Bailey kicks Cowboys to win over Redskins

Despite not scoring a single touchdown on Monday, the Dallas Cowboys improved to 2-1 on the season with an 18-16 win over the previously unbeaten Washington Redskins. Dan Bailey kicked six field goals in six attempts tying the rookie record for field goals in one game. Garo Yepremian had six for the Lions in 1966 (in a 32–31 win over the Vikings) and the Steelers’ Jeff Reed had six in 2002 (in a 25–23 win over the Jaguars).

Bailey is also the third kicker in Cowboys' history to kick at least six field goals in a game. The former Lou Groza Award winner out of Oklahoma State joins Chris Boniol in 1996 and Billy Cundiff in 2003 who each kicked seven field goals and also did it on Monday Night Football. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bailey is also the first Dallas kicker since Cundiff in 2003 to make at least one field goal in six consecutive quarters (including an overtime period).

Tony Romo completed 22 of 36 passes for 255 yards, but saw his streak of 20 consecutive games with a touchdown pass come to an end. That had been a franchise record. Romo finished with a 60.7 Total QBR good for 11th best in the league this week. His counterpart Rex Grossman's Total QBR was just 23.3.

Monday night was a great example of how Total QBR is a better indication of a quarterback’s true contribution to his team than the NFL passer rating.

Although Romo and Grossman had almost identical “basic” QB stats, the difference in the game was Romo’s ability to make plays when it mattered most. On Romo’s last drive he was 3-4 for 57 yards, including a huge 3rd-and-21 conversion, which according to the Elias Sports Bureau was the longest third-down passing conversion of Romo’s career. On Grossman’s last drive he took a sack and lost a fumble, effectively ending his team’s chance of winning.

As a reminder, Total QBR is a quarterback rating that takes into account all of a QB’s contributions (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, penalties) to his team’s scoring and winning and summarizes them into one number on a 0-100 scale, where 50 is average.

The Cowboys have been in a number of close games dating back to last season as they became the first team in NFL history to play in nine straight games decided by three points or fewer. Dallas' win leaves the Philadelphia Eagles alone in last place with a 1-2 record in the NFC East.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Monday's game was the 12th this week decided by seven or fewer points. That ties the record for most such games in one week in NFL history. There were also 12 such games in Week 15 in 1993 and Week 12 in 2003. It was just the fourth NFL game since the merger with an 18-16 score and the first since 2000.