On Sunday Night Football, in front of an national audience, the Dallas Cowboys are playing the Washington Redskins to determine who will win the NFC East and earn a playoff berth. The Cowboys and Redskins played to a 7-7 tie in the first half despite two interceptions by Cowboys QB Tony Romo. For a recap of the first half, please click here. The following is a recap of each possession in the first half:
Possession 1, Dallas Cowboys:
The Cowboys started their drive near their 20. WR Miles Austin tried to return to the game with a taped ankle. The first play was a run by DeMarco Murray through the middle for 4 yards. On 2nd down, Murray showed some patience, power, and persistence to set up a 3rd and 1. On a very short carry by Murray, the Cowboys barely managed the inches necessary to get a 1st down. The Cowboys went right back to RB Murray who made some nice moves to pick up 21. RB Felix Jones came in to give Murray a breather and gained zero yards on his carry. On 2nd and 10, Romo was facing another blitz and his hurried pass to WR Dez Bryant on a slant was off the mark. Facing 3rd and 10, the Cowboys went with 3 WR’s, but Romo was under pressure immediately and he had to throw the ball (yet another unblocked blitzer).
Possession 2, Washington Redskins:
After a short punt return, Washington began their drive at their own 15 yardline. The Redskins opened the half with a 5 yard run by RB Morris through the middle. A stretch play to the right, set the Redskins up with 3rd and 2. On 3rd down and 2, QB Griffin hit WR Garcon with a perfect pass for the 1st down, but he dropped the ball.
Possession 3, Dallas Cowboys:
After a booming punt and 10 yard return by WR Dwayne Harris, the Cowboys begang their drive at their own 30 yardline. On 1st down, RB Murray showed nice patience and good power to pick up 3 tough yards. The Cowboys went 5 wide on 2nd down, Romo was under pressure and threw an incomplete. On 3rd and 7, the Redskins blitzed again and got pressure; QB Romo had to elude a defender and then he overthrew WR Kevin Ogletree.
Possession 4, Washington Redskins:
After the punt, the Redskins started their drive at their own 18 yardline. The Cowboys finally managed to contain RB Morris on 1st down, keeping him to a 1 yard gain. On 2nd down, Morris broke a tackle and ran through the middle for a gain of 11. Redskins RB Alfred Morris broke Clinton Portis’ single season Redskin record for rushing yards on the play; he has over 100 on the day. The Redskins continued to pound the ball with Morris; he picked up another 5 on first down. On a stretch play left that Morris cut back to the middle, Morris gained another 8 yards and a new set of downs. On the next play, the Redskins pitched right to Morris who broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and then scampered for 21 yards. The Cowboys defense has not been able to set the edge on running plays all day. Cowboys OLB was hurt on the play. On 1st and 10 from the Cowboys 38, Griffin utilized the play-action to get a pass over the middle to WR Garcon for a big gain. On 1st and 10 from the Cowboys 20, Morris was dropped in the backfield on the same wide pitch play the Redskins have run repeatedly. On 2nd down, Griffin hit Garcon on a WR screen who then ran for a first down at the Dallas 10. Griffin kept the ball himself on the next play and ran 10 yards for the TD. Cowboys OLB Ware bit on the fake again, and that gave Griffin the edge.
Dallas Cowboys 7 – Washington Redskins 14
Possession 5, Dallas Cowboys:
Cowboys Dwayne Harris returned the kick to the Dallas 25. The first down pass to TE Jason Witten was incomplete. On 2nd down, the Cowboys tried a direct snap to RB Murray who then carried the ball for 7 yards. On 3rd and 3, RB Jones picked up the blitz which gave Romo enough time to find Witten over the middle for the 1st down. The next play was a stretch play right to RB Jones for 8 yards. On 2nd down, the Cowboys pounded the ball in the middle with Jones for a first down. On a play-action fake, Romo hit FB Lawrence Vickers in the flat for a gain of 11 yards.
End of 3rd Quarter.
On first and 10 from the Redskins 35, Murray carried the ball for 5 yards. On 2nd down, the Cowboys tried to set up a WR screen, but the Redskins played it well and Romo threw the ball away. With the Cowboys facing 3rd and 5, the Redskins blitzed again; Romo tried to throw an out to Dez Bryant but the ball was underthrown. On 4th down, Dan Bailey kicked a 48 yard FG.
Dallas Cowboys 10- Washington Redskins 14
Possession 6, Washington Redskins:
After the kickoff returned, the Redskins started their drive at their own 28 yardline. After a 1 yard run by Morris on 1st down, Griffin kept the ball on 2nd down and was again able to get to the outside for a gain of 12 yards. On first down from their own 40, the Redskins runner was dropped for a 2 yard loss. Cowboys LB Alex Albright made a great tackle on 2nd down to prevent a first down. On 3rd and 1, Griffin hit WR Garcon on a slant (covered by Mo Claiborne) for a gain of about 15. On the next play, Morris made a few nice moves and ran 32 yards for a TD. That run gave Morris 172 yards on the day.
Dallas Cowboys 10 – Washington Redskins 21
Possession 7, Dallas Cowboys:
With just over 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys started their drive at their own 31 yardline. On the first play, Romo hit WR Ogletree for a gain of about 15. The Cowboys went to a no-huddle offense. On the next play, WR Dez Bryant made a great leaping catch for another big gain to get the Cowboys inside the Redskins 40 yardline. After a throwaway by Romo due to pressure, Romo was under extreme pressure on 2nd down and he threw another incomplete. On 3rd and 10, Romo was sacked for a big 15 loss.
Possession 8, Washington Redskins:
After a shifty 12 yard punt return, the Redskins took over at their own 25. The Redskins continued to run the ball with Morris; he gained 8 yards on first down. A false start penalty on the offense made it 2 and 7. Morris lost a yard on 2nd down. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant left the field with some kind of back injury. On 3rd and 8, Griffin went long, but he missed the WR.
Possession 9, Dallas Cowboys:
Dwayne Harris returned the punt 40 yards and the punter had to grab his facemask to tackle him. As a result, the Cowboys started the drive at the Redskins 16 yardline (with no Miles Austin and no Dez Bryant). On first down, Romo hit Murray in the flat for a gain of 6 yards. On the next play, Romo appeared to hit WR Cole Beasley for the first down, but Beasley was unable to keep control of the ball. Miles Austin came back in because Beasley was hurt. On 3rd down, Romo hit WR Ogletree in the endzone for a TD.
The Cowboys decided to go for the two-point conversion. Romo was able to hit WR Harris for the conversion.
Dallas Cowboys 18 – Washington Redskins 21
Possession 10, Washington Redskins:
An excellent kickoff return by the Redskins set them up at their 46 yardline. On 1st down, Griffin again ran for a 15 yard gain. On the ensuing first down, the Cowboys were able to drop the Redskins RB Morris after a 2 yard gain. Excellent pressure from Cowboys DeMarcus Ware forced Griffin to throw the ball early, so the ball was off target. The Redskins used their first timeout to prepare for the 3rd and 8 play. On the 3rd day, the Cowboys finally got some pressure on Griffin and OLB Anthony Spencer dropped Griffin for a sack.
Possession 11, Dallas Cowboys:
After a fair-catch by Harris, the Cowboys started their drive on their own 15 with 3:35 left in the game and all 3 timeouts. On first down, Romo hit Witten over the middle for about 13 yards. On 2nd down, Romo was under pressure and he floated a pas to Murray which was intercepted by the Redskins.
Possession 12, Washington Redskins:
The Redskins took over at the Cowboys 25. On first down, Morris ran for a first down. The Redskins continued to run the ball; Morris picked up 3 on 1st down to bring his total to over 190 yards. The Cowboys started using their timeouts. On 2nd down, Morris was bottled up for no gain, Dallas used their last timeout, and the Redskins were then facing 3rd and 7. On 3rd down, Griffin rushed a pass and it was incomplete. The Redskins should have had to kick a FG, but DE Jason Hatcher was called for roughing the passer, which gave the Redskins a new set of downs. If the Redskins had kicked a FG, the Cowboys would have had 2 minutes to score a TD for the win.
The Redskins ran for a short gain on 1st down.
Two Minute Warning
On 2nd down, the Redskins ran again for a few yards, which brought up 3rd and goal from the Cowboys 2. On 3rd down, Redskins RB Morris powered in for the TD. That rush gave him 200 yards for the day.
Dallas Cowboys 18 – Washington Redskins 28
Possession 13, Dallas Cowboys:
With 62 seconds remaining in the game, the Cowboys (down by 10 points) took over at their own 25. Dwayne Harris was hurt on the return. On 1st down, Romo was udner pressure again, so he dumped the ball off to Murray over the middle for a short gain. On second down, Romo completed a short pass to Hanna. One more short pass to Hanna ended the game.
Dallas Cowboys 18 – Washington Redskins 28
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was posted minutes after the conclusion of the 2nd half, so it is unedited. Please overlook the typos. Thank you.