The Cowboys did not make it easy on themselves in Washington, but managed to pick up their first win of the year and move to a 1-1 record.
After Doug Free recovered an Ezekiel Elliott fumble in the fourth quarter, the rookie’s second of the game, Dak Prescott took over and kept the team moving toward the endzone. Alfred Morris scored the touchdown to put Dallas up 27-23.
Unable to stop Washington for most of the game, the Cowboys defense finally stepped up in the final moments. Justin Durant broke up a 4th-down pass inside of two minutes to stop Washington’s best attempt at winning the game.
Along with Elliott’s two fumbles, Dallas allowed Prescott to be sacked four times. They gave up 364 yards to Kirk Cousins and could’ve surrendered more if not for a few overthrows. Washington was arguably the better team today, but Dallas made the plays in key moments to hang on for the win.
- The fumbles were particularly ugly, but even without them Elliott was not impressive. He had a few solid runs but still appeared to be indecisive and lacking some explosion. A much bigger day was expected after what the Steelers did against Washington last week. So far, Morris has looked more comfortable in his limited opportunities.
- Dak Prescott got his first win and was as good as ever. He completed 73% of his passes for 292 yards, but was particularly good overcoming pressure.
- After much discussion this week, Dez Bryant was back in the spotlight with 102 yards on seven catches. Cole Beasley was also an important target and had a key third-down conversion before the game-winning touchdown.
- The officials had quick whistle on two of the Dak sacks. Prescott had stayed up and thrown the ball away but they were still counted as sacks due to the effort to protect quarterbacks. Player safety can be a double-edged sword.
- Morris Claiborne emerged as the Cowboys best cornerback today. He broke up passes and also made big tackle on Vernon Davis in the flat. Orlando Scandrick got burned on a touchdown catch by Jamison Crowder and has yet to look like the same player from before the knee injury.
- Justin Durant may have needed some time to get into playing shape after sitting out the offseason as a free agent. His veteran experience showed in that key 4th-quarter drive. If he is starting to get into form, Durant could go a long way to making up for the loss of Rolando McClain.
- Crawford & Crawford registered a sack each. Tyrone’s was particularly special; he rushed from the strong side edge like a defensive end and made a clutch play on Washington’s final drive.
- With a win over New Orleans, the New York Giants moved to 2-0 today. The Eagles play on Monday night at Chicago. Washington drops to 0-2.