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Throwback Thursday: Backup QB Lifts Cowboys Past Undefeated Redskins

As the Cowboys try to save their season this Monday night in Washington, they'll have to do it with a backup quarterback.

It's not the first time they've found themselves in this predicament. Back in 1991, a young Troy Aikman was knocked out of the game against the undefeated Redskins, who entered the game 12-point favorites with an 11-0 record.

Veteran backup Steve Beuerlein entered the game in the second half, and led the Cowboys to a victory, knocking off their division rivals.

The game actually started out unfavorably for Dallas as Aikman threw an interception for a touchdown to open the game. But Emmitt Smith, just a second-year back at the time, tied the game with a 31-yard run to get the Cowboys back on track.

From there, they used a Hail Mary touchdown to end the half – Aikman to Alvin Harper – to build a 14-7 lead. Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys pulled out all the stops, even recovering an onside kick to start the third quarter.

Beuerlein's touchdown pass to Michael Irvin early in the fourth pushed the lead to 21-7 but the Cowboys' defense had to hold off the Redskins for the 24-21 win.

The victory propelled the Cowboys to a five-game winning streak to close out the regular season and earned the team its first playoff berth in six seasons. 

Washington would bounce back and eventually won Super Bowl XXVI that season with a win over the Bills. 


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