LANDOVER, Md.– There were some beautiful plays spliced into what was likely considered an ugly game with ugly weather conditions. The Cowboys used a lot of defensive and special teams plays to come away with a 33-19 win.
But all games have those plays that can get lost in the shuffle, but still played a huge part in the final outcome. Check out the five from this game that turned the tide.
Scandrick's open-field tackle –After the Cowboys lost a fumble on the first play of the game, the defense was forced into action early. The response was a three-and-out, including a clutch tackle by Orlando Scandrick, who will be remembered for his blocked field goal return. But Scandrick tackled Ryan Grant on third down just a yard short of the first-down sticks. That led to a Redskins field goal and prevented the Cowboys from going down by more than three points.
Cousins misses Pryor on sideline –With the Cowboys trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, Washington was on the move and had a chance to extend the series on third down. But Kirk Cousins didn't give Terrelle Pryor much room on the sideline and the receiver caught the ball out of bounds, prompting the 'Skins to attempt another field goal. Pryor would've had first-down yardage, but instead Washington could only settle for three more points.
Irving's sack leads to swing – You don't see many 10-point plays in the NFL, but the Cowboys got one thanks to David Irving. Not only did he sack Cousins on third-and-6 from the Dallas 14 for a four-yard loss, but the ensuing field-goal attempt was blocked by both Tyrone Crawford and Irving, which led to Orlando Scandrick's 86-yard return that set up a Cowboys touchdown. Instead of being down 16-7, the Cowboys grabbed a 14-13 lead. Irving's sack got them off the field and might have pushed the field-goal unit back just far enough to alter the kicker's approach and trajectory on the attempt.
Switzer fills in to extend drive –On the next possession following Cole Beasley's reception that led to him being out of the game with concussion symptoms, rookie Ryan Switzer stepped into the slot receiver role. And with the Cowboys facing a third-and-6 at their own 47, Switzer caught a seven-yard pass in front of the Redskins' bench for the first down. That extended the drive and resulted in another Mike Nugent field goal that pushed the lead up to 23-13.
Zeke's first-down run on final drive – With the Cowboys playing for the onside kick in the final minutes, Switzer didn't even attempt a kickoff return, putting the ball back on the 14-yard line. Dallas had just a six-point lead and needed a first down to bleed some clock. Despite knowing the Cowboys would run, the Redskins still couldn't limit Ezekiel Elliott on first down. His seven-yard run led to a crucial first down. The Cowboys finally punted but not before taking off more than three minutes and forcing the Redskins to use all of their timeouts and start their final possession on their own 12-yard line.