In the Washington locker room, Steve Spurrier gave the game ball to Dan Snyder. But Spurrier wasn't happy about a messy victory over a bad team, and the owner got a souvenir to remind him of his first losing season.
|A tearful Darrell Green acknowledges Redskins fans for the last time as a player.(AP)|
In a nine-turnover game with many sideshows, the Redskins (7-9) ended a 10-game losing streak to their fiercest rival Sunday. LaVar Arrington scored one touchdown and set up another with a pair of fumble recoveries in a 20-14 victory over the Cowboys.
"Obviously their coach is probably going to be canned tomorrow," Spurrier said. "He knows it, and so it's hard to get his team really riled up to play. We had a chance to beat them pretty good, but we allowed them to stay in the game.
"It's hard for me to get excited. I know they've beaten us a lot, so don't get me wrong. They're still a 5-11 team three years in a row. Sometimes we maybe give Dallas too much credit, you know what I mean?"
It was Washington's first victory over Dallas since Oct. 13, 1997, and it came amid a farewell party for retiring cornerback Darrell Green and tenuous futures in Dallas for coach Campo and running back Emmitt Smith. There were so many distractions that Campo said last week that if the Redskins didn't win this time, "they may never beat the Cowboys again in the history of the game of football."
Snyder got his first victory over the Cowboys since buying the Redskins team in 1999. Spurrier had promised to give Snyder the game ball whenever the Redskins (7-9) finally broke the losing streak.
Spurrier made the presentation immediately after the game, but the players said it was nothing special.
"Everybody knew he was getting it, so it's not like it was some secret or surprise," guard Tre Johnson said.
Dallas stayed in the game because of five Redskins turnovers and two big scoring plays by rookies. Roy Williams had an 85-yard interception return, and Antonio Bryant had a 46-yard TD catch in a seven-catch, 170-yard performance.
The Cowboys finished 5-11 for the third time in Campo's three years as coach. Jones has met with Campo's possible replacement, Bill Parcells, twice in the past two weeks.
Jones said this has been his "most disappointing year" as an owner. Asked when a decision will be made on Campo's future, he said: "Immediately."
"When I said immediately, I'm talking about not here in the dressing room, but when I'm away from the stadium and as we go into tomorrow and the next day," Jones said.
Smith could be on his way out of Dallas because of salary cap issues. If so, the league's all-time leading rusher went out sputtering, gaining a season-low 13 yards on 18 carries. He finished with 975 yards on the season, failing to reach 1,000 for the first time since his rookie year.
Smith said it was a "huge distraction" this week.
"I do want to play next year. I don't care if it's in a Dallas Cowboys uniform or anywhere else," Smith said.
"I still want to play the game of football because I still feel like I can. Once the evaluation process goes on with the Cowboys and so on, they're going to find out that I'm not the problem. I'm not the problem. We have a lot more problems than just a 33-year-old running back."
Green, 42, said goodbye after 20 seasons with the Redskins. He cried during a pregame ceremony. His game highlight was a 30-yard run on a punt return after taking a handoff from Champ Bailey.
The only touchdown drive of the first half was just 24 yards long, coming after Renaldo Wynn forced Chad Hutchinson to fumble on a sack. Arrington recovered, and Kenny Watson scored on a 5-yard run four plays later.
The Cowboys tied it late in the first half on rookie Williams' return, the second he has run back this season. The first came against Washington on Thanksgiving Day.
The Redskins scored again when Bruce Smith blindsided Hutchinson, forcing a fumble that rolled into the end zone. Arrington recovered for the touchdown.
It was Smith's 195th career sack, leaving him three behind Reggie White's all-time record.
The Redskins also had two touchdowns negated. Ladell Betts' 27-yard TD run was overturned when the replay showed he was stripped by Ebenezer Ekuban at the 1-yard line. Bryan Johnson recovered a fumble on a kickoff and ran 12 yards for an apparent score, but several Redskins ran on the field before the play was over. The team was penalized for too many men on the field.
- The Redskins signed tight end Zeron Flemister to a three-year contract extension, keeping him from becoming a restricted free agent this offseason.
- Cowboys injuries: DT La'Roi Glover (sprained right knee), S Lynn Scott (left hip bruise), LB Markus Steele (hyperextended back) and S Tony Dixon (separated left shoulder). The Redskins reported no significant injuries.
The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2002, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved