Never Mind the Financial Crisis: Washington’s Redskins Beat the Cowboys

September 29, 2008 - 6:08 AM
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Irving, Texas (AP) - New Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn was looking for something to help him build up a healthy dose of hate for the Dallas Cowboys. Turns out, he kinds of likes playing his team's archrival.
 
Jason Campbell threw two touchdown passes and Clinton Portis ran for 121 yards, leading the Redskins to a 26-24 victory Sunday that knocked the Cowboys from the ranks of the unbeaten.
 
"It's a brawl," Zorn said. "Our guys laid it on the line."
 
Washington (3-1) won for only the second time in its last 13 visits to Texas Stadium. With Dallas moving to a different suburb next season, this was the Redskins' last visit to a place that rarely treated them well. Thus, unless Washington returns for a playoff game, Zorn will have the unique distinction of being undefeated here.
 
More importantly, the Redskins proved the two-game winning streak they brought in wasn't just a byproduct of playing bad teams. They're legit, and that means the NFC East -- already the best division in the NFL -- is now a four-way race.
 
Zorn had to sweat it out, though. After Washington went up 26-17 with 3:22 left, Tony Romo marched Dallas 82 yards in eight plays, capping it with an 11-yard touchdown to Miles Austin. The Cowboys (3-1) went for an onside kick and the ball came up high and catchable for receiver Sam Hurd but he wasn't able to hold it, losing the ball out of bounds. While team owner Jerry Jones grimaced on the sideline, Redskins owner Dan Snyder was certainly celebrating.
 
"The reality of it is, you have the opportunity to go 16-0 every year in the regular season, but that's not realistic," said Romo, 1-3 against Washington and 22-6 against everyone else. "We're a confident bunch. I think we'll come back next week with a lot to prove."
 
Campbell was 20-of-31 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Santana Moss caught eight passes for 145 yards and the Redskins made it four straight games without a turnover on offense. Shaun Suisham was 4-for-4 on field goals and Washington needed them all.
 
Romo was 28-of-47 for 300 yards with three touchdowns, but he wasn't able to move the Cowboys as well as the stats suggest. Credit the Redskins, who held Marion Barber to 26 yards on eight carries and made Terrell Owens a non-factor for much of the game.
 
T.O. had only two catches in his previous six quarters and Romo seemed intent on getting him involved, throwing to him on the game's first play and giving him a handoff later in the quarter. Owens got another carry in the second half. While he finished with seven catches for 71 yards, Shawn Springs and the Washington defense kept him from getting anything longer than 18, although he did have a 10-yard touchdown catch that tied the game at 17 early in the third quarter.
 
"It's no secret, when I get involved, we move the chains. When I don't, we're more stagnant in our offense," Owens said.
 
Dallas went up 7-0 and was starting to build momentum when Campbell started to click. His secret: Throwing at Dallas cornerback Terence Newman.
 
On the next three drives, Campbell beat Newman on a 3-yard touchdown pass to James Thrash, a 2-yard touchdown to Antwaan Randle El and a 53-yard strike to Santana Moss. The Redskins had to settle for a field goal and a 17-7 lead when Moss landed out of bounds on a third-down fade, prompting Zorn to slam down his play card in disgust.
 
Then came Romo's best spurt, a nice 2-minute drill to get a 36-yard field goal as time expired, followed by a touchdown drive to open the third quarter. That was Owens' score.
 
Washington scored two touchdowns on its next series, but both were wiped out on penalties -- both on center Casey Rabach. The Redskins got only a field goal, giving Dallas a huge break. The Cowboys got another when Springs and safety Fred Smoot were on the sideline with injuries. But on the very next play, Romo was intercepted by rookie Chris Horton.
 
The Redskins only got another field goal, but Romo again failed to capitalize, throwing three straight incompletions. On Washington's next drive, Dallas seemed to have made a third-down stop at its 31, but a penalty for too many men on the field gave the Redskins a first down. They wound up with Suisham's final kick, a 29-yarder. His others were from 20 and a pair of 33-yarders.
 
The Redskins finished 13-33-2 at Texas Stadium.