Final

Cowboys 18

(8-8, 4-4 away)

Redskins 28

(10-6, 5-3 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, December 30, 2012

FedEx Field, Landover, MD 

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 0 7 0 1118
WSH 0 7 7 1428

Top Performers

Passing: T. Romo (DAL) - 218 YDS, 2 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: A. Morris (WSH) - 33 CAR, 200 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: D. Bryant (DAL) - 4 REC, 71 YDS

Alfred Morris-led Redskins take NFC East, eliminate Cowboys

Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. -- "R-G-3!" was all Redskins fans needed to chant when they wanted to express their love for Robert Griffin III. For the lesser-known rookie, they opted for his whole name: "Al-fred Mor-ris!"

It's a new generation that has Washington atop the NFC East for the first time this millennium. There's Griffin -- the vocal leader, the first-round draft pick, the Heisman Trophy winner, the team captain. And there's Morris -- the out-of-nowhere sixth-rounder from Florida Atlantic who merely ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the division-clincher and broke the franchise single-season rushing record.

"These," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said, "aren't ordinary rookies."

The Redskins claimed their first division title since 1999, beating the archrival Dallas Cowboys 28-18 Sunday night in a winner-take-all finale to end the NFL's regular season.

"I was 9 years old in 1999," said Griffin, sporting a black baseball cap commemorating the title. "So I stand before you at 22, and the Redskins are the NFC East champions. To me, talking to Alfred after the game, it's the first time the Redskins have been champs since '99 and we came in and we did it in one year. The sky's the limit for this team."

Griffin, gradually regaining his explosiveness after spraining his right knee four weeks ago, ran for 63 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins (10-6), who finished with seven straight wins after their bye week. They became the first NFL team to rally from 3-6 and make the playoffs since the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1996.

With the running game working so well, Griffin didn't have to throw much. He completed nine of 18 passes for 100 yards.

Washington will host Seattle next Sunday, the Redskins' third consecutive playoff game against the Seahawks. They lost at Seattle as a wild-card team in the 2005 and 2007 seasons.

"I've been here for the 4-12, the bad times, almost being the joke of the NFL," veteran defensive lineman Kedric Golston said. "But to do this with this group of guys -- the old and the new -- it's good to be here."

Certainly, Sunday night was mostly about the new. Morris had touchdown runs of 1, 17 and 32 yards and was so dominant that the Cowboys -- missing their five best run defenders due to injuries -- fell hook, line and sinker nearly every time the Redskins faked the ball to him. He finished with 1,613 yards for the year, topping Clinton Portis' 1,516 in 2005.

"I'll tell you what: Alfred Morris became a star tonight," Redskins tight end Chris Cooley said. "He deserved it. He's a phenomenal football player."

To which Morris answered: "I'm never a star. I'll never be a star. Other people might think I'm a star, but I'm just Alfred."

He won't have much choice if he keeps this up. On the Redskins' go-ahead drive in the third quarter, six plays were runs by Morris and the other three involved fakes to him. The touchdown came when Griffin faked to Morris -- one of several times linebacker DeMarcus Ware was totally fooled by deception in the backfield -- and ran 10 yards around left end to put Washington ahead 14-7.

The Cowboys (8-8), meanwhile, will miss the playoffs for the third straight season, having stumbled in a make-or-break end-of-regular-season game for the third time in five years.

Tony Romo threw three interceptions -- matching his total from the last eight games combined. A poor throw was picked by Rob Jackson when the Cowboys had a chance to drive for a winning score in the final minutes.

"I feel as though I let our team down," Romo said.

Romo completed 20 of 31 passes for 218 yards, and his career is now further tainted by post-Christmas disappointments, including Week 17 losses to the Philadelphia Eagles (44-6) in 2008 and the New York Giants (31-14) last year. He's also 1-3 in playoff games.

"Your legacy will be written when you're done playing the game," Romo said. "And when it's over with, you'll look back. ... It's disappointing not being able to get over that hump."

The Cowboys played catch-up after Morris' 32-yard scamper gave the Redskins a 21-10 cushion with 10:32 to play, pulling within three on a 10-yard pass to Kevin Ogletree and a 2-point conversion with 5:50 left. But Morris' third touchdown sealed the win with 1:09 remaining.

The Cowboys also dealt with in-game injuries to receivers Miles Austin (left ankle), Dez Bryant (back) and Dwayne Harris (lower leg). Bryant, who had a torrid second half of the season despite breaking his left index finger, had four catches for 71 yards.

Washington's slow start this season prompted coach Mike Shanahan to dismiss playoff hopes and declare the remaining seven games would determine which players would be on his team "for years to come."

Griffin and his teammates had other plans, and the coach quickly changed his tune. Now the Redskins will be playing in January.

"All odds were against us," Morris said. "But we believed in each other."

Game notes


Griffin set two more NFL rookie records. His 102.4 passer rating topped Ben Roethlisberger's 98.1 in 2004, and his 1.3 percentage of passes intercepted is better than Charlie Batch's 1.98 in 1998. Griffin had already set the league mark for rushing yards by a rookie QB (815). ... The Redskins also set a franchise record for fewest turnovers in a season with 14, fewer even than the 1982 team that played only nine regular-season games because of a players strike.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DAL
WSH
1st Downs2024
Passing 1st downs
136
Rushing 1st downs
717
1st downs from penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
7-135-11
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays6161
Total Yards296361
Yards per play4.95.9
Total Drives1111
Passing19687
Comp-Att
20-379-18
Yards per pass
5.04.6
Interceptions thrown
30
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-221-13
Rushing100274
Rushing Attempts
2242
Yards per rush
4.56.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-0
Penalties1-62-20
Turnovers30
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
30
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession26:3433:26

Passing Leaders

DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Romo20/372185.9232-22
WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Griffin III9/181005.6001-13

Rushing Leaders

DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Murray17764.5021
Jones5244.809
WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Morris332006.1332
Griffin III66310.5117

Receiving Leaders

DALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bryant47117.8023
Witten7568.0114
WSHRECYDSAVGTDLG
Garcon34615.3018
Moss22211.0011

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERDALWSH
dalTD8:10Jason Witten 9 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Dan Bailey Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 89 yds, 7:37
70
wshTD3:36Alfred Morris 17 Yard Run (Kai Forbath Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 68 yds, 4:31
77
THIRD QUARTERDALWSH
wshTD3:17Robert Griffin 10 Yard Run (Kai Forbath Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 82 yds, 5:14
714
FOURTH QUARTERDALWSH
dalFG14:14Dan Bailey 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 44 yds, 4:01
1014
wshTD10:41Alfred Morris 32 Yard Run (Kai Forbath Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 74 yds, 3:37
1021
dalTD5:55Kevin Ogletree 10 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Tony Romo Pass to Dwayne Harris For Two-Point Conversion is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 16 yds, 0:45
1821
wshTD1:15Alfred Morris 1 Yard Run (Kai Forbath Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 25 yds, 1:51
1828

Research Notes

The Redskins went from worst to first in the NFC East this year and it was their ability to win divisional battles that was the difference this season... 5-1 against division opponents this season is tied with the Packers for best divisional record in the NFC.
  [+]
Alfred Morris ran for exactly 200 yards and 3 touchdowns... he is the first player to ever do that against the Cowboys -- and the 6th rookie to do that since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger... Doug Martin did it earlier this season and Adrian Peterson did it twice in 2007...
  [+]

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