July 15, 2020

Washington Redskins Game 8 Review: McCoy shocks Cowboys in overtime

In what seems to be another season destined for being on the outside of the playoffs, this could very well have been the high point.

The Washington Redskins, huge underdogs to the 6-1 Dallas Cowboys, went on the road on Monday Night Football led by third-string quarterback Colt McCoy and beat Dallas 20-17 in overtime.

McCoy went 25 of 30 for 299 yards and hit Jordan Reed twice in overtime for big first downs to set up Kai Forbath on what turned out to be a game-winning 40-yard field goal on the first possession in the extra session.But with the NFL’s new overtime rules, Redskins fans had to sweat out one more Dallas possession. But Tony Romo’s last pass of the night was knocked down by Bashaud Breeland — who had a tremendous game coving star wide-out Dez Bryant — and McCoy and the Redskins could finally celebrate.

It was a tight game the whole way, with neither team really taking advantage of the mistakes the other team was willing to provide. But the Redskins forced four fumbles, recovering two, and sacked Dallas quarterbacks four times, limiting the Cowboys to 224 net yards passing.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s defense blitzed often, and eventually just the threat of blitz ended up working just as well against Romo and backup Brandon Weeden, who spelled Romo much of the second half when the starter went down with a back injury for a while.

The Redskins (3-5) forced Dallas to punt after its first possession, and Andre Roberts returned the kick 37 yards to give the Redskins good field position. A 20-yard catch-and-run by Niles Paul set them up in field goal range and when the drive stalled, Kai Forbath nailed a 44-yard kick to give Washington an early 3-0 lead.

Cowboys backup running back Joseph Randle was stripped by Brandon Meriweather, giving the Redskins the ball at the Dallas 20. But two plays later, Colt McCoy lobbed a wobbly pass into the corner of the end zone which was easily picked off by J.J. Wilcox.

Several plays later, DeMarco Murray took a swing pass 36 yards to the Redskins 10-yard line, but he was gang tackled and while fighting for an extra yard, the league’s leading rusher coughed the ball up and Meriweather recovered the fumble.

The Redskins weren’t able to move the ball and Tress Way’s punt went through the end zone for a touchback. The Cowboys then marched the field, including a 24-yard pass completion to Murray on a blitz, before Tony Romo found Dez Bryant at the 5, and Bryant dragged Ryan Clark into the end zone for a 7-3 Dallas lead.

After the break, the Redskins took the second half kick and went 80 yards in eight plays as Alfred Morris (18 carries, 73 yards) finally got involved in the game. Morris took an off-tackle right for 29 yards and an 18-yard pass from McCoy to Pierre Garcon set up Morris’ 5-yard touchdown carry to give the Redskins a 10-7 lead.

On the next possession, the Redskins blitzed on third down and Keenan Robinson sacked Romo, and Romo stayed down. He was helped to the locker room with an apparent back injury. Washington was unable to do anything on the ensuing possession so Brandon Weeden took over for Dallas and led the Cowboys to a 21-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.

The Redskins then drove the length of the field _ including a 45-yard completion from McCoy to Desean Jackson (6 catches, 136 yards) _ and scored when McCoy took a quarterback draw seven yards for a touchdown, lifting Washington to a 17-10 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

But the Cowboys came right back behind Weeden. Using the running back swing pass to perfection, Murray picked up 23 yards and Dallas carved up the Redskins defense, concluding the drive on a 25-yard scoring strike to Jason Witten, who didn’t have a Redskins defender within ten yards when he made the catch to tie the game at 17-17.

Washington tried to get into field goal range late in the fourth quarter, and they converted a fourth-and-one on a swing past to Darrel Young at midfield. But a delay-of-game call turned a third-and-five into 10, and on the following play McCoy was sacked and the Redskins were forced to punt.

Dallas took the ball back and Romo came back in the game and fumbled after getting drilled by Meriweather. But Ryan Kerrigan couldn’t corral the loose ball and an interception went through Breeland’s arms, so time expired and the teams headed to overtime.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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