Sunday, November 20, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 27, Redskins 24
By Calvin Watkins
LANDOVER, Md. -- These games between the Cowboys and Redskins are never pretty. It's always quirky, close and in some cases heartbreaking.
The Cowboys can go home happy thanks to a 27-24 victory at FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon. Dallas has won a season-high three games and moved to a season-high two games over .500.
What it means: The Cowboys have six wins and are just a half-game behind the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East. If the Giants lose Sunday night vs. the Eagles, there will be a first-place tie. This win for the Cowboys is just another example of how gritty this team is.
Bailey wins it: Dan Bailey converted his 24th consecutive field goal attempt to win it, a 39-yarder with 5:39 remaining in overtime. Bailey hasn't missed a kick since his 21-yarder in Week 2 at San Francisco. Just before the game winner, the Redskins called timeout, but quarterback Tony Romo, who is the holder, called timeout as well. The Cowboys had no timeouts left. If the referees had seen Romo make the call first, the Cowboys would have been charged with a 5-yard penalty.
Missed kick for Washington: Kicker Graham Gano had a chance to win it for the Redskins but was wide right from 52 yards with 9:27 left in overtime. The miss set up the Cowboys' chance to win the game.
Cowboys' defense can't hold the lead: It appeared the Cowboys' defense was going to stop the Redskins after the offense had taken a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter. But it was not to be. Donte' Stallworth made a clutch catch in the corner of the end zone over Alan Ball with 14 seconds to play that tied the game at 24-24. There was a clutch play by Marcus Spears on a pass breakup inside the 5, a hit by Jason Hatcher on another pass play and a tackle for loss by Anthony Spencer, but there was an Orlando Scandrick holding call on third down.
Witten responds: He didn't have any catches in the first half, but tight end Jason Witten responded with a strong second half. He ended the day with three catches for 85 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown. Romo spun out of the pocket and found Witten at the Redskins' 35 with a long pass. Witten outran the speedy DeAngelo Hall for a 59-yard touchdown reception. The touchdown with 8:48 to play in the fourth quarter gave the Cowboys a 24-17 lead.
Jones' day: Felix Jones made his return to the active roster after missing four games with a left high-ankle sprain. Jones finished with five carries for 18 yards and one catch for 4 yards. DeMarco Murray got the bulk of the carries on the day with 25 for 73 yards. There was a thought Jones would return kicks, something he practiced this past week, but he didn't.
What's next: On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys will take on the hot Miami Dolphins and their three-game winning streak. The Dolphins started the season 0-7. Ex-Cowboys Kevin Burnett, Marc Colombo and Anthony Fasano are on the Dolphins' roster.