Final

Redskins 30

(5-9, 3-4 away)

Cowboys 33

(5-9, 2-6 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 19, 2010

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 0 7 7 1630
DAL 10 10 10 333

Top Performers

Passing: R. Grossman (WSH) - 322 YDS, 4 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: F. Jones (DAL) - 12 CAR, 70 YDS

Receiving: J. Witten (DAL) - 10 REC, 140 YDS, 1 TD

Cowboys stave off Redskins despite Rex Grossman's 4 TD passes

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- With his team up by 20 points in the third quarter and Rex Grossman doing a lousy job as Washington's new starting quarterback, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones let out a sigh of relief. He figured the game was "tucked away ... a cakewalk."

Apparently, he forgot how lousy his defense is.

Grossman and the Redskins rallied to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter, leaving Jones gasping for air. Then, David Buehler put Dallas back ahead with a 39-yard field goal with 50 seconds left and the defense finally came through with a crucial stop, pulling out a 33-30 victory Sunday.

"I'd take an ugly win over a hard-fought loss any day," said cornerback Terence Newman, whose interception and weaving return drained the clock at game's end.

Dallas led 13-0 before Grossman had crossed midfield. Washington coach Mike Shanahan's benching of Donovan McNabb looked even worse when Grossman fumbled early in third quarter and the Cowboys turned it into a touchdown that stretched their lead to 27-7.

They could've been up even more, but had only field goals to show for drives that reached the 20 and 2, and didn't have anything to show for drives that reached the 1 and 18.

Still, the way the game was going, what could go wrong?

Well, Shanahan figured out a few things, and so did Grossman. He led the Redskins to touchdowns on three straight drives over the third and fourth quarters, getting 2-point conversions on the last two. Mike Sellers danced with joy after catching a lob that tied the game at 30 with 7:37 left.

Santana Moss caught two of Grossman's touchdown throws and might've had a third in the closing minutes. The cornerback covering him fell and there was only a safety to beat when a ball hit Moss in stride around midfield -- but he dropped it. The Redskins punted and the Cowboys answered with the winning drive.

It went only 31 yards over seven plays, but drained plenty of time and set up Buehler's final kick. It made up for a missed 35-yarder and provided a bit of revenge for a loss to Washington in the opener that sent the Cowboys' season spiraling down the drain.

"I'm just happy I got that opportunity," said Buehler, who's had the winning kick in Dallas' last two victories.

The Cowboys improved to 4-2 under interim coach Jason Garrett, guaranteeing no worse than a break-even finish for his tenure. They also have a chance to avoid finishing last in the NFC East. Dallas and Washington are both 5-9 and tied for third.

Garrett might even have Tony Romo back from a broken collarbone for the final two games. He could be cleared to return Christmas night in Arizona, although Jones wasn't optimistic after seeing him throw before this game.

"Frankly, he's still having sensitivity there," Jones said. "We're a little behind where I thought we would be on how healthy he is. ... He's not ready to play. That doesn't mean he might not get out there, throw and practice, but he's not ready."

Fill-in quarterback Jon Kitna was 25 of 37 for 305 yards with two touchdowns, so he's obviously not holding Dallas back.

It's a defense that has allowed at least 30 points for four straight games, the club's worst streak since doing it five in a row while going 1-15 in 1989.

Maybe that's why Shanahan figured this was the perfect time to turn to Grossman.

Making his first start since November 2008, Grossman was 25 of 43 for 322 yards and tied his career high with four touchdowns. He threw two interceptions and was sacked five times.

"I didn't have jitters, but it took a while to get into the flow of the game," Grossman said. "Maybe we started our run a tad too late."

McNabb watched from the sideline in a black Redskins hat, arms crossed or grasped behind his back. He stood mostly by himself and by the third quarter had to be wondering how low his stock had fallen for Grossman to be considered better than him.

Grossman's first series ended with a pair of incompletions. His second ended on an interception thrown to an area lacking any Redskins. He was sacked for an 8-yard loss on the third series. Later, he threw a pass so off target that Garrett caught it. Then came what could've been the game's deciding play -- third down on the opening drive of the second half, Grossman bumped into left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, making him a sitting duck for DeMarcus Ware to sack him and knock the ball loose. Dallas recovered and got the touchdown that made it 27-7.

Instead, that jump-started Grossman's rally.

"I thought he demonstrated a lot of poise and played well," Shanahan said. "He performed like a veteran should perform."

Washington lost its fourth straight and sixth in the last seven.

At least the Redskins keep games interesting. This was their 10th decided by a touchdown or less. They are 5-5 in those games.

Game notes


Kitna threw a 34-yard pass to Felix Jones after taking a reverse handoff from Jones on a play out of the Razorback formation, Dallas' answer to the wildcat. ... Grossman's other four-TD game was in September 2006, the year he took the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl. ... Dallas' Jason Witten caught 10 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, and became only the fourth tight end in NFL history with 600 career catches. He did it the fastest, needing only 125 games. ... The Redskins lost LB Brian Orakpo (hamstring, groin), S Reed Doughty (head) and DL Phillip Daniels (abdomen). ... The Cowboys lost two players to concussions -- safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who had an interception and a sack in the first quarter, and linebacker Sean Lee.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WSH
DAL
1st Downs2325
Passing 1st downs
1816
Rushing 1st downs
28
1st downs from Penalties
31
3rd down efficiency
4-115-13
4th down efficiency
1-10-1
Total Plays6370
Total Yards341434
Yards per play5.46.2
Total Drives1211
Passing286300
Comp - Att
25-4325-37
Yards per pass
6.78.1
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks - Yards Lost
5-362-5
Rushing55134
Rushing Attempts
1531
Yards per rush
3.74.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)4-43-7
Penalties3-259-70
Turnovers30
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession24:3935:21

Passing Leaders

WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Grossman25/433227.5425-36
DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Kitna25/373058.2202-5

Rushing Leaders

WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Torain11534.8015
Williams144.004
DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones12705.8016
Choice15533.5112

Receiving Leaders

WSHRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Armstrong510020.00476
Moss8729.022013
DALRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Witten1014014.013312
Jones24723.50323

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWSHDAL
dalFG10:46David Buehler 42 Yd 03
dalTD04:09Miles Austin 3 Yd Pass From Jon Kitna (David Buehler Kick) 010
SECOND QUARTERWSHDAL
dalFG12:50David Buehler 20 Yd 013
wshTD09:35Ryan Torain 19 Yd Pass From Rex Grossman (Graham Gano Kick) 713
dalTD03:44Jason Witten 14 Yd Pass From Jon Kitna (David Buehler Kick) 720
THIRD QUARTERWSHDAL
dalTD12:06Tashard Choice 3 Yd Run (David Buehler Kick) 727
wshTD09:49Santana Moss 10 Yd Pass From Rex Grossman (Graham Gano Kick) 1427
dalFG04:26David Buehler 20 Yd 1430
FOURTH QUARTERWSHDAL
wshTD13:44Santana Moss 5 Yd Pass From Rex Grossman (Rex Grossman Pass To Chris Cooley For Two-Point Conversion) 2230
wshTD07:37Chris Cooley 5 Yd Pass From Rex Grossman (Rex Grossman Pass To Mike Sellers For Two-Point Conversion) 3030
dalFG00:50David Buehler 39 Yd 3033

Research Notes

With 10 catches today, Jason Witten became the 4th tight end in NFL history with 600 career receptions.
  [+]

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