Gallup makes a leaping grab (8:17 third quarter): Gallup’s first touchdown was every bit as impressive as his second, and it came with the game still very much in doubt. On second and goal from the Washington 4-yard line, Dak Prescott faked a handoff to Ezekiel Elliott and bounced around in the pocket before unleashing a pass toward the back left corner of the end zone. Redskins cornerback Aaron Colvin had good coverage on the play, but Gallup out-jumped him and managed to get both feet down for the acrobatic catch.
Jaylon Smith intercepts Case Keenum (12:41 first quarter): Washington’s first possession ended with a turnover. On third and 10 from the Washington 29, Case Keenum dropped back to pass. After pressure from DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn caused him to backpedal, Keenum forced an off-balance throw that was intercepted by Jaylon Smith. The Dallas linebacker’s first career pick gave the Cowboys the ball at the Washington 36. Ten plays later, former Redskins kicker Kai Forbath gave Dallas a 3-0 lead with a short field goal.
Adrian Peterson fumbles (6:43 first quarter): A turnover on the Redskins’ second drive also led directly to Dallas points. On second and five from the Washington 30, Case Keenum completed a pass to Peterson in the left flat. As the running back turned upfield, Cowboys linebacker Malcolm Smith knocked the ball from his grasp. Safety Xavier Woods recovered and returned the ball to the Washington 21. While Washington’s defense stiffened again to keep Dallas out of the end zone, a 47-yard field goal by Forbath gave the Cowboys a 6-0 lead.
Montez Sweat makes a play (14:43 first quarter): Both teams struggled with ball security in the first half. Two plays after the Redskins turned the ball over on downs, Redskins rookie pass rusher Montez Sweat forced a fumble by Dak Prescott that was recovered by Shaun Dion Hamilton at the Dallas 16. After a short run by Adrian Peterson and a pair of incompletions by Case Keenum, Dustin Hopkins made a 31-yard field goal to cut the Cowboys’ lead in half.
Amari Cooper goes up high (12:12 second quarter): On third and nine from their own 36, the Cowboys had what amounted to a free play after Redskins linebacker Ryan Anderson was flagged for being offsides at the snap. Dak Prescott took advantage, unleashing a high-arcing pass down the left sideline in the direction of wide receiver Amari Cooper. Despite cornerback Aaron Colvin and safety Kenny Ladler being in position to make a play, Cooper jumped and came down with the ball for a 48-yard gain. A minute later, Prescott connected with Ezekiel Elliott for a 13-yard touchdown and a 13-3 Dallas lead.
Ezekiel Elliott uses his blockers well (3:51 second quarter): Elliott scored his second touchdown of the game in more conventional fashion — on the ground. On second and four from the Washington 33, the Cowboys’ running back took a handoff, bounced outside and scampered into the end zone for his longest run of the season. Dallas left guard Joe Looney made the key block on the play, shoving Redskins rookie linebacker Cole Holcomb to the turf to spring Elliott.
Steven Sims Jr. finds the end zone (0:34 second quarter): The Redskins cut the Cowboys’ lead to 10 just before halftime on a ix-yard touchdown catch by Sims. The rookie wide receiver’s fourth scoring grab in the past three games came two plays after he made a third-down catch to move the chains on a pass that was initially ruled incomplete. Washington’s 10-play, 74-yard scoring drive was sparked by a face-mask penalty on Jaylon Smith on third-and-long.