IRVING, Texas -- Joe Gibbs has won three Super Bowls and two NASCAR championships. Yet of all the thrills he has experienced, he puts what happened Monday night near the top of the list.
The Washington Redskins, seemingly stuck in neutral or perhaps even reverse, got touchdown passes of 39 and 70 yards from Mark Brunell to Santana Moss in the final 3:46, then their defense made it hold up for a 14-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
"It was one of the greatest moments in sports for me," Gibbs said.
The Redskins (2-0) ended a four-game losing skid to their top rival and won for just the second time in 16 meetings. This was their first win at Texas Stadium since 1995 and the first time Gibbs beat Dallas coach Bill Parcells in their last nine games.
No wonder Gibbs got the ice-water bucket treatment at the end and players were celebrating as if they'd won the state high school championship. As an added bonus, Washington is going into its bye week, so this victory will be savored even longer.
"At the end, there was some unbelievable plays," Gibbs said. "It really took my breath away."
Parcells', too, although for other reasons.
The Cowboys (1-1) were coming off a win at San Diego in which they scored the go-ahead points in the final minute, then made it hold up with a defensive stand at the end. Now it happened to them, although this time Dallas led for most of the game, stretching the advantage to 13-0 with 5:58 left.
"You've got to learn to close the show," Parcells said. "We didn't do that."
The lead seemed pretty safe considering the Redskins hadn't gotten as far as the Cowboys 28 since their opening drive and had yet to score a touchdown all season. Plus, history was on Dallas' side, too. Washington had lost 25 straight games when trailing after three quarters and Parcells' teams were 77-0 when leading by at least 13 in the fourth quarter.
"I don't know if anybody believed but us," linebacker Marcus Washington said. "We did enough tonight. We're heroes, all of us."
Making this victory even sweeter for the Redskins was spoiling what had been a festive night for Cowboys fans. The 65,207 fans -- the team's largest crowd in 10 years -- were lured out partly by Washington, but mostly to watch Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin join the team's Ring of Honor.
While fans seemed mildly irritated by Parcells' conservative game plan, and weren't too happy about an early missed field goal and a missed chance for another kick just before halftime, nobody was too concerned.
Then Brunell got going.
On fourth-and-2 from the Washington 46, Brunell hit James Thrash for 20 yards. On fourth-and-15 from the Dallas 39, he threw a spiral that Moss ran under in the end zone.
The Cowboys' next drive was ruined by a holding penalty on Flozell Adams that wiped out a first-down catch by Keyshawn Johnson. One play after a punt into the end zone, Brunell threw deep to Moss again and he again caught it in stride, never even getting touched on his way to the end zone.
"It looked like the Mark Brunell of old," said Moss, who caught five passes for 159 yards and won the hearts of Washington fans skeptical of whether he could be the deep threat the club was looking for when they traded Laveranues Coles to get him.
Brunell was 20-of-34 for 291 yards with an interception. He picked on Dallas cornerback Aaron Glenn on both touchdowns.
Dallas still had a couple of minutes to try regaining the lead and was in good shape, too, when rookie Tyson Thompson returned the kickoff to the 48. But the Cowboys couldn't even get a first down. Terry Glenn's short catch over the middle on fourth down was stopped short.
Their final drive began at their 21 with 36 seconds left. The game ended with Glenn tackled at the Washington 43, then he rose to his knees and threw the ball up in disgust while the Redskins went wild again.
"All losses are tough," Cowboys tackle La'Roi Glover said, "but this one is tougher."
Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe was 21-of-36 for 261 yards and remained interception-free in his second go-round with Parcells. He used a flea flicker to hit Glenn on a 70-yard touchdown pass -- Dallas' longest play since October 2002, pre-Parcells -- but it was one of the few times he threw deep.
- Redskins safety Pierson Prioleau pulled his right hamstring on the opening series and didn't return.
- Eight of the teams' last nine meetings have been decided by seven points or less.
- Peerless Price caught one pass for minus-1 yard in his Dallas debut. To activate him, the Cowboys went without a fullback.
- Washington is 2-0 for the second time in three years.