Redskins Knock Out Dallas; Win NFC East

Timothy Earl January 6, 2013 Comments Off on Redskins Knock Out Dallas; Win NFC East

The Washington Redskins pounded the Dallas Cowboys 28-18 behind the record-setting running of rookie Alfred Morris and a defense that caught three passes. They also won the NFC East title and the right to host the Seattle Seahawks in a first round playoff game at FedEx Field.

Morris gained 200 yards on 33 carries and is now the Redskins all-time single season rushing leader after finishing the regular season with 1,613 yards. He also scored three touchdowns and is the all-time Redskin rookie leader with 13 scores in a season. Washington finished the season with seven straight wins and is now 10-6 after beginning the season 3-6. This was the first season sweep of Dallas since 2005 and the Redskins finished 5-1 against the NFC East. They also finished a Redskin-record 5-0 in the month of December.

Dallas had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, but quarterback Tony Romo threw a lazy pass that was picked off by linebacker Rob Jackson with three minutes left in the game and the Redskins ahead 21-18. Six plays later, Morris scored on a one-yard run with 1:09 left to play in the game. Washington was aided by a roughing the passer penalty, which gave them another shot at the end zone.

The penalty hurt because Dallas would have held the Redskins to a field goal attempt. Instead, Washington was able to increase the lead to 28-18 ensuring their first home playoff game since 1999. Dallas got one last chance with 62 seconds left in the game, but with big-play wide receiver Dez Bryant in the locker room with an injury, the Cowboys could not mount any kind of a miracle comeback.

Despite all the hype, the game got off to a slow start. The Redskins had the first opportunity to score, but record-setting kicker Kai Forbath missed his first field goal of the year. His 37-yard attempt clanked off the right upright with 6:59 left in the first quarter. The miss ended his NFL record streak of going 17-17 to start a career. Romo threw the first of his three interceptions in the first quarter and Robert Griffin III was not as sharp as usual and nearly threw his own pick on the chilly evening.

Dallas struck first when Romo, with more time than a prison inmate, hit Jason Witten with a nine-yard touchdown pass with 7:59 to play in the second quarter. The Redskins countered with a Morris 17-yard touchdown run making the score 7-7 at the half. The Morris Machine was heating up as 60 of the 68-yard scoring drive came on the ground.

After intermission, each team chose to rely on their running game. The only points scored in the third quarter were by RGIII who scampered into the left corner of the end zone from 10-yards out to give Washington a 14-7 lead with 3:10 to play in the third quarter.  Griffin ended the game completing nine of 18 passes for 100 yards as the team leaned on Morris to carry the offensive load. RGIII also gained 63 yards on six carries, and while showing more mobility, continued to wear a brace on his right leg.

The fourth quarter began with a Dallas 48-yard field goal to make the score 14-10 in favor of Washington. Morris then scored the second of his three touchdowns on a 32-yard cutback run with 10:32 left to play in the game. Washington was now ahead 21-10 but Good Romo found his mojo and hit Kevin Ogletree with a 10-yard scoring pass with 5:50 left to play in the game. A two-point conversion cut the Dallas deficit to 21-18. Bad Romo then showed up and Dallas was knocked out of the playoff picture. DC could now stand for “Dallas Chokes” but Washington fans prefer the term Division Champs.