TNF: DALLAS COWBOYS vs WASHINGTON REDSKINS
DALLAS COWBOYS vs WASHINGTON REDSKINS
By: Robert L. Porter Jr.
A Thursday night NFC East showdown is on tap as the Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Redskins. With things not going how either team planned, this one is to stay alive in the playoff race. Kirk Cousins is one of the most efficient passers in the NFL this year as Dak Prescott has seemed to come back to earth after that dominant Rookie year.
The Cowboys receive the opening kick and two Alfred Morris runs leaves Dallas in 3rd & long and a Prescott incompletion has them punting to the Skins. Washingtons is able to work into Dallas territory with a couple Samaje Perine runs but they would ultimately be forced to punt. The Cowboys 2nd drive was almost an exact replica of the first as they go 3 & out again but this time a sack of Prescott is sprinkled in. After a subpar punt the Redskins start on the Cowboys side of the 50. The drive looks to have stalled but A roughing the passer call keeps the drive alive and they are able to work inside the 20 but a tipped pass falls in the hands of Jeff Heath to end the Redskins drive but the Cowboys go 3 & out for a 3rd straight time. They punt again to Washington but it is fumbled by Jamison Crowder and Dallas recovers at the Redskins 43. Prescott isn’t able to make them pay as he is now 1/6 for 6 yards to start this game and of course they kick it away. The punt is downed inside the 1 and Cousins and his offense takes the field with 99 yards to go for a TD. With what looks to be the theme of the game …….. Washington goes 3 & out. A good punt by Tress Way puts Dallas at their own 41 yard line. 2 short plays follow then On 3rd & 5 Prescott keeps it for a 14 yard game and their first 1st down of the game as the quarter comes to a close.
Two Alfred Morris runs gets another first down to start the quarter. The first catch by Dez Bryant is for 11 yards and another Cowboys first down and moves them into the red zone. Another Morris run is followed by a Prescott dart to Jason Witten for the Cowboys TD Making it 7-0. Kirk Cousins and his offense takes the field and on a deep incompletion tackle Morgan Moses gets hurt and has to be carted off. 2 plays later DeMarcus Lawrence sacks and strips Cousins and the Cowboys recover. Not much movement by Jason Garretts offense as Its a huge win for the Redskins to keep them out of the end zone. Dan Bailey kicks a short field goal to make the Cowboys lead a little larger at 10-0. The Cowboys defensive line looks to be the dominant group as they are all over Cousins in this first half. After another 3 & out a Tress Way punt down the middle of the field is caught by Ryan Switzer and taken 83 yards for a TD to give Dallas a 17-0 lead. To start the next Redskins possession, Cousins hits Crowder for a short gain then he has to pull a rabbit out of his hat and scamper for a first down on 3rd & 5. In a blink Washington finds themselves in another 3rd & 6 where he runs backwards and lofts a pass into the middle of the field that Crowder grabs and runs for 36 yards. Kirk throws another short pass to Crowder then a 20 yard TD to Ryan Grant to make it 17-7 with a minute to go before halftime. Prescott completes a few passes but ultimately nothing comes from The drive as he head to the intermission.
The 2nd half starts with Lawrence sacking Cousins again but a laser pass from him to Grant for 24 yards extends the drive. After that more pressure on Cousins results in a Redskins punt. Prescott with an injured throwing hand takes the field and a couple Alfred Morris runs nets a first down then a few iffy looking passes from Dak forces Dallas to kick it back to Washington. The Redskin offense seems to have found a rhythm as Cousins hits a couple passes to move into Cowboys territory but after a penalty they are forced to punt back to Dallas. On the following possession, Morris and the Cowboys offensive line has found some traction. He seems to get 7 to 8 yard on first down on every run in this quarter. The bigger effect this has is the game is being shortened while they hold the lead. the next few plays go as follows, A 24 yard pass to Bryant then 2 runs, one by Morris and one by Prescott brings an end to the 3rd quarter. Dallas holds a 17-7 lead looking for more.
The quarter starts with a 13 yard TD on a fade route from Prescott to Dez Bryant to push the lead to 24-7. With a 17 point deficit, Washington takes the field at their own 13 yard line. The sense of urgency looks to have kicked in as Cousins moves his team into Cowboys territory quickly. Cousins hits Josh Doctson on a corner route where he high pointed it to make the score 24-14 with about 11 and a half minutes to play in the game. The Cowboys offensive line has been the butt of a lot of jokes recently but they are imposing their will on the Redskins defense right now. They are chewing the clock up on this drive. With a 3rd down inside the 20 threatening to end the drive, Prescott attempts the fade to Dez again but this time A pass interference in the end zone puts Dallas at the 1 yard line. It has to be sweet for Morris to run all over his former team as he punches it in from 1 yard out to push the lead to 31-14. The Redskins makeshift offensive line has been out played and out classed all night as Cousins take a huge hit from David Irving as this one is starting to get ugly. Two tipped passes ends the Washington drive, the latter of the 2 was picked off by Anthony Brown giving Dallas the ball and a unnecessary roughness penalty puts at the 11. Four Rod Smith runs ends with another Cowboys TD as the gap opens to 38-14. Colt McCoy enters the game to run this one out as Dallas gets back on the winning track with a season sweep of the Redskins.
STARS OF THE GAME
Alfred Morris – 27 carries 127 yards 1 TD
Dez Bryant – 5 rec 61 yards 1 TD
Anthony Hitchens – 15 Tackles
Cowboys Defense – 4 sacks 2 Interceptions 3 forced fumbles 2 fumble recoveries
Ryan Switzer – 83 yard punt return TD
Kirk Cousins – 26/37 251 yards 2 TDs 2 INTs
Ryan Grant – 5 rec 76 yards 1 TD
COWBOYS 38 – REDSKINS 14