Dallas at (6-1) and in first place, was being called the best team in football, and every prediction had them easily whipping the (2-5) hapless Redskins, who were starting their third string quarterback.
McCoy, making his first NFL start since 2011 with the Cleveland Browns and his first Redskin start was determined to use this stage to prove he could be a reliable NFL quarterback. He made his share of mistakes, and threw a silly jump ball in the end zone that was intercepted, but he also found his footing in the second half and finished the game 25 of 30 for 299 passing yards.
He was also clutch when it counted, completing all of his overtime passes as he led his team to a 40-yard, game-winning field goal by place kicker Kai Forbath.
Dallas, with Tony Romo (17-28, 209 yards, 1 TD) who was coming back into the game after being injured in the third quarter, needed to match Washington’s field goal or score a touchdown to extend the game, but they accomplished neither.
Under a heavy rush all game, Romo bobbed and weaved but his fourth and three overtime pass to wideout Dez Bryant (3 catches, 30 yards) was batted down by rookie defensive back Bashaud Breeland, who also forced a fumble and swatted away two other passes targeted for Bryant in the end zone in the third quarter.
The game started well for the Redskins as defensive back Brandon Meriweather sacked Romo on the first possession of the game. Meriweather had a monster game, as did the entire defense, which recorded five sacks for the game, two by Meriweather. He also forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble caused by Breeland.
Meanwhile, McCoy and the Washington offense scored on their first drive which ended with a 44-yard Forbath field goal and a 3-0 lead with 9:48 to play in the first quarter.
Dallas responded in the second quarter with a 24-yard pass from Romo to DeMarco Murray (19 rushes, 141 yards) which led to a five-yard touchdown pass to Bryant, who ran over two Redskins and stretched out his arm getting the football in the end zone giving Dallas a 7-3 lead with 4:45 to play in the first half.
A Ryan Kerrigan sack ended the first half.
In the third quarter Redskin running back Alfred Morris (18 rushes, 73 yards, 1 TD) got going, and his 30-yard run was part of Washington’s next scoring drive. McCoy hit DeSean Jackson (six catches, 136 yards) on a big third down pitch and catch. Another pass to wideout Pierre Garcon (four catches, 47 yards,) set up a first and goal. Morris then scored on a five-yard run giving Washington a 10-7 lead with 9:51 to play in the third quarter.
Romo was later injured on a sack in the third quarter and was taken to the locker room for observation. He was replaced by backup Brandon Weeden, who like McCoy was a Cleveland castoff. On their next scoring drive Murray led the way with a 51- yard run. They threatened, but had to settle for a 21-yard field goal making the score 10-10 with 4:03 to play in the third quarter.
Washington responded with a scoring drive that was aided by a 45-yard pass completion from McCoy to Jackson. McCoy then scored on a seven-yard quarterback draw that gave his team a 17-10 lead with 13:38 to play in the game.
The Cowboys responded with an eight-play 80-yard drive, which ended with a 25-yard scoring pass from Weeden to a wide open Jason Witten ( five catches, 70 yards, 1 TD) to even the score at 17-17 with 9:27 to play in the game.
The Redskins got the ball back but after McCoy was sacked on third down punted the ball back to Dallas. Romo reentered the game deep in his own territory. He was sacked by Meriweather, who caused a fumble that was almost recovered by linebacker Kerrigan. The Redskins would have been in field goal range, but Kerrigan rolled over the ball and Dallas recovered.
Dallas was unable to move the ball and the game went into overtime. Washington got first possession and McCoy took full advantage of his opportunity to showcase his talents by leading his team to a game winning field goal.
Dallas moved to (6-2) while the Redskins improved to (3-5) and now has a two game winning streak.