- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 28, 2008

For up-to-date scores and statistics for Sunday afternoon’s game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, click here.

FIRST QUARTER

What happened: The Redskins effortlessly moved from their 20 with the opening kickoff as Jason Campbell passed for three straight first downs. But after a time-out on third and 1, extra lineman Lorenzo Alexander was flagged for a false start. On third and 6, Santana Moss dropped a short pass and the Redskins had to punt from the Dallas 40. From their 10, the Cowboys moved to the 35 but bogged down as wide receiver Terrell Owens and running back Marion Barber, who had big plays earlier, were well-defended. The Redskins took over on their 18 and moved backward as Chris Canty sacked Campbell on third-and-9. Dallas went three plays and out. After two plays gained three yards, Campbell was sacked again, this time by DeMarcus Ware, who beat two blockers. The Cowboys then moved 60 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 21-yard pass to Witten. On the previous play, Carlos Rogers was called for defensive holding on an incomplete pass on third and 6 to keep the drive alive. Earlier, Patrick Crayton beat Rogers for a 23-yard completion.

Analysis: After completing his first four passes, Campbell turned ineffective in the face of pressure. The Redskins running game did nothing. After holding off the potent Cowboys offense for most of the quarter, the Redskins defense gave up a two big pass plays and committed a costly penalty as Dallas took the early lead.

SECOND QUARTER

What happened: Washington drove 79 yards in 10 plays and scored on a four-yard pass from Campbell to James Thrash. Campbell was 6 of 7 for 60 yards. Dallas failed to move from its 9 and the Redskins scored again, Campbell to Antwaan Randle El for three yards on third down to complete a 51- yard, seven-play drive highlighted by Campbell to Randle El for 28 yards. Dallas had another three-and-out and Campbell immediately found a wide-open Moss for 53 yards to the Cowboys 8. Dallas held and Shaun Suisham kicked a 20-yard field goal with 1:53 to go. A 26-yard pass from Tony Romo to Crayton led to Nick Folks 36-yard field goal at the end of the half.

Analysis: Given time to throw, Campbell was spectacular and his receivers shredded the Cowboys secondary. But the big story was the Washington defense, which held down Romo and the powerful Cowboys. Cornerback Shawn Springs limited Owens to two catches for 11 yards in the first half and the hard-running Barber managed just eight yards against the Redskins front seven.

THIRD QUARTER

What happened: The Cowboys took a short, pop-up second half kickoff and moved 57 yards in five plays for a touchdown, Romo to Owens for 10 yards. The Redskins answered and moved to the Dallas 6, but penalties on center Casey Rabach wiped out two apparent touchdowns and Suisham kicked a 33-yard field goal for a 20-17 lead. With Springs out with a calf injury, the Redskins defense held. After four straight Redskins scoring drives, so did Dallas. With Springs on the bench, Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot lost his helmet making a tackle and had to be helped off the field. But an interception by rookie safety Chris Horton killed a Dallas drive at the end of the quarter.

Analysis: Dallas apparently made some halftime adjustments on offense and quickly got back into the game as Romo finally found Owens. But the Redskins refused to buckle and should have scored another touchdown if not for Rabachs two penalties. Campbell, protected much better now, was poised and effective. Portis ran well. The Washington defense continued to hold up against the run and Hortons pick at the end of the quarter was huge.

FOURTH QUARTER

What happened: Starting at the Cowboys 44, Campbell moved the Redskins into the red zone. The drive stalled and Suisham kicked another 33- yard field goal for a 23-17 Redskins lead. Rogers broke up two passes and Dallas had to punt. Nursing the clock and their lead, the Redskins moved into Cowboys territory. On 3rd and 2 from the Dallas 31, Portis was stopped behind the line but the Cowboys had 12 men on the field and Washington kept the ball until Suisham kicked a clinching 29-yard field goal with 3:22 remaining. Dallas drove for a score with 1:42 left but failed to recover the onside kick.

Analysis: The boneheaded, 12-men-on-the-field penalty notwithstanding, the Redskins simply continued their game-long domination of the heavily favored Cowboys. Where Dallas found no running room, the Redskins, behind Portis, moved the ball on the ground and controlled the clock. Campbell was calm and cool in a hostile environment and played another mistake-free game. And with Springs and Smoot on the bench for much of the second half, the secondary, especially Rogers and Horton, stepped up.

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