Another week is in the books of the Cowboys’ new look offense and the so-called Kellevation is still on, courtesy of Kellen Moore and Dak Prescott. While the defense struggled at times, Dallas overcame a slow start to get the convincing win 31-21. There were five key plays throughout the game that shaped its outcome.
Randall Cobb tips a pass into Montae Nicholson’s hands for an interception
On their second drive the Cowboys offense was trying to drive down the field and put up the first points of the game. After starting at their own 10-yard line, they moved to around the middle of the field when they faced a third and one.
Dak Prescott took the shotgun snap and was immediately pressured after Connor Williams got beat off the line of scrimmage. Avoiding the rusher, Dak stepped up and fired a pass to a wide open Randall Cobb. The pass was behind Cobb and bounced off his hands, falling into safety Montae Nicholson’s hands, who returned it for 23 yards to the Dallas 38. Not only did it kill the offense’s momentum, it set Washington up for their first touchdown.
Redskins get called for defensive holding, setting up Jason Witten’s touchdown
As the first half was coming to a close, the Cowboys moved the ball down inside the 10-yard line in an attempt to get a go-ahead score before halftime. Getting to Washington’s five-yard line and facing third and goal, Dak rolled out to his right and tried to hit Witten in the endzone, but the tight coverage led to an incompletion.
As it turns out, rookie cornerback Jimmy Moreland was flagged for defensive holding on the opposite side of the field, which gave Dallas an automatic first down with just under ten seconds. The next play saw Witten score, but Dallas would have had to settle for a field goal if not for the penalty.
Trey Quinn converts a fourth down conversion for Washington
After the Cowboys scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half to go up 21-7, Washington was trying to respond back with a score of their own. Their drive fizzled out on the Dallas 31 as a fourth and seven came up, but head coach Jay Gruden decided to go for it.
Slot receiver Trey Quinn managed to shake off Anthony Brown and break across the middle of the field for a 12-yard reception. It was a chance for the Cowboys defense to kill their opponent’s momentum, but instead it kept Washington in it. The ‘Skins scored a touchdown four plays later.
Amari Cooper penalty takes away Tony Pollard’s touchdown
The Cowboys offense had once again orchestrated a long, methodical drive to the Washington five-yard line when rookie Tony Pollard took a handoff and burst into the endzone untouched. His score would’ve made it a 28-14 game and would have been the running back’s first career touchdown.
Instead, Amari Cooper got called for holding, which not only negated the touchdown run but pushed Dallas back ten yards. A couple more penalties occurred that forced the Cowboys to settle for a field goal, but it was Cooper’s mistake that actually took points off the board.
Dak finds Devin Smith for another big gain late in the game
Still holding onto a 24-14 lead in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys set out to run the clock down. They did just that, but more than that the Cowboys moved the ball on what eventually become a touchdown drive.
One key play was on second and six at Washington’s 21-yard line. Dak hit Devin Smith, who surprisingly led the team in receiving yards for the game, on a quick pass that went for 16 yards. The play pushed the ball inside the five yard line and helped extend a drive that, in total, took six whole minutes off the clock and made it a two-touchdown drive with little time left for the Redskins to try and make a comeback.