. On
the final play of the game, Romo completed a pass to Roy Williams in the right
corner of the end zone, but a holding call on tackle Alex Barron negated the
score as Washington held on.
"I thought we won, just at the moment," Romo said. "About 10, 15 yards after
running away, I kind of noticed people weren't coming out on the field. So
it's hard to swallow, it's a tough one to take. Leaves a bad taste in your
mouth, for sure."
Romo completed 31-of-47 passes, while Miles Austin had 10 receptions for 146
yards and the Cowboys' lone touchdown. Dallas totaled 380 yards, but most of
its game was defined by missed offensive opportunities and penalties. The
Cowboys were flagged 12 times for 91 yards.
Both those factors came into play after the Redskins took a 3-0 lead late in
the first quarter on Gano's 29-yard kick.
Dallas got deep into Washington territory on the ensuing drive, but a pass
interference call on rookie receiver Dez Bryant forced the Cowboys into a 3rd-
and-14 from the 16-yard line. After an incompletion, Dallas set up for a field
goal, but David Buehler's 34-yard attempt was wide right.
Later in the second quarter, Dallas started at its own one-yard line and
managed to cross midfield. However, a delay-of-game call on Romo set Dallas
back five yards, and the Cowboys had to punt.
Dallas got the ball back once more, but with under 30 seconds left in the
half. An offensive holding call on Barron put the Cowboys in a 1st-and-20 at
their own 36 with just four seconds left. But instead of taking a knee, Dallas
ran one last play, which turned out to be a disastrous decision.
Romo sent a lateral pass to his right for Tashard Choice, who made the catch
and was greeted by defenders. As he was being tackled, Hall ripped the ball
out, scooped it up and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown as time expired.
"That was my fault before the half. We should have taken a knee. Well, not
should have taken a knee. The right thing to do was going in 3-0 and we didn't
do that," said Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips. "Now, if you catch the ball
with four seconds left, you don't need to try to make an extra yard or two.
You can get down with the ball. So that's our fault, too."
Washington looked to build on its 10-0 lead on the opening drive of the third
quarter, as it advanced upfield on a drive marked by four penalties -- three
of which were committed by Dallas.
One of the flags, a defensive offside call on Orlando Scandrick, nullified a
36-yard field goal and gave Washington a new set of downs, and the Redskins
eventually had a 1st-and-goal from the five.
After McNabb was incomplete on three consecutive attempts, the Redskins set
up for the short field goal. However, punter Josh Bidwell fumbled after
receiving the snap, and Dallas took over.
Later in the quarter, Dallas began a drive at the Washington 34 thanks to a
short punt by Bidwell, and used the advantageous field position to get its
first score. Romo found Austin over the middle for a four-yard touchdown with
1:41 left in the frame.
Neither team had much offensive success in the fourth quarter, though
Washington added a 49-yard field goal by Gano with 1:50 left.
While that gave the Cowboys enough time for a scoring drive, their chances
looked grim after they faced a 4th-and-10 from the Washington 43 with 19
However, Romo connected with a wide-open Austin over the middle for a 30-yard
gain. The Dallas quarterback threw the ball away on first down before sending
a wobbler over the middle incomplete. That left three seconds left on the
clock, and Romo had to scramble on the final play as he tried to find a
receiver. He found Williams, but because Barron had wrapped his arm around the
neck of a Redskins defender, the touchdown was nullified.
"I'm like, 'Oh my goodness. This doesn't make any sense.' To fight that hard
and for those guys to drive down the field, it was definitely a little heart-
wrenching," Hall said. "But I did see that flag on the field. Didn't really
know what it was for. I kind of thought he scrambled past the line of
scrimmage and threw the ball. Didn't really know. Saw the referee make the
holding signal, and I sprinted off the field."
Dallas won both matchups with the Redskins last year, and three in a row
overall. The Redskins' last win over the Cowboys prior to Sunday came on
September 28, 2008 at Dallas...Marion Barber had 39 yards rushing to lead the
Cowboys...Clinton Portis had 18 carries for 63 yards for Washington. Chris
Cooley made six catches for 80 yards, while Santana Moss had six receptions
for 77 yards.
09/13 02:35:08 ET