DeMarco Murray described it as "probably the most physical game I've ever been a part of." It was also his most difficult game as the Cowboys' primary running back. Give the Redskins credit for holding Murray to 73 yards on 25 carries, but the Cowboys clearly missed fullback Tony Fiammetta as a lead blocker. Felix Jones, who had five carries for 18 yards, didn't add much juice to the running game in his return after missing four games with a high ankle sprain.
Tony Romo didn't set the franchise record for completion percentage again, but this might have been a more impressive performance than last week's against the Bills. He threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, and he made many of the biggest plays possible by buying extra time with his feet. His 59-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten was a classic improvisational act that worked because of Romo's elusiveness and the longtime pass-catch combo being on the same page.
The Cowboys shut down a below-average rushing attack, holding the Redskins to 60 yards on 24 carries. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff was especially disruptive, recording two of the Cowboys' nine tackles for losses. Rookie running back Roy Helu had a respectable 35 yards on eight carries, but the Redskins' other two backs were total nonfactors. Ex-Cowboy Tashard Choice talked trash after gaining nine yards on his first carry. His other five carries netted negative two yards. Ryan Torain averaged less than a yard on his five carries.
Rex Grossman, a guy who was benched for John Beck earlier this season, looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback. There's no excuse for allowing Grossman and a cast of nondescript receivers to account for 292 yards and two touchdowns. Jabar Gaffney (seven catches, 115 yards, TD) looked like he was back at Florida. Cornerbacks Orlando Scandrick and Terence Newman combined for three defensive holding penalties and gave up way too many catches. The Redskins also attacked strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who injured his foot in the first half.
Dan Bailey's game-winning field goal saved Joe DeCamillis' units from a failing grade. The special teams' performance was atrocious other than Bailey. Mat McBriar shanked a punt 23 yards to set up the Redskins' first score. Washington's Brandon Banks averaged 32.3 yards per punt return. The Cowboys were twice called for holding on a punt return, including one against Phillip Tanner that resulted in a 26-yard swing in field position, forcing the Cowboys to start a drive from their 5.
Nothing stands out as far as game management goes, although it could be argued that head coach Jason Garrett should have been more aggressive using timeouts near the end of the fourth quarter. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan got the best of Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan despite having less talent. The Cowboys moved the ball despite not being able to get the running game going, but that was more a result of Romo's brilliance than Garrett's play calling.