The Cowboys did what they had to do against an inferior opponent Sunday night. The defense tossed its first shutout since Dec. 2003 and the Redskins were not able to score a touchdown against the Cowboys this season.
Nose tackle Jay Ratliff dominated from the very beginning and collected two sacks. Cornerback Terence Newman had an interception that set up the Cowboys' first touchdown. Newman now has eight of his 23 career interceptions against the Redskins. The Cowboys made the Redskins one-dimensional from the start. Washington finished with 43 rushing yards, which forced quarterback Jason Campbell to throw the ball on almost every down. As has been the case lately, he took way too much punishment.
If general manager has any hope for Campbell's future in Washington, now would be the time to tell lame-duck coach Jim Zorn to sit him down. Campbell's a competitor, but someone needs to step in and save him from his own offensive line. Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin continued his Pro Bowl bid with nine catches for 92 yards and tight end Jason Witten had another big game with six catches for 117 yards. He had a career-long 69-yard catch before finally being brought down short of the goal line.
At 10-5, the Cowboys will now face the Eagles (11-4) for the NFC East crown. If the teams ended up with identical records at 11-5, the Cowboys would own the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep and end up hosting a wild-card playoff game. With a win, the Eagles actually have a decent chance to catch a fading Vikings team for the No. 2 seed. The Vikings play the Bears on Monday and then finish up by hosting the Gians, who were eliminated from the playoffs when the Cowboys beat the Redskins.
You have to hand it to coach Wade Phillips for leading his team to consecutive wins in December. Some people (me) thought he wouldn't be able to do it. Now he's on the verge of remaining the Cowboys head coach for another season. The Cowboys-Eagles game should be fun -- especially with a home playoff game on the line. And if the Cowboys win, the Eagles could end up returning to Arlington the following weekend.