About Cowboys Roll Redskins, 27-10
|September 18th, 2006||#1|
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Cowboys Roll Redskins, 27-10 info
IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys' players were reminded all week of a pair of games in which they had control, only to lose in the fourth quarter.
One was last week. One was last year.
The Cowboys couldn't help but think about those games as they entered the fourth quarter Sunday night, once again in control of their opponent.
But there would be no comeback this time.
The Cowboys were able to overcome their mistakes, make a few big plays in the final quarter and ride a dominating defense to a convincing 27-10 victory Sunday night over the Redskins at Texas Stadium.
The Cowboys not only bounced back from last Sunday's seven-point loss to the Jaguars after leading by 10 in the second quarter, but they avenged an embarrassing loss to the Redskins last year in which they led by 13 in the final four minutes only to fall, 14-13, on a pair of long touchdown passes to Santana Moss.
While some of the players debated this week just how much last year's loss lingered, one thing was clear: The Cowboys weren't going to allow another second-half rally.
The Cowboys broke open a 17-10 lead in the fourth quarter with a six-play, 99-yard drive that ended on Drew Bledsoe's 40-yard touchdown pass to Terry Glenn. The offense put the game out of reach with a much-needed 50-yard field goal by kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who made his Cowboys debut.
But there were a few drawbacks, including another injury to wide receiver Terrell Owens, who broke a bone in his right hand and will undergo surgery early this week. Owens said he expects to be out 2-4 weeks and believes the upcoming bye week couldn't come at a better time.
"I feel like I'm a quick healer," said Owens, who missed three preseason games because of a nagging hamstring injury. "I'm just going to try to get back as fast as I can. It starts tomorrow. Once we have the surgery, we'll just try to get back. It came at a pretty good time. Obviously, we have a bye week, so I have at least two weeks to heal."
Owens said he thought the injury occurred on the first offensive series while he was blocking a defender.
"I think it was fluke thing," Owens said. "I think I was going in blocking and I felt something weird. I felt like I jammed it. But I just kept playing."
Owens did drop two passes and appeared to catch one ball in the end zone until a Redskins defender knocked it away, forcing the Cowboys to settle for a field goal in the first quarter.
Dropped passes became a recurring theme Sunday night. Owens and tight end Jason Witten each had two of about eight dropped passes from Bledsoe. The drops were just some of the mistakes that made head coach Bill Parcells feel sick after the game.
"I just want my team to play better," Parcells said. "It is hard on me, it really is. I am feeling ill right now. Literally. I just want us to play better."
The Cowboys had problems with penalties, committing nine for 90 yards. The Redskins weren't any better, getting flagged 11 times for 117 yards.
Despite 20 combined penalties, both teams had chances to win.
For the second consecutive week, the Cowboys grabbed a 10-0 lead after scoring on their first two offensive possessions. Bledsoe's 4-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton gave the Cowboys an early edge, but the Redskins were able to answer.
A field goal by John Hall cut the Cowboys' lead to seven, and even after a 41-yard pass interference penalty set up a Marion Barber touchdown run, the Redskins kept things close in the second quarter.
Washington's Rock Cartwright returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, trimming the Cowboys lead to 17-10 heading into halftime. It was the first kickoff returned for a touchdown against the Cowboys since 1993 (Green Bay's Robert Brooks).
"That kickoff kept them alive," Parcells said. "That was a big play for them. They did a good job of executing."
But the Cowboys' defense made sure they didn't score again.
The pass defense, which was ridiculed after last Sunday's loss to the Jaguars, responded by allowing only 152 passing yards, 107 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys limited Moss to four catches for 69 yards, which again, took place mostly in the fourth quarter.
"We got after them today," Cowboys linebacker Bradie James said. "Our guys in the secondary really stepped up and we were able to get some heat on (Redskins quarterback Mark) Brunell."
Heat was an understatement. Six different players helped collect six total sacks.
"We definitely wanted to keep the pressure on them because of what happened last game," said defensive end Marcus Spears, who had one sack. "You've got to finish out when you've got your backs against the wall."
While the season is still young, the Cowboys did have some added pressure to win Sunday's game and avoid an 0-2 start with the bye week looming.
Despite the early-season bye week, Bledsoe, like Owens, said this could be the perfect time for a break.
"We're still making so many mistakes right now," said Bledsoe, whose stats (19-of-38, 237 yards, two touchdowns) were diffused by the dropped passes. "It's frustrating and it's going to result in some losses if we don't get it fixed. So we need to take this week and really try to figure out what's going on and try to get things turned around."
Speaking of turning it around, Bledsoe rebounded from last week's three-interception performance and 45.8 quarterback rating. This week, Bledsoe fought through the dropped passes and did not throw an interception.
If anything, Bledsoe quieted critics calling for backup Tony Romo to replace him as the starter.
"We dealt with some adversity last week and so it always feels good to come out and get a win," Bledsoe said. "I've always said, what ultimately defines you is not what happens - it's how you react. So we were able to react last week and come out and get a win and put last week behind us." And maybe now they can officially put last year's loss behind them, too.
|September 19th, 2006||#4|
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Still mourning that ugly loss.
Ok, time to pick up the pieces and get ready for next week.
HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!
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