It was not a good start for the Cowboys as running back Ezekiel Elliot fumbled for the first time this season and just the second time in his career was recovered by Redskins cornerback Josh Norman at the Cowboy 29-yard line. The Cowboys defense came up with a key stop holding the Redskins to a 38-yard Nick Rose field goal to take an early 3-0. The Cowboys responded on the following drive as Elliot punched it in from 13-yards out to finish off a quick 5-play, 75-yard drive to take a 7-3 lead.
The Redskins countered with a 75-yard scoring drive of their own as running back Rob Kelley punched it in from 1-yard out following a 41-yard bomb from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Jamison Crowder to take a 10-7 lead. The Cowboys offense came up empty on the following drive as kicker Mike Nugent missed a 49-yard field goal despite mounting a 14-play, 44-yard drive that took 8:00 off the clock giving the Redskins the ball at their own 39-yard line. Nugent, who was just signed this week, is replacing the injured Dan Bailey who is out for several weeks with a groin injury.
The Redskins took advantage of the stop as Rose hit a 42-yard field goal to make it a six-point game, 13-7 early second quarter. Following a stop, the Cowboys defense and special teams came up huge as defensive end David Irving registered his fourth sack in two games to force a 36-yard field attempt. Defensive end Tyrone Crawford blocked the field goal attempt that was returned by cornerback Orlando Scandrick who darted 85-yards down the sideline all the way to the WSH 2-yard line where two plays later Elliot punched it in giving the Cowboys a 14-13 lead late second quarter that held through the half.
The Cowboys defense started the second half strong as Crawford striped sack Cousins forcing a fumble that was recovered by defensive end Demarcus Lawrence at the WSH 45-yard line. The Cowboys turned the turnover into points as Nugent hit his first field goal as a member of the Cowboys from 36-yards to take a 17-3 lead middle third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, the Cowboys came away with another turnover as they forced and recovered a fumble at the WSH 27-yard line. The turnover was converted into three points as Nugent hit a 48-yard field goal to give the Cowboys a seven-point lead, 20-13. Nugent hit his third field goal of the game from 27-yards to give the Cowboys a 23-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys started the fourth quarter strong forcing a punt after a Lawrence sack and a 37-yard field goal by Nugent finished off a 9-play, 44-yard drive that took 4:48 to take a 26-13 lead middle fourth quarter. The Redskins cut into the Cowboys lead as Cousins connected with wide receiver Josh Dotson for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 26-19 following a missed extra point with 4:30 left in the game. After a stop, the Redskins last shot to tie the game after taking over at their own 12-yard line with 54 seconds and no timeouts left ended with a pick-six by safety Byron Jones, the second interception of his career and the Cowboys first interception since week 2, from 21-yards out to secure a 33-19 win.
The Cowboys defense had one of their stronger performances of the season holding the Redskins to just 272 yards of total offense, 50 yards on the ground, four sacks, and forcing three turnovers. Scandrick led the defense with seven tackles and the huge block field goal return. Irving finished with two sacks while Crawford and Lawrence each had one.
Offensively Elliot carried the load rushing for 150 yards, his third straight 100 yard game, and two touchdowns on a career-high 33 carries. He also moves into second all-time in NFL history for most rushing yards through the first 22 games of a career, only trailing Hall-of-Famer Eric Dickerson. Quarterback Dak Prescott finished his day 14-22 for 143 yards and added 16 yards on the ground. Wide receiver Dez Bryant led in receiving snagging four catches for 39 yards as the offense totaled 307 total yards of offense and 18 first downs.
The Cowboys will look to extend their win streak to three as they face the Kansas City Chiefs at home next Sunday.