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McBriar's Tackle Helped Avoid Big Hole

IRVING, Texas --A returner with world-class speed in the open field vs. a punter with an injured foot. Who you got?

Ten times out of 10, you'll probably take Washington's Brandon Banks against Mat McBriar. On Sunday, McBriar's tackle (sort of) on Banks was among the biggest plays in the Cowboys' 27-24 win.

Following the Cowboys' opening drive of the third quarter, Banks ripped off a 55-yard punt return and almost beat McBriar, the last line of defense, to the right sideline. McBriar was able to stop him, bad plant foot and all.

"I'm not thinking about that as much as 'OK, at least he's going to the sideline," McBriar said. "I can maybe throw my arms out a bit wider, a little bit more menacing like what you're supposed to do if a bear sees you in the woods.

"In all honesty, he'd be kicking himself (seeing the replay). He's a really good returner."

Banks probably will be, because had he cut inside instead of heading to the sideline, McBriar likely wouldn't have been able to move laterally fast enough. Leading 17-10, the Redskins wound up punting on the ensuing drive.

Big play. It atoned for McBriar's 23-yard shank in the second quarter that led to a Washington score, a punt that he said, "I wanted to hit left anyway, and it *really *took off left."

When head coach Jason Garrett said "it took everybody" Sunday, McBriar's "tackle" on a bad wheel was a pretty good example.

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