Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 14, Redskins 10

November, 16, 2008
11/16/08
11:12
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

LANDOVER, Md. -- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted before Sunday's game that his team needed to beat the Redskins to save its season. And for at least one week, that's exactly what the Cowboys did with a 14-10 victory in front of 90,830 at FedEx Field.

The Redskins couldn't put the game away when they had the chance, in part, because the Cowboys' defense refused to cooperate. DeMarcus Ware's second sack of the game forced Washington to try a 46-yard field goal that fell short.

Before that, cornerback Terence Newman ended a Redskins drive when he broke in front of a short pass to Santana Moss to make an interception. The Cowboys' offense finally delivered by riding the powerful legs of Marion Barber. And quarterback Tony Romo came up with two huge throws early in the fourth quarter. On a third-and-7, he called upon his improvisational skills to shovel a pass to Miles Austin on the run.

On the next play, he found rookie tight end Martellus Bennett for a 25-yard touchdown. The Redskins drove the ball to the Cowboys' 37-yard line, but couldn't convert on third- and fourth-and-4. Newman, who returned after missing five games with a sports hernia, had Moss blanketed on the fourth-down play.

Early in the game, it looked like Clinton Portis' return from a knee injury would inspire the Redskins offense. Portis had five carries for 29 yards on the Redskins' first possession, and fullback Mike Sellers finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown catch.

The hero for the Cowboys, though, was Barber. He completely took over the game in the fourth quarter. And for the first time in over a month, the offensive line took over the line of scrimmage.

Facing a fourth-and-1 deep in Redskins territory, Wade Phillips chose to dial up Barber one more time. It worked, and the Cowboys' playoff hopes received a serious shot in the arm. Both teams are now 6-4, which leaves 5-4-1 Philadelphia in the NFC East cellar.

Much more to come in my game column.

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