NFL Wire News

Cowboys 44, Rerdskins 17


LANDOVER, Md. — With the NFC East title already clinched and not much chance of them earning a first-round bye, there was little riding for the Dallas Cowboys in Sunday’s game. But the lowly Washington Redskins remain perhaps their biggest rival and had shocked them eight weeks earlier.

So Dallas coach Jason Garrett didn’t take it easy, playing his starters the whole way despite a quick early margin and ordering an onside kick in the second quarter of the 44-17 victory.

That finalized the Cowboys’ regular-season record at 12-4 and put the last-place Redskins at 4-12.

Dallas could still gain a bye with losses by Arizona and Seattle in games played later Sunday.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo was 22 of 34 for 299 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was 27 of 41 for 336 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray had 100 yards on 20 carries and broke the franchise record for rushing yards in a season.

Three plays after Dan Bailey’s 35-yard field goal ended the opening drive and gave Dallas a 3-0 lead, Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson caught a screen pass from Griffin, was freed by a big block from left tackle Trent Williams, and turned on the jets for a 69-yard touchdown.

However, Washington’s lead lasted all of 2:17 because on the fourth play of the Cowboys’ ensuing series, receiver Dez Bryant caught a screen pass from Romo, juked by Redskins cornerback David Amerson, and was on his way to a 65-yard touchdown that made it 10-7 Cowboys with 6:25 left in the quarter.

Four plays after Washington’s three-and-out, NFL rushing champion Murray (1,845 yards) broke Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys season record with a 32-yard gallop.

On the next snap, Bryant beat Amerson again and got both feet down in the left corner of the end zone for his 16th touchdown grab to top Terrell Owens’ previous Cowboys season mark. Dallas had extended the margin to 17-7.

After another fruitless Redskins possession, Bailey ended a nine-play, 56-yard Cowboys series with a 32-yard field goal that made it 20-7. To add the proverbial insult to injury, Barry Church recovered Bailey’s subsequent onside kick at the Washington 49. Murray scored from 9 yards out just six plays later.

Kai Forbath’s 25-yard field goal stopped the run, and the margin remained 27-10 at halftime because tight end Jason Witten’s holding penalty nullified Dallas third-string running back Lance Dunbar’s 80-yard burst.

Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter picked off Griffin on consecutive series but Redskins rookie linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat intercepted a Romo pass in between early in the fourth quarter.

Griffin’s 2-yard touchdown with 6:45 left was his first scoring run since the 2012 finale. Bailey added a 23-yard field goal before defensive tackle Terrell McClain forced Griffin’s fumble that defensive end Anthony Spencer returned for a 5-yard touchdown. Joseph Randle burst 65 yards for a final touchdown with 1:40 left.

Notes: Dallas RB DeMarco Murray and QB Tony Romo became the second straight teammates to lead the league in rushing and passing, following Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles, who were the first tandem to do so since 1960. … Redskins QB Robert Griffin III passed for a career-high 336 yards. … Linebacker Rolando McClain, the Cowboys’ leading tackler, was inactive in the wake of his $1.5 million Alabama home burning down last week. …. With the victory, Dallas became only the sixth team to go 8-0 on the road and just the second in the last 13 years.

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