LANDOVER, Md. – In every game the Cowboys played this year, they found themselves trailing in every one. So it somewhat makes sense they were able to win exactly half of them.
We will remember this game for some untimely interceptions and key defensive woes in the running game. But there are always key plays that often go unnoticed that played a role in the Redskins’ 28-18 win.
Here are a few plays that changed the course of the game:
(Plays listed in chronological order)
1. Third-down conversion – This actually might be the most important play on this list. The Cowboys had grabbed a 7-0 lead and forced third-and-7 at the Redskins’ 35. Griffin dumped the ball off to Paulsen, who had to fight the ball away from
2. No points before half – The Cowboys had second-and-10 from the Redskins’ 35 with 1:02 to play. From there, it was too long for
3. Murray’s quick break – The Cowboys came out of halftime and established a running game with Murray, who had runs of three, six and then 21 to the Redskins’ 49 before he briefly took himself out of the game for a breather. But
4. Redskins kickoff return – After cutting the 11-point lead to 21-18, the Cowboys needed a big stop to get the ball back. While they eventually got it, it came after a 48-yard kickoff return by Niles Paul to the Redskins’ 46. It pushed the ball deep into Cowboys’ territory, forcing them to start at their own 15. Better field position might have led to a different play call and not a crucial interception.
5. Hatcher’s penalty – This play probably wasn’t forgotten, but had a huge impact in the outcome. The Redskins just threw an incomplete pass on third-and-7 from the 12 but