Cowboys at Washington score: Dallas holds off furious Washington comeback, pads NFC East lead
The pre-game bulletin board material is over and the fight was at FedEx Field, but the Washington Football team turned into sandbags on their way to lose 27:20 to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Mike McCarthy carried out his plan to go to Maryland and leave with a win, and is now giving the boost to Ron Rivera after accusing McCarthy of “making a big mistake” in expressing his confidence. As it turned out, it was McCarthy who had his club ready to play ball, aided by the return of starting defensive linemen Randy Gregory and Neville Gallimore.
By contrast, for Washington the name of the game was “next man,” but it never happened. Washington instead lay down and gave in to the pressure, in a game that could have sent a strong message to both the division and conference that it is ready to make waves on track and possibly in the playoffs. But paste Jim Mora Sr. gif here, because the latter is once again a huge question mark in Washington, while Dallas goes to 9-4 and is still for a possible number 1 in the game in January.
No love is lost between these two teams, as evidenced by the fight sparked by Ezekiel Elliott and La’el Collins in the fourth quarter against Dak Prescott as a late hit – which resulted in Collins being disfellowshipped – and a late pick six of Linebacker Cole Holcomb, who changed the tone, if only for a moment, as Gregory’s back-to-back fumble against Kyle Allen (who stood up for an injured Taylor Heinicke in the fourth quarter) allowed the Cowboys’ defense to truly establish itself as the hero of the day for Dallas.
All of this adds up to an even more critical matchup between these two teams in two weeks’ time, this time at the AT&T Stadium, and considering how this ended, you can expect more fireworks in week 16.
Why the cowboys won
Prescott and the offense were able to take advantage of the first drive of the game by putting a field goal from Greg Zuerlein on the board, and then their defense went to work – they threw haymaking out of the gate against Heinicke and put on an early show for McCarthy and defense Coordinator Dan Quinn.
At a unit that saw All-Pro-Pass Russian DeMarcus Lawrence recapturing the field a week ago, the Cowboys Defense Front made Heinicke wish he had stayed in bed. Gregory negated a Prescott interception by creating a tip drill which he then caught up on his first career interception, and Prescott rewarded him by driving down the field and finding four-time Pro Bowl recipient Amari Cooper for a touchdown. Defense then resumed Heinicke, with rookie phenomenon Micah Parsons burying the Washington quarterback for a sack fumble, who was rescued by defensive side Dorance Armstrong for a defensive touchdown after a convoy into the end zone.
Next came a courageous two-point appeal for conversion from McCarthy, which was successful, and Washington was forced to try to dig itself out of an even deeper hole. They couldn’t figure out how to contain Parsons, who again fired Heinicke to start the second quarter and battled a largely entire Cowboys defense with their bitter rival. And to think about what the result would have been if they had used every INT opportunity that Heinicke offered them. That alone tells you how big the difference was between the quality of the two teams on Sunday, even as the Cowboys offensive tried to implode when it came down to it.
Why Washington lost
You made a … big mistake … by underestimating the defense of the cowboys. Washington got caught in a buzz saw with the return of Gregory and Gallimore, a point that made it impossible to hold Parsons accountable, not that no team has yet been able to stop him anyway. Parsons proved he can fire opposing quarterbacks from the second level of defense as effectively as he can from the edge of the defensive line, adding two more sacks to that rookie resume. Heinecke was in a state of siege for most of the day and, paired with errors that were not fueled by compulsion, achieved a pass rate of 0.0 towards the end of the second quarter and ended the first half with a rating of only 4.9.
To further underscore the ineptitude of Washington’s offensive, it only amassed 29 yards and was 0-for-6, third behind in the half. Another insult to the injury was the fact that Rivera’s defense failed to take advantage of a still uneven attack by the Cowboys, who saw Prescott mix questionable throws with his good ones and get him despite a subpar foray off. could not turn around more than once (an interception). the stormy assault – led by an injured Ezekiel Elliott and further harmed by the absence of Tony Pollard with a partially torn plantar fascia. You’d think a one-dimensional, inefficient offense would be an easy choice for any NFL defense, but Prescott made the games he needed (both on the ground and in the air) and distributed the ball amply, like Cooper, Lamb and Gallup all finished with almost the same production volume in the receiving game.
Washington lost in all major categories: ball possession time, number of first downs, rushing yardage, passing yardage, takeaway margin, number of offensive games, and most importantly, the bottom line. A fiery four-game winning streak ends not only for Washington, but also humiliatingly against a bitter rival who, despite playing less than outstanding football, simply outclassed them on his own field. They should be credited for showing courage in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late, because the Cowboys Defense hadn’t finished teaching a lesson.
This game made it an 18-point game that demoralized the WFT and showed Heinicke that the lion always eats no matter where he leans.
Game of the game
This is one of the rare weeks that two pieces can be seen in this category, and even rarer when both were delivered by the same person. Gregory was an obsessed man in his first game after his injury and Washington couldn’t exorcise him.
First he tips a Heinicke pass and reels it in to intercept it:
Second, he saves the day by beating Allen up for a sack fumble that Jayron Kearse salvaged and takes victory.
No punch lines, just all punch off the line
“This defense of the cowboys is no joke.” – Michael Fabiano from SiriusXM
The Cowboys will look to beat a second rival of NFC East in as many weeks as they travel against the New York Giants, while Washington seeks to hold their own against another division rival and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in week 15 to compete.