ARLINGTON – Dwayne Harris provided two huge returns to set up 14 points for the Cowboys, Kyle Wilber had a clutch turnover that led to another score, and Tony Romo and Terrance Williams had a perfect pitch-and-catch for a touchdown.
Still, all games have those hidden plays that can be forgotten, but end up playing a huge factor in the outcome. Here are a handful that changed this game:
1. Morris For No Gain– After the Cowboys marched the opening kickoff down the field for a quick score, the Redskins were on the move themselves. It was second-and-goal from the nine-yard line after Robert Griffin III misfired his first-down pass to Alfred Morris, who got the ball on the next play. But the Cowboys stuffed him for no gain, forcing third down. That's a down that the Redskins like to run RGIII on a quarterback draw, which they did again. But he was still nine yards away and managed just seven before Sean Lee corralled him. The second-down stop for nothing proved to be a four-point swing.
2. Ruling on Webb's Contact– The Cowboys appeared to catch a break from the NFL rulebook. B.W. Webb touched the ball on a Redskins punt, but the officials ruled he was blocked into the ball, which can be a judgment call. And once it's made, there is no way to challenge or dispute it. Washington could've had the ball at the Cowboys' 24 early in the second. Instead, the Cowboys dodged a bullet.
3. Church & Carr Can't Grab It – Ok, so I thought it would be too easy to list the illegal motion penalty that forced Washington to re-kick, which was returned by Dwayne Harris for an 86-yard score. But how about the play before? Barry Church nearly picked off a pass that went out of the hands of Brandon Carr, too. Had the Cowboys picked that off, they would've had good field position near midfield if not further. But not coming up with the interception instead led to a punt, the penalty, the re-punt and then the touchdown. Sometimes drops can pay off. [embedded_ad]
4. Beasley For 14 –Momentum was swinging in Washington's favor until a missed field goal by Kai Forbath early in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were struggling to move the ball, but they went to Cole Beasley for a spark on first down. Beasley delivered for 14 yards, followed by a 15-yarder by Dez Bryant. That got the offense going just enough to lead to a field goal, which pushed the lead out to 8, but more importantly gave the Cowboys the momentum back.
5. Holding on Lichtensteiger –The sack, forced fumble and recovery by Kyle Wilber ultimately won the game for the Cowboys, but the play before was just as big. A holding call on guard Kory Lichtensteiger pushed the Redskins back 10 more yards to the 11, which put even more pressure on RGIII and the Washington offense to get out of the hole. It allowed Wilber to pin his ears back and attack, which resulted in the game-changing play.