It didn't happen until after five halves of football this season, but Felix Jones finally busted loose. He gained 89 of his 115 rushing yards in the second half. Jones, who averaged 8.2 yards on 14 carries, picked up the bulk of the yardage in two big chunks. His gains of 29 and 40 yards were the key plays on drives that ended with field goals. Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray were nonfactors, but Jones had the kind of performance the Cowboys need from their featured back.
Tony Romo had one pick and didn't throw a TD pass for the first time in 21 games. He probably set a personal record for screaming at receivers. Kevin Ogletree, who lost a fumble, failed to catch what should have been a touchdown and ran a bad route on the pick, was the primary target. TE Martellus Bennett had another would-be TD go through his hands. Dez Bryant made one big play, but he was far from spectacular. Romo's 255 yards on 22-of-36 passing was enough to win, but it was a frustrating night for a franchise QB playing with a kiddie WR corps.
Nobody has been able to get their running game going against the Cowboys so far this season. The Redskins didn't end that trend despite featuring a pair of respectable backs. Tim Hightower and Roy Helu combined for 56 yards on 19 carries, a bit shy of three yards a pop. ILB Sean Lee made plays all over the field again, including a critical tackle for a loss in the red zone. The defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, with NT Jay Ratliff and DE Kenyon Coleman each contributing a tackle for a loss to the cause.
Rex Grossman didn't exactly come crashing back to Earth, but the Cowboys made him look like a mediocre quarterback instead of the guy who lit it up the first two weeks. Sean Lee made his second pick of the season on a ball that hit him between the numbers. The Cowboys had three sacks, including a fumble-forcing chase-down by Anthony Spencer to seal the victory. Grossman threw for 250 yards and a touchdown, but the Dallas secondary was solid. Terence Newman performed particularly well in his season debut after being sidelined with a pulled groin.
Rookie kicker Dan Bailey deserves a game ball. He made all six of his field goal attempts, including the game winner from 40 yards. With David Buehler inactive, Bailey booted four of his seven kickoffs into the end zone, including two touchbacks. Dangerous Redskins return man Brandon Banks wasn't a difference maker, averaging 20.0 yards on kickoff returns and 8.0 yards on punt returns. Mat McBriar was outstanding as usual, putting two of three punts inside the 20 and averaging 50.7 yards per boot.
Jason Garrett gets credit for the toughness of this team. His game management is a work in progress. The most glaring example came on fourth-and-7 on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Garrett originally intended to go for it, but he changed his mind after burning a timeout, which could have been costly. Fans weren't pleased with his third-and-6 draw call in the red zone during the first quarter, either. However, give Garrett credit for coming up with a game plan good enough to win with a banged-up quarterback who didn't have his No. 1 wide receiver.