Garcon made an impressive catch on his touchdown play. He had to change direction in midair to catch the ball, which was thrown behind him, then stumbled on the way down before regaining speed to reach the end zone untouched.
“I jumped up, closed my eyes and prayed for it. Caught it and stumbled a little, and just tried to give it everything I got and just did what I could,” said Garcon, who had five catches for 93 yards.
With time running out in the half, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall picked off a Tony Romo pass intended for Cole Beasley and returned it 27 yards to the Dallas 33-yard line with 44 seconds left.
Griffin and the offense needed just four plays to find the end zone. On first-and-goal from the 6, Griffin rolled to his right and placed the ball in a tight spot on the back shoulder of wide receiver Moss, who toed the line and maintained possession.
The 28-point quarter marked the first by the Redskins since an Oct. 3, 1999, game against Carolina and put Washington up 28-3 at halftime. Washington outgained Dallas 226-63 in the second quarter.
The Redskins’ offense went cold after halftime, however, and the Cowboys outscored them 28-10 in the final two quarters to make a game of it.
Dallas managed a field goal on its opening possession of the half, and with 3 minutes 5 seconds left in the quarter, Redskins linebacker London Fletcher intercepted Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, the 20th interception of Fletcher’s 15-year career. But the offense had to punt a fourth time in the third quarter, and the Cowboys capitalized with an 85-yard touchdown pass from Romo to wideout Dez Bryant to cut the lead to 28-13 with 1:38 left in the period.
The Redskins’ offense finally got back on track. Washington went 53 yards in six plays and faced third and inches from the Dallas 29-yard line. With the Cowboys’ defenders playing close to the line, preparing to defend a quarterback sneak, right end Niles Paul ran downfield untouched. He made a leaping catch of a pass from Griffin and fell to the ground at the 4-yard line, got up and stepped into the end zone as the Redskins opened a 35-13 lead with 12:48 remaining in the fourth quarter.
But the Cowboys came right back with an 88-yard drive that culminated in a 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Felix Jones, and Romo scored a two-point conversion on a draw play.
Dallas found the end zone again less than two minutes later. Griffin threw an interception to safety Charlie Peprah, who returned the ball to the Washington 18-yard line. On third and three from the 11, Romo found Bryant in the end zone, and the extra-point attempt pulled the Cowboys within 35-28 with 8:24 to play.
With the Redskins needing a score to protect their chances, Griffin marched them down to the Dallas 30-yard line but could get no closer. Forbath drilled a 48-yard field goal to put the Redskins up 38-28 with 3:03 left.
“That was probably the drive that saved our season,” Griffin said.
Said special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander: “Big time. If you miss that kick, then they drive and have the ball at the 40-yard line and they had good momentum at that point. It’s a whole different game at that point.”
The defense held Dallas to a field goal with 18 seconds left, and Hall recovered an onside kick and returned it to the Cowboys 2 before sliding to avoid giving the ball back to the Cowboys.
Griffin took the field a final time and knelt to run out the final 12 seconds.