Alfred Morris went into the stadium he called home for his first four NFL seasons, and scored the game-winning touchdown for his new team, as the Dallas Cowboys beat Washington, 27-23 on Sunday.
Morris’ 4-yard touchdown run capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive, to give the Cowboys a 27-23 lead, and the defense made two stops of potential Washington drives, as the Cowboys moved to 1-1 on the year.
In the fourth quarter, Washington threatened to extend the lead to two possessions with less than 11 minutes to play. But after moving the ball down to the six yard line, Kirk Cousins threw three passes. Two fell incomplete in the right corner of the endzone. The third, over the middle, was intercepted by Barry Church. The Cowboys defense came through with the big play they needed to make, to keep the game within reach.
Dallas then answered with their 80-yard drive ending with Morris’ touchdown run.
Prescott scored his first NFL touchdown in the third quarter, capping a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a six yard scramble up the middle for a rushing touchdown. The Cowboys led the game 20-17, with 5:47 to play in the third.
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Then Washington capitalized on a pair of Cowboys miscues. On the kickoff following Prescott’s touchdown, Jason Garrett called for a surprise onside kick. The decision to do so – given the Cowboys struggles defensively thus far in 2016 (and before) – wasn’t bad. It was an aggressive call that almost worked. Instead, the kick was just a bit short of the requisite 10 yards, giving the ball to Washington.
Washington followed that possession with a field goal, and then did the same after Zeke Elliott put the ball on the deck on the very next possession. Elliott had the ball stripped by Josh Norman, and Washington recovered. The ensuing field goal gave Washington a 23-20 lead.
Dak Prescott led three scoring drives in the first half. Only one ended in a touchdown – but that was a very impressive drive. Prescott led the offense down the field on a 9-play, 94-yard drive eating up 5:13 off the clock, and culminating with Zeke Elliott’s second touchdown of his career, from a yard out. The drive included a fourth-and-one gamble by Jason Garrett, on which a play-action fake to Elliott led to a wide open connection to Geoff Swaim for a 28-yard pickup to get the ball inside the 10.
The Cowboys settled for two field goals on their other scoring drives in the opening half. Prescott & Co. started the game with a 13-play, 76 yard drive. The Cowboys drained 5:35 off the clock on their opening possession, and took the early 3-0 lead on a 22-yard Dan Bailey field goal.
Bailey had to do heavier lifting later in the half, when a 31-yard field goal capped a 10-play, 43-yard drive.
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