Cowboys clinch playoff berth with win
December, 27, 2009
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
LANDOVER, Md. -- In the 100th meeting between the Cowboys and Redskins, something nice happened for Dallas.
The Cowboys clinched a playoff berth.
The Cowboys' 17-0 victory over the Redskins on Sunday night at FedEx Field will not go down as one of the greatest games seen on national television.
In fact, it should go down as a game in which the Cowboys gave themselves a chance to win the NFC East title.
Next Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium, Dalls will face Philadelphia in the regular-season finale with so much on the line. Win the division and the Cowboys can host a playoff game the following weekend. The Cowboys also have a chance to get the No. 2 seed.
Jerry Jones said a few weeks ago that in order for Wade Phillips to keep his gig he would have to get to the postseason and most likely win a playoff game. Jones also said a home playoff game would be nice. Well the Cowboys have a chance to do it.
The Cowboys took care of things pretty quickly against this inept Redskins team.
Cornerback Terence Newman picked off a Jason Campbell pass and that later set up a Tony Romo 4-yard touchdown pass to Roy Williams.
The other score came on a Marion Barber three-yard run to push the lead to 14-0 with 8:00 left in the second quarter.
Both offenses struggled for the rest of the night and when Shaun Suisham made a 23-yarder with 7:44 to play the fans at FedEx Field headed to the exits.
There was a concern coming out of this game.
Williams had one catch and two drops. He's not looking like an elite receiver. Maybe he isn't.
Miles Austin, meanwhile, is looking like an elite receiver. He had nine catches for 92 yards and he didn't have one of those 35 or 40 yard completions.
Some of Austin's catches were for 12, 7, 10 and 17 yards. He was a grinder and something you need to do that to become an elite receiver.
When the Pro Bowl team is announced on Tuesday night, expect Austin's name to get called.
It would be hard to talk about this victory without mentioning the defense.
Wade Phillips' 3-4 posted a shutout for the first time for a Cowboys' defense since Dec. 14, 2003. Dallas won that day, 27-0 here. That was Bill Parcells' first year with the club.
On the night, Igor Olshansky and Anthony Spencer were credited with a half-a-sack and Jay Ratliff got two sacks.