The Cowboys got four field goals by place kicker Tim Seder and touchdown runs by running back Emmitt Smith and wide receivers Wane McGarity and Jason Tucker. The Redskins could not stop Smith, who ran for 150 yards on 23 carries to move past 1,000 yards for the season and 15,000 yards for his career. The Cowboys threw only eight passes in the game, with five completions for 89 yards.
Wilkinson called the Redskins' run defense "sickening." Robiskie said he was "shocked" at Smith's production. Robiskie said he was disappointed that his team lost its composure. Davis received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing the ball at a Dallas defender after a play. Guard Jay Leeuwenburg and Cowboys defensive end Alonzo Spellman were ejected for a late-game scuffle.
Things can only look up for Terry Robiskie after Sunday's coaching debut with the Redskins.
(John McDonnell - The Washington Post)
Robiskie said he did not question his club's heart, desire or effort, but added: "I thought some of the things we did on the field were like a high school team."
Davis provided a one-yard touchdown run for the Redskins for a brief 7-6 lead in the second quarter. But they didn't score again until long after the outcome had been decided--and that was a 32-yard touchdown pass from George to wide receiver Irving Fryar with just over four minutes to play.
Robiskie's emphasis on improving the special teams did not yield dividends. A penalty for an illegal block by David Terrell on the opening kickoff had the Redskins beginning their first drive from their 6-yard line. Davis ran for six yards on first down. But he was stopped for just a one-yard gain on second down, and the Redskins had to call a timeout before their third-down play. Wide receiver Albert Connell dropped George's pass while running a slant pattern, and Sims needed to be helped off the field.
McGarity broke free for a 33-yard punt return that gave the Cowboys possession at the Redskins 25. The Redskins' defense did not yield a first down, as Aikman's third-down completion to tight end Jackie Harris left Dallas a yard shy of the marker at the Washington 16. Seder connected from 33 yards to put the Cowboys in front, 3-0.
With veteran tackle Andy Heck filling in at left guard, the Redskins offense went three plays and out. George was sacked for a 17-yard loss by defensive end Greg Ellis on third down. Tommy Barnhardt launched a 52-yard punt. But McGarity found room along the sideline for a 27-yard return, and the Cowboys were back in business at the Redskins 30.
Again, they could muster only a field goal. Dallas managed a first down at the Redskins 7. Two runs by Smith got them to the 1. But they opted to pass on third down. The Redskins blitzed, and forced Aikman out of the pocket. He threw incomplete as he rolled right and was slammed to the turf by Arrington after releasing the ball. Aikman's day was done.
The Cowboys gave the Redskins three first downs on penalties on Washington's next possession. But the Redskins didn't even cross midfield. They used their second timeout of the first quarter before a third-and-eight play from their 49.
They went to a formation with five wide receivers, including Bailey, but George was sacked again.
Wide receiver James McKnight got behind Sanders and caught Wright's on-target throw for a 46-yard gain to the Redskins 20, giving Dallas a chance to add to its lead. But sacks by Marco Coleman and Wilkinson on consecutive plays pushed the Cowboys back, and Seder's 47-yard attempt plunked off the right upright.
The Redskins marched 62 yards to take the lead. George connected with Bailey for 24 yards on Bailey's first NFL reception and hit Fryar for 21 yards to the Dallas 3. Davis bulled his way to the 1 on first down, then plowed into the end zone on second down.
The lead didn't last long, however. A 15-yard completion to Harris got the Cowboys to midfield. McKnight got behind Sanders again. Wright's pass fell incomplete, but Sanders was hit with a pass interference penalty that moved the Cowboys to the Redskins 22. McGarity took the ball from Wright on an end-around on the next play. Arrington and Bailey failed to keep the speedy wideout contained to the inside. He got outside, worked his way down the right sideline and got into the end zone.
The Cowboys' two-point conversion attempt failed, but they took their 12-7 advantage into halftime. The Redskins' final two drives of the half ended on a third-down sack by Cowboys defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, who blew past rookie left tackle Chris Samuels, and cornerback Ryan McNeil's interception of a deep throw by George.
After the defense forced a Cowboys punt, the Redskins' first offensive play of the second half resulted in a turnover. Davis had the ball poked from his hands, and linebacker Dexter Coakley made the pickup for the Cowboys. Dallas took possession at the Redskins 22 and needed just two runs by Smith to score. He rumbled for 20 yards on the first, then maneuvered his way into the end zone on the second.
George fumbled on a sack to begin the Redskins' next drive, but Heck made the recovery. No matter. The Redskins punted. Smith ripped off runs of 13 and 25 yards. The Cowboys couldn't get a touchdown, but Seder's 20-yard field goal made it 22-7 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.