What happened: Tony Romo takes the field and Dallas throws the ball on first down, then starts running the ball to kill the drive; Washington ends up with the ball in Dallas territory. The Redskins succesfully reestablish their dinged-up superstars, getting the ball to Clinton Portis and Santana Moss as they move the chains. Campbell rediscovered seldom-used Mike Sellers, who caught a first-down pass and then a touchdown grab. Dallas put together a solid drive following the Redskins score, but it ended in the hands of new Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
Analysis: The Redskins obviously had a very productive bye week. Jim Zorn and Co. finally added the page to the playbook that has the plays for Sellers, who came into Sunday with only six touches through nine games. Portis got healthy enough to play. And they quickly integrated Hall, the former Hokies/Falcons/Raiders defensive back, and he did what they’re paying him to do: Create turnovers.
What happened: A penalty set Dallas back to start the second session, forcing a second punt, but Washington returned the favor. The Cowboys then quickly pushed the ball into Washington territory, only to have Rocky McIntosh pick off a Romo pass that was knocked out of Terrell Owens’ hands by Carlos Rogers. But Washington’s ensuing drive ended in a mishmash of penalties, poor time management and another Campbell sack. With sudden momentum, Dallas quickly drove 80 yards, with Romo picking apart the Redskins with completions of 1, 13, 7, 28 and 25 yards; Barber’s 2-yard run finished the drive and tied the game. Rock Cartwright’s big return of the ensuing kickoff set up Washington’s half-ending field goal.
Analysis: It seemed that miscues at the end of Washington’s drive near the end of the half took a lot of the wind out of their sails, including the failed challenge of Cartwright’s apparent save of a punt at the 1. And Romo looked super sharp on the Cowboys’ scoring drive. But Cartwright redeemed himself with a 58-yard kickoff return, and Suisham nailed the 41-yarder.
What happened: Cartwright returned the opening kick and bobbled it out of bounds. Washington started a long drive that ended when Campbell missed Moss and instead hit Terrence Newman for Campbell’s third interception of the year. Two penalties stalled the Cowboys’ drive; Washington came out on the first play after the punt with a 24-yard bomb over the middle to Randle El. But then the pass protection broke down, and Ratliff sacked Campbell for the second time, and Suisham missed his 46-yard attempt when it hit the crossbar.
Analysis: The Ratliff sack of Campbell proved crucial, as Suisham couldn’t afford the loss of eight yards before his field goal attempt. Otherwise, the sloppiest quarter of the game would be most remembered penalties, punts and Campbell getting chased by the Dallas defensive line.
What happened: A three-and-out for Washington led to a long Dallas drive and a steady diet of Marion Barber. The drive ended when rookie tight end Martellus Bennett got in between Chris Horton and Laron Landry and hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass that gave the Cowboys the lead. Washington responded with another steady drive that ended on fourth-and-four, when Campbell’s pass to in-motion Moss over the middle would have falledn short even if he had caught it. Dallas came back with more Barber; the bruising back got the ball on each of the next 11 plays to eat up the rest of the clock, including a 3-yard scamper on fourth-and-1 that virtually ended the game.
Analysis: Seemingly everyone knew Campbell was looking for Moss on the fourth-down throw, but Moss never got in position to convert the play. Barber, meanwhile, put on a virtuoso performance; he carried the ball 10 times for 39 yards and caught a pass for 10 more. It didn’t help that the Redskins no longer could wrap him up and take him down. Washington, meanwhile, had just one drive in the fourth quarter and couldn’t get the touchdown it needed.