Dallas was handed their first loss of the season at home today against the Washington Redskins, 24-26. Sam Hurd was unable to hold onto the onside kick try by Nick Folk with just over a minute and half remaining in the game after the Cowboys had scored to get within a field goal. The Redskins then were able to simply run out the clock as the Cowboys didn’t have any timeouts left in their arsenal.
Things may have been much different, however, if the Cowboys hadn’t been called for a phantom 12th man penalty call with over 6 minutes to play and the Redskins stopped at the Dallas 32-yard line. This gave the Redskins a first down and forced Dallas to use their timeouts while Washington continued to run the clock before kicking another field goal to get the 26-17 lead. There were several missed fouls committed by the Redskins in the fourth quarter, including an obvious face-mask penalty on Adam “Pacman” Jones on a punt return.
Maybe Dallas made too many errors and mistakes of their own, but the blown calls by the officials again swayed the outcome of this one just as in two of the San Diego Chargers games and the earlier Tennessee-Minnesota matchup when Tennessee was given a very generous spot resulting in a 1st-and-goal that would lead to a game-changing touchdown. The officials have been doing a tremendously bad job in the first few weeks of NFL action and it needs to be addressed by the league.
Washington did play a good game, with no turnovers and fewer penalties than the Cowboys and WR Santana Moss was able to get open at will througout the game against the Dallas secondary ending the game with eight receptions for 145-yards. Clinton Portis rushed for over 100-yards marking the first time this season the Dallas defense allowed a hundred-yard rusher. Jason Campbell was efficient and managed to hit his receivers for two touchdowns.
On the other side, Romo again threw a costly interception that led to a Washington field goal just after having thrown a touchdown pass to Terrell Owens to tie the score at 17-17. Once the Redskins got the ball and the 20-17 lead, they managed to control the clock and the ball very well. Romo finished with 300-yards and three touchdowns, but the interception was the key in sparking the Redskins to their ultimate victory. Miles Austin for the second week in a row caught a Romo pass for a score in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
Marion Barber was basically taken out of the game in the second half, finishing with a mere 26-yards as Dallas had to resort to just the passing game to try and catch-up to the Redskins. Romo was sacked only once but was rushed and hurried over much of the second half and the Cowboys virtually gave up on their running game in the face of a tough Redskins’ defense. About the biggest highlight in the third quarter was an Anthony Spencer kick return for 20-yards after a short Redskins kick-off following a Shawn Suisham field goal.
Dallas never really seemed to have the intensity to match Washington’s in this game as they seemed flat and just a little confused after only the first quarter. Washington played tough, but as I’ve mentioned, the one untimely turnover and some questionable penalties really clinched the game for them. This could possibly be some more fallout following owner Jerry Jones’ comments about Referee Ed Hochulii and his admitted blown call earlier in the week which prompted a $25,000 fine by the NFL.