It was a game that ebbed and flowed for the Dallas Cowboys, but the most important thing was getting the win, and they did. Dallas held on, then emphatically closed the door on Washington, 33-19. Time for a look at the winners and losers.
Tyrone Crawford - Tyrone Crawford is having a good stretch. Today he had what was the biggest play of the game. Washington was getting ready to put a nine-point lead on the board when Crawford blocked a FG. Orlando Scandrick would return it to around the five and Ezekiel Elliott then cashed it in for a touchdown. To add to his day, Crawford had a strip-sack which Dallas recovered and hit the QB four times. That’s three straight games with a sack for Crawford.
David Irving - The Dallas Cowboys defensive line made the huge plays. David Irving had two sacks, one before Crawford blocked the field goal that made it a harder kick. He also tipped the pass that Byron Jones took in for the closing pick-six.
DeMarcus Lawrence - We’ve got to throw him on the list, too. He added another sack to take the NFL lead, and he recovered a fumble. His remarkable season continues, at least one sack in each game so far.
Mike Nugent - Yeah, he missed the 49-yarder on his first FG attempt, but at least he hit the other four which were huge. The Cowboys offense uncharacteristically could not put the ball in the endzone like normal, Nugent’s points were huge in keeping the lead growing. He also nailed the extra points and was decent on kickoffs.
Ezekiel Elliott - It didn’t start out so well with a fumble on his first carry, but after that he was gold. He had a career-high 33 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Just a stud.
Byron Jones - Things were getting tight at the end, the game was turning into a little bit of a nail-biter as it seemed at least remotely possible the Cowboys could blow their lead. Byron Jones put an end to that with a pick-six that sealed the deal.
Holding penalties - The Cowboys couldn’t get out of their own way in this game. Holding calls on Jonathan Cooper and Jason Witten killed an early potential scoring drive, then on the next series La’el Collins killed a drive at its start. Tyron Smith had two holding calls, one that took a Zeke touchdown off the board.
La’el Collins - He had a tough day blocking Ryan Kerrigan, giving up two sacks, multiple pressures and had a holding call to save another sack. Kerrigan is a very good pass rusher, but let’s hope Collins handles him a little better the next time around.
Scoring TDs - Dallas should have run Washington out of the building, but their inability to turn turnovers and other drives into touchdowns kept the opponent in the game.
A referee - How bad was that call of pass interference on Anthony Brown that set Washington up for their final touchdown? It was awful, it should have been offensive pass interference if anything.
Xavier Woods - He missed the tackle on Chris Thompson’s catch on fourth down. If he makes what was a pretty easy tackle the game would have essentially be over. He’s got a ton of potential, but to be great you need to make plays like that. Plenty of time for the rookie to learn and grow, it looks like he will.