It was a game the Washington Redskins had to have, but the Dallas Cowboys simply wanted it more. The two teams were trending in different directions following Week 1, with the latter staring at an 0-2 hole after coughing up a 17-0 lead against the Philadelphia Eagles; while the former made quick and bloody work of the New York Giants while barely breaking a sweat.
Entering the Week 2 battle at FedEx Field as favorites, the Cowboys looked like anything but to start the game., though, and the Redskins couldn't do much to stop them once they did.
Let's take a look at some of the key takeaways from another divisional game now in the books.
Why the Cowboys won
They looked a bit rusty at first, but once Dak Prescott began targeting Josh Norman successfully and stretching the field in the process, everything opened up underneath. Prescott unleashed his true dual-threat nature, and the Redskins had no answer.
Why the Redskins lost
Without starting defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and starting cornerback Quinton Dunbar, a pass rush that looked good early faded quickly and the Redskins secondary discovered they brought a knife to a gun fight against the Cowboys talented wide receiver and tight end corps. From there, it was simply Elliott making them pay for overcompensating to halt the pass.
There were a few plays in the game you could point to as one that possibly turned the tide in favor of the Cowboys, but none had as much impact on the momentum shift as the 51-yard touchdown from Prescott to wideout Devin Smith with 6:10 remaining in the first half. That tied the game at 7-7 with the assistance of a Brett Maher point after, and sparked a 21-point flurry that went unanswered by the Redskins.
Play of the Game
While the Smith touchdown was the pivotal point at which the Redskins began to lose control, it wasn't until Prescott rattled off a career-long 42-yard run that it was clear the Cowboys would likely win the game. That play also occurred in the second quarter, and only minutes after the touchdown bomb to Smith. It broke that particular drive wide open, and Prescott capped it off with a touchdown to Jason Witten to make it a 14-7 affair going into halftime.
"Yeah, I heard it, but I am not going to allow him be a motivation to me," Prescott said after the win of Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. "I have enough things that motivate me and keep me going. What someone says good or bad about me isn't the case, especially when he is not on this team.", via
The Cowboys will now head home to North Texas and prepare to host the visiting Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. EST. The Redskins will host the Bears on Monday, Sept. 23 at 8:15 p.m.
Check out complete highlights and every bit of the action you might've missed in the live blog below.
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