ARLINGTON, Texas – From start to finish, the Cowboys completely manhandled Washington, putting an exclamation point on winning the NFC East with a dominant win.
But there are always a handful of plays that can go unnoticed but still are a factor in the outcome. Here are a handful from Sunday night's victory at AT&T Stadium.
Diggs sets the tone again – Of course, no one is forgetting the record-tying pick, right? Trevon Diggs got his 11th interception on the first play from scrimmage for Washington. However, it's not the pick you should remember, but what it meant. Right from the jump, that play showed everyone what type of night it was going to be. Washington went right at the defense with its best player, Terry McLaurin, and the Cowboys answered with Diggs. That play led to Dallas' first touchdown and the onslaught was on.
Elliott avoids fumble, then scores – We won't forget the first touchdown of the game when Dak Prescott found Ezekiel Elliott open for a 5-yard touchdown. But just two plays before, Elliott fumbled the ball on first down at the 11, but was able to pounce on it to save the possession. A turnover there in a scoreless game could've changed the outcome – or at least delayed it.
Cooper extends drive in red zone – The Cowboys have had their issues in the red zone, but not on this night. With a 7-0 lead, Dallas had a third-and-6 at the 19-yard line but Prescott was able to find Amari Cooper open for a 10-yard pickup to move the chains. Instead of having to kick a field goal, the Cowboys got a first down and scored on the next play – a touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz.
Big play for Cowboys – After the Cowboys gave up a touchdown in the second quarter, they led 21-7 but momentum was starting to shift to Washington. Then on a third-and-8, Prescott stepped up and fired a pass to an open Michael Gallup for a 41-yard gain. That led to another touchdown as the Cowboys cruised to a 28-7 lead.
No challenge leads to blocked punt – Midway through the third quarter, the Cowboys were on defense and had Washington pinned back inside the 10-yard line. On a sack by Tarell Basham, the ball squirted out of Taylor Heinicke's hands, so the Cowboys tried to challenge the play as a fumble. But the officials ruled the quarterback to be "in the grasp," which is not challengeable. Two plays later, though, the Cowboys were able to force a punt, which was then blocked by Corey Clement and recovered in the end zone by rookie Chauncey Golston. Oh, and on the play that was nearly a fumble, the ball was actually recovered by Golston.