Final

Redskins 16

(2-1, 0-1 away)

Cowboys 18

(2-1, 1-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, September 26, 2011

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 6 3 7 016
DAL 3 6 3 618

Top Performers

Passing: T. Romo (DAL) - 255 YDS, 1 INT

Rushing: F. Jones (DAL) - 14 CAR, 115 YDS

Receiving: S. Moss (WSH) - 5 REC, 70 YDS

Cowboys overcome mistakes, Tony Romo's ribs to halt rival Redskins

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Tony Romo's broken rib hurt so much he needed a second pain-killing injection. His center had a tendency to snap the ball too soon or to the wrong spot. And he couldn't get into the end zone no matter what, not even with a first down on the 2-yard line.

Yet Romo and the Dallas Cowboys did the only thing that mattered. They won.

Dan Bailey kicked six field goals, including a go-ahead 40-yarder with 1:52 left, and linebacker Anthony Spencer forced a fumble that teammate Sean Lee recovered with 28 seconds left, giving the Cowboys an 18-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

"It feels good right now because we won," Romo said, smiling and wincing. "I'll be alright."

Romo was 22 of 36 for 255 yards. His best stat was simply lasting all four quarters.

The fact that he needed a second injection could explain the quarter-sized blotch of blood that appeared on his jersey above his left hip during the game. After the game, he joked that his new bride forced him to play, saying, "I can't have a weak husband lying around the house."

"I want to play," Romo said. "We only get to go out and do this 16 times, 16 days out of 365 days a year. You want to be out there. You put so much effort, when you go, you go."

Romo was hardly hit in the first half, then the Redskins got in several crushing blows starting just after halftime. That's also when the snaps became an issue. He couldn't hide his frustration with new center Phil Costa, and clearly wasn't happy with receiver Kevin Ogletree after an incompletion at the end of the drive that reached the 2; that failure forced Dallas to settle for its fifth field goal and a 16-15 deficit instead of a go-ahead touchdown.

Rob Ryan's re-energized Dallas defense got the ball back quickly, and Romo took advantage. Another bad snap left the Cowboys with a third-and-21, and Romo followed with a rollout to his right and a deep pass to Dez Bryant for a 30-yard gain. Another 15 yards were tacked on because of a facemask penalty on the beaten defender -- cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who last week said he was hoping "to put my helmet on whatever's hurt" on Romo and all other wounded Cowboys.

Hall had plenty more to say after the game. In an expletive-filled interview, he questioned the eight-man front on Bryant's catch and the official's decision to flag him.

"I told the ref after that call, that might have been his worst call of the game," Hall said. "He's going to get demerit points for that call. Because that wasn't no facemask."

When Washington quarterback Rex Grossman's fumble was recovered by Lee, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett dropped to a knee and pumped his fist wildly. He had good reason to celebrate: Dallas was about to be 2-1, guaranteeing no repeat of last year's miserable 1-7 start. The Cowboys are even tied for first place in the NFC East, along with Washington (2-1), which was seeking its first 3-0 start since 2005.

"We're better than last year -- already," Dallas linebacker Bradie James said.

This was the second straight game that a Romo-Bailey tandem pulled out a victory. Against San Francisco a week ago Sunday, Bailey made a tying field goal at the end of regulation, then the winner in overtime.

Bailey's other kicks Monday night covered 41 (twice), 32, 27 and 23 yards.

"We had good snaps, good holds, great protection. I had the easy job," said Bailey, an undrafted rookie who was named the nation's top kicker in college last season at Oklahoma State. "Whenever you can string a couple of kicks together, it's a confidence booster."

Romo wasn't the only Dallas player who gutted it out.

Bryant missed the previous game with a thigh injury, yet had four catches for 63 yards. Felix Jones, who separated a shoulder against the 49ers, ran for a career-high 115 yards and caught three passes for 40 more. Jason Witten fought through a rib injury to catch six passes for 60 yards.

"It wasn't a perfect performance by any means, but enough to win the game," Garrett said.

The Dallas defense limited the Redskins to field goals on two of their first three drives, the latter reaching the Dallas 9.

Grossman really only had one solid drive, a 76-yarder capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass to Tim Hightower that put Washington up 16-9. The Redskins never even crossed midfield after that, punting on three straight drives then losing the fumble.

"It feels like the waste of a week," tight end Chris Cooley said. "We're capable of winning a division game on the road. I'm disappointed with the way we finished."

Grossman was 22 of 37 for 250 yards. He was sacked three times -- once by DeMarcus Ware, his NFL-leading fifth -- and threw an interception.

Explaining his game-deciding fumble, Grossman said, "I was trying to make a play. I felt like I could get the ball to Santana (Moss). I obviously couldn't."

Most of the Redskins' points came from Graham Gano, who made field goals of 50, 46 and 27 yards. Another was blocked after a poor hold.

"We're going to find out what type of football team we have," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "When you lose like that it hurts. We don't have time to feel sorry for yourself."

Game notes


This was Dallas' ninth straight game decided by three points or less. ... Dallas improved to just 9-8 at Cowboys Stadium. The Redskins are 0-3. ... Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said CB Terence Newman, playing for the first time this season, may have sustained a concussion. ... Bailey had the most field goals for Dallas since Billy Cundiff kicked seven in 2003. ... Washington's LaRon Landry had four tackles and forced a fumble in his first game since November because of injuries. ... This was the 15th Dallas-Washington game on a Monday night. The only teams that have met more are Denver-Raiders, 16 times.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WSH
DAL
1st Downs2017
Passing 1st downs
1612
Rushing 1st downs
32
1st downs from penalties
13
3rd down efficiency
3-123-13
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays6263
Total Yards298375
Yards per play4.86.0
Total Drives1312
Passing233250
Comp-Att
22-3722-36
Yards per pass
5.86.8
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-171-5
Rushing65125
Rushing Attempts
2226
Yards per rush
3.04.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-30-3
Penalties4-356-55
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:2431:36

Passing Leaders

WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Grossman22/372506.8113-17
DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Romo22/362557.1011-5

Rushing Leaders

WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Hightower14412.909
Helu5153.007
DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones141158.2040
Murray263.006

Receiving Leaders

WSHRECYDSAVGTDLG
Moss57014.0036
Gaffney56012.0017
DALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bryant46315.8030
Witten66010.0023

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWSHDAL
wshFG10:17Graham Gano 46 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 42 yds, 4:54
30
dalFG5:37Dan Bailey 41 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 57 yds, 4:32
33
wshFG0:25Graham Gano 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 1 yds, 1:36
63
SECOND QUARTERWSHDAL
dalFG12:25Dan Bailey 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 9 yds, 1:52
66
dalFG2:30Dan Bailey 32 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 54 yds, 3:57
69
wshFG0:04Graham Gano 50 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 48 yds, 2:25
99
THIRD QUARTERWSHDAL
wshTD4:05Tim Hightower 1 Yard Pass From Rex Grossman (Graham Gano Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 76 yds, 5:31
169
dalFG0:23Dan Bailey 41 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 57 yds, 3:41
1612
FOURTH QUARTERWSHDAL
dalFG7:01Dan Bailey 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 76 yds, 4:28
1615
dalFG1:52Dan Bailey 40 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 64 yds, 1:57
1618

Research Notes

NEXT LEVEL: Felix Jones was most effective when the Redskins had at least eight defenders in the box, rushing for 99 of his 114 yards. Coming into the game, Jones had only three yards against a box with at least eight defenders.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: The miscommunication between Tony Romo and his center Phil Costa was glaring in a narrow two-point victory on Monday night. Costa was responsible for fumbled snaps on three plays in the second half as well as a low hike on Romo's only interception thrown in the game leading to shaky results for the Cowboys quarterback in shotgun sets tonight.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: The Cowboys sent only three pass rushers on five of Rex Grossman's 41 dropbacks, but they made those rushes count. Grossman was just 1 of 4 for three yards, his lone interception and was also sacked on the game ending play against the Cowboys' three-man rush.
Entering Week 3, Tony Romo had attempted 40.6 percent of his pass attempts this season with throws that traveled five yards or less in the air. With a broken rib and punctured lung, Romo kept it conservative on Monday night by throwing 23 of 36 pass attempts (63.9 percent) underneath with passes that traveled five yards or less.
For the Cowboys, its their 2nd straight game in which they won after trailing heading into the 4th quarter. Prior to that, they had lost 10 straight in which they trailed entering the last quarter.
Monday marked the 3rd time the Cowboys have won a Monday Night Football game in which they failed to score a TD of any kind. It's their 7th time on MNF they failed to score a TD of any kind.
Dan Bailey is the first rookie kicker to hit 6 Fgs on MNF. He is just the 3rd rookie kicker in the Super Bowl era to kick at least 6 FG in any game. The only other two to do it are Jeff Reed in 2002 and Garo Yepremian in 1966.

NFLMonday night's Cowboys-Redskins game was the 12th game this week decided by 7 points or less, tying an NFL record.

  [+]

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