LANDOVER, Md. – The Cowboys (4-8) are only one game behind the rest of the NFC East after Dan Bailey's 54-yard field goal in the final seconds lifted them to a 19-16 victory in one of the wildest chapters in the franchise's rivalry with the Washington Redskins.
Earlier Monday, the staff writers gave their gut feeling for the game. Check out the instant reactions from the staff of DallasCowboys.com.
Bryan Broaddus: My gut feeling was that the Redskins were going to find offensive balance and win this game. I felt like that they were going to be able to protect Kirk Cousins and he was going to be able to take advantage of this Dallas secondary. Coming into this game the Redskins had allowed eight sacks in the last three games but in two of those games they were able to win. I thought that the early pressure that Dallas was able to generate with the sacks and then later numerous pressure affected the way that Cousins played in this game. Other than the pass to DeSean Jackson to tie the game, the Cowboys defensively did not allow him the big play and where he had been so efficient at home, he looked very ordinary. Outstanding effort defensively for the Cowboys in this victory.
Rob Phillips: I picked Washington in a tight game because of the Cowboys' troublesome turnover differential, ranked last in the league entering Monday night. Turns out the Cowboys were able to overcome three turnovers thanks to another impressive defensive performance. Yes, DeSean Jackson got behind the secondary to tie the game in the final minute, but prior to that drive the Cowboys had allowed 239 total yards and three field goals. It took Matt Cassel most of the game, but he finally found a rhythm with Dez Bryant, and just as important, he didn't hand the Redskins any extra possessions. Big win for Dallas – they finally won a close one without Tony Romo after being tied or ahead in the fourth quarter week after week.
Nick Eatman: Hmm, well I've got the last part right and that's the most important thing. I did call a three-point win with Dan Bailey hitting the game-winner, although I did call overtime and a higher score. Ultimately, I predicted a little more entertaining game from start to finish. But the Cowboys and Redskins made up for a rather boring game for most of the night and provided some fireworks late. Other than that, I was pretty off with the other stuff. Turbin didn't do much and Dez certainly didn't have two touchdowns, but he did come on strong late in the game. I had a feeling Matt Cassel would play well, but that really didn't happen. Credit him for a great deep ball throw to Dez and then some nice pocket passes on the final drive. The Cowboys definitely aren't a great team, but no one in this NFC East is good, so of course, they're just a game back with four to play.
David Helman: I said that the Redskins would force the Cowboys into too many mistakes, and I was right. But I said it would prevent the Cowboys from grabbing a late win, and I was obviously wrong. In a season that hasn't made any sense, this game takes the cake for wackiness. The Cowboys couldn't run the ball as well as I thought they'd be able to. In fact, they couldn't do much of anything. They were 1-of-9 on third down, and they were minus-two in turnover differential. If not for an amazing effort from the defense – which allowed just 267 total yards – I doubt Dan Bailey is ever in position to kick a game-winner. The Cowboys made the plays and caught the breaks they've been missing for so many weeks, and because of it they're somehow still alive in the NFC East. Chalk it up to utter determination not to let their miscues sink them, which has been the case for so much of this star-crossed season.
For the initial gut feeling predictions of the staff writers posted Monday morning, click here: