What happened: Tony Romo threw the ball on first down, then Dallas started running the ball and killed the drive. Washington got the ball in Dallas territory, and the Redskins successfully re-established their dinged-up stars, getting the ball to Clinton Portis and Santana Moss and moving the chains. Campbell even found seldom-used Mike Sellers, who caught a first-down pass and then a touchdown grab. Dallas put together a solid drive after the touchdown, but it ended in the hands of new Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
Analysis: The Redskins obviously had a productive bye week. Jim Zorn and Co. finally added the page of the playbook that utilizes Sellers, who came into Sunday with three touches in nine games. Portis got healthy enough to play, and the Redskins quickly integrated Hall, the former Hokies/Falcons/Raiders defensive back. He did what they’re paying him to do: create a turnover.
What happened: To start the quarter, a penalty set Dallas back and forced a second punt, but Washington returned the favor. The Cowboys quickly pushed the ball into Washington territory, only to have Rocky McIntosh pick off a pass by Romo that was knocked out of Terrell Owens’ hands by Carlos Rogers. Washington’s ensuing drive ended thanks to a mishmash of penalties, poor time management and another sack. With 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 score. Rock Cartwright’s big return on the ensuing kickoff set up Shaun Suisham’s 41-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the half.
Analysis: It seemed miscues late in Washington’s drive near the end of the half — including a failed challenge of Cartwright’s apparent downing of a punt at the 1 — damaged the Redskins’ momentum. Romo looked sharp on the Cowboys’ scoring drive, but Cartwright redeemed himself with the 58-yard kickoff return, and Suisham nailed the kick.
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 Terence 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 Antwaan Randle El. Then the pass protection broke down, and Jay Ratliff sacked Campbell for the second time. Suisham missed a 46-yard attempt when it hit the crossbar.
Analysis: Ratliff’s sack was crucial; Suisham couldn’t afford the 8-yard loss before his field goal attempt. Otherwise, the game’s sloppiest quarter will be most remembered for penalties, punts and pressure on Campbell by 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 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-4 when Campbell threw incomplete to Moss; even if he had caught it, he would have been brought down short of the mark. 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 wrapped it up.
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 in the quarter. It didn’t help that the Redskins no longer could wrap him up and take him down. Washington had just one drive in the fourth quarter and couldn’t get the touchdown it needed.