Owens’ 4 TD’s Nips Redskins in 28-23 Win

The Dallas Cowboys improved to 9-1 on the season for the first time since 1983 as they won a barn-burner against the Washington Redskins 28-23 at Texas Stadium on Sunday.  The win tightened the Cowboys grip on the NFC East even further, as they will now hold the tiebreakers over the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins, no matter what happens the rest of the year.  This intense rivalry lived up to it’s name as it came down to the very end in a nail-biter.

Early on in the game, the Cowboys were haunted by bad snaps from center Andre Gurode.  Dallas’ first drive of the game started very promisingly, as the Cowboys drove down to the Redskins’ 30, but a bad snap that went off off Romo’s helmet and into Julius Jones’ hands for a loss of 3 yards stalled the drive.  Nick Folk would miss a 51-yard field goal on the ensuing play that gave Washington great field position at the Dallas 41.  On the 4th play of the drive, Jason Campbell found Chris Cooley for a 19-yard TD connection to give the Redskins a 7-0 lead early.

"If you snap it good every time, it’s not exciting for the fans," said Romo.

Another bad snap from Andre Gurode resulted in an interception when Romo recovered the ball and forced a pass to Terrell Owens.  Dallas would get the stop on the next Washington possession and their luck would begin to change.

After former Cowboy Shawn Suisham missed a 49-yard FG for the Redskins, Dallas would finally get on the board.  Andre Gurode snapped yet another ball over Tony Romo’s head, but this time he was able to find Terrell Owens for 5 yards and a 1st down to keep the drive alive.  9 plays later Romo found Terrell Owens from 4 yards out to tie the game at 7 late in the 1st half..  It was a 13-play 60-yard drive.

Washington still had time though, and after a good return, they were able to get into field goal range.  Suisham hit a 45-yard FG as time expired in the first half to give Washington a 10-7 lead heading into halftime.

The Cowboys’ defense clamped down in the 2nd half.  After forcing a fumble and a punt on Washington’s first two drives of the second half, the Cowboys caught yet another huge break.  On the 5th play of the drive, Tony Romo was picked off for the 2nd time in the game, this time by Rocky McIntosh.  He would return it to the Cowboys 3, but Wade Phillips challenged the play and it was ruled incomplete.  After this great turn of events, Romo marched Dallas down the rest of the field, throwing a 31-yard pass to Terrell Owens to give the Cowboys their first lead of the game at 14-10.  It was a 90-yard drive over 8 plays.

After the Redskins added a field goal to make it 14-13 Dallas, Romo drove Dallas 70 yards, ending on a 46-yard strike, again to T.O. for his third of the afternoon, to extend the lead to 21-13. 

Washington nailed another FG to make it 21-16, but Tony Romo had the answer again.  For the fourth time, Tony Romo found Terrell Owens, dialing long distance on a 52-yard bomb to give the Cowboys a 28-16 lead.  The lead seemed safe with only 7:50 left to play in the 4th quarter with the way things were going, but it wasn’t.

Jason Campbell led Washington on a methodical 12-play drive that took 4:05 off the clock, ending in a 5-yard TD pass to Santana Moss to cut Dallas’ lead to 28-23. 

The Cowboys would go 3 and out on the next drive, and Washington had another opportunity to go ahead.  Jason Campbell led his team down the field, but with the ball at the Dallas 19, cornerback Terence Newman intercepted a pass intended for Antwaan Randle El, and Dallas had the ball again.

They couldn’t get the 1st down that they need to end the game though, and the Redskins had one last gasp.  Terrell Owens would knock down a hail mary pass that fell a few yards short of the end zone and the Dallas Cowboys would escape with a huge victory.

"My assignment was to knock the ball down and I knocked the ball down," Owens said. "Interceptions are not going to do me any good. If that’s a drop, that’s a drop."

Tony Romo completed 22/32 passes for 293 yards with 4 TD’s and an INT.  He once again showed his poise and made the necessary plays to win the game.  HE helped the Cowboys convert on 8/13 3rd downs in the game.

Julius Jones and Marion Barber III were held in check for the most part.  Julius Jones had 9 rushes for 27 yards while Marion Barber III carried it 15 times for 43 yards.

Terrell Owens had another huge day for the Cowboys.  He caught 8 passes for 173 yards and accounted for all 4 touchdowns for the Cowboys.  Jason Witten also had 8 receptions for 67 yards.

"This is one of the greatest games, really, that I feel like I’ve played in, just me coming through in the clutch," Owens said. "I pride myself in trying to make plays for the team. When my number’s called and opportunities are there for us to make plays, I know that’s my job."

"What can you say about a receiver who catches eight passes, four for TDs?" Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said.

The Dallas defense was pretty solid once again.  Although they only had one sack which was credited to DeMarcus Ware, it produced a fumble recovery for Chris Canty.  Terence Newman may have come up with the game-saving play, intercepting Jason Campbell deep in Cowboys territory to all but seal the game.

Nick Folk missed his only field goal attempt on the day, a 51 yarder.

This game was just what you expect when the Cowboys and Redskins play, and luckily we were able to come out on top in this heart-pounding nail-biter.  The next game will be on Thanksgiving Day against the New York Jets at Texas Stadium.  Faced with adversity, this team always seemes to find a way to win.