Skins Do Big Number On Cowboys

Moss, along with the two-yard touchdown pass to Antwaan Randle El.

The defensive line took the blame for the Redskins controlling the ball for a ridiculous 38:09.

And the offense realizes it just didn't make enough plays.

"It was just a tough day, like I said," said Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who threw for a franchise tying 300-yards his 13th time to no avail.

Now some are going to say the Cowboys took the 11-point underdog Redskins lightly.

Some will want to say the Cowboys relaxed after going up 7-0, and then seemingly with ease wiping out a Washington 10-point lead, the largest lead an opponent has held over the Cowboys this season, to tie the game at 17 on the first possession of the third quarter.

Or that they gave up on the run too soon or that they were forcing the ball to Terrell Owens just to keep him happy.

Or . . . look it has to be something. These are the Cowboys, for heaven's sakes.

But as blasphemous as this might sound, you got to tip your cap to the Redskins. They just played better and smarter than the Cowboys. They controlled both lines of scrimmage. They gambled with a lot of man coverage on Owens, Shawn Springs playing his heart out until leaving the game with an injury in the third quarter, although look, LaRon Landry was lurking over the top quite a bit.

And while it might have appeared the Redskins were getting pressure on Romo, really it was the coverage forcing Romo to hold the ball a tick or three longer instead of coming up throwing when his back foot hit on those five-step drops as usual.

Plus, how about those Redskins surviving when playing there at the end of the third quarter with two of their top three cornerbacks on the sideline, Springs and nickel back Fred Smoot knocked out of the game. So Carlos Rogers moved over to take Owens, and when they had to come in with Leigh Torrence at the other corner, the Cowboys immediately went to their three wideout formation.

The Redskins countered with those two corners and then three safeties on their nickel. And I'll be darn, with Austin lined up wide to the right on first-and-10 at the Cowboys 38, Torrence backed off him like 10 yards, baiting him to throw a stop route to Austin. In fact, when they lined up, coming out of my mouth was, "They got an easy 10-yard stop route to Austin."

One problem, the Redskins read Romo's mind. Safety Chris Horton, lining up in the slot, simply ran straight out to his left, undercutting Romo's pass to Austin for an interception with 12 seconds left in the third quarter. The Redskins turned that possession into another Suisham field goal (33 yards) and a 23-17 lead.

"Everybody has to look at the Redskins in a different light right now," said Redskins running back Ladell Betts after they stretched their winning streak to three straight. "This is a great team. We can beat anybody. We can play with anybody."

But come on, it was only a six-point lead. There was time. And after all, these are the Cowboys.

But of all things, the Cowboys went three and out. Still there was time, Washington getting the ball at its 34 with a whole 10:16 left. But the Cowboys allowed Washington to convert two first downs. Yet still there was time, with the Redskins facing third-and-two from the Cowboys 31 with 6:58 remaining.

And there was DeMarcus Ware, who must have chip marks all over his body as many times as the Redskins running backs chipped him on passing plays, stopping Portis for no gain. But alas, once again the Cowboys were far too human, Pat Watkins saying he was the extra guy on the field, giving the Redskins another first down.

What are you going to do?

Still there was enough time, right, the Cowboys getting the ball back trailing by nine after Suisham's chip-shot field goal with 3:16 remaining. Touchdown, recovered onside kick and a Nick Folk 50-yard field goal as time expires, and Cowboys win by one, 27-26.

Right? Went through your mind, didn't it?

Well, the touchdown was rather easy, the Cowboys covering 87 yards in just 1:40, narrowing the score to 26-24

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