The Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins battled for the NFC East division lead on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys won 18-16 on the leg of rookie place kicker Dan Bailey. Bailey won the award as the top place kicker in college football last season at Oklahoma State University. He was undrafted and invited to the Cowboys training camp as a free agent. Bailey made six field goals and scored all of the Cowboys’ points.
The real story lines were the injuries the Cowboys had to overcome. Quarterback Tony Romo had a broken rib and punctured lung. His availability for the contest was in question. After leading the Cowboys to a comeback victory last week, his play was more than efficient enough to lead the Cowboys to victory over the hated Redskins. The Cowboys were also without the services of receiver Miles Austin. Receiver Dez Bryant had a deep thigh contusion and he was not at 100%.
While Austin was not able to play, Bryant made the catch of the game when he caught 24 yard pass on 3rd and 21. Additional yards were added because of a face mask penalty. Running back Felix Jones also had a separated shoulder the last game and his play for this game was questionable. He played and had his break out game. He rushed for two runs long runs of 35 and 40 yards and had a total of 115 yards rushing on just 15 carriers.
The Cowboys first-year center struggled with the snap count and drove Romo crazy all night. It appears that the Redskins were calling the snap count and confusing the new center. Romo was also the victim of several dropped passes including a pivotal dropped touchdown pass by Kevin Ogletree.
I have really been impressed with the coaching job new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has done for the Cowboys. The defense has played well the first three regular season games. They definitely played well enough to have won the opener against the Jets. Demarcus Ware added another sack to his league leading five sacks. Anthony Spencer also had a great night sacking Rex Grossman and making him run for his life the rest of the game.