Alfred Morris does to former team what he used to do to Cowboys

Woody: It was the Cowboys OL that was the MVP of game (1:28)

Damien Woody and Kevin Connors break down the Cowboys' 38-14 victory over the Redskins, which snapped a three-game slide. (1:28)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones had seen something like Thursday from Alfred Morris before.

Maybe it was the 113 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown on Thanksgiving in 2012. Or the 33-carry, 200-yard, three-touchdown game in that season's winner-take-all finale. Or the 81 and 88 yards he had against the Cowboys in 2013. Or the 100 yards he had in the 2015 finale.

Morris was a member of the Washington Redskins in those games. A big reason why the Cowboys signed him as a free agent in 2016, which came before they drafted Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick, was how he had performed against them.

Morris showed the Redskins his worth from 2012-15 when he ripped off three 1,000-yard seasons for them in his first three years. He finished with 127 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries in the Cowboys' 38-14 win over the Redskins.

"I didn't do anything special," Morris said. "You can give credit to the O-line. You can give credit to the play calling. You can just give credit to a good run scheme."

Morris has downplayed the significance of seeing his former team since joining the Cowboys. It may have meant something to show off to a coaching staff and front-office group that opted not to keep him, but he wasn't biting.

His Cowboys teammates had a little different take.

"I know it would me, so I'm sure," Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said when asked if Morris had a little more motivation. "That was probably a little bit of his attack mentality where he was motivated for playing the Redskins."

Morris had his first 100-yard game since that 2015 finale against the Cowboys. He had his first 20-carry game since Nov. 29, 2015, and his 27 carries were the most he has had since the 33 carries against Dallas in 2012.

He became the first Cowboys running back not named Elliott to put up 100 yards on the ground since Darren McFadden had 100 on 19 carries against the New York Jets on Dec. 19, 2015.

"I will tell you he has a knack," Jones said. "And the way we block it and the way we lean on them, in other words it's real tiring out there. It's important when you're in a battle that your opponent gets tired too. ... Well, our guys leaned on them good. Alfred ran good, especially on some of those zone blocking plays. He has an uncanny knack for seeing the soft spot and you saw it."

Without Elliott, the Cowboys' run game had been efficient but not dominating. Once the scores got out of whack in the losses to the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers, Morris' strength was mitigated.

With the defense able to play well throughout the game, the Cowboys were able to control the tempo with Morris. After just 38 yards on 12 first-half carries, he had 15 carries for 89 yards in the second half.

It still wasn't the type of electrifying performance Elliott is known for, but it proved just as lethal to the Redskins. He clipped away at Washington in the second half. Only two of his carries were for more than 9 yards. He had just one negative run. He was efficient if not spectacular as he relied on the offensive line to take over the game.

And it was exactly what the Cowboys needed.

"He's got a great feel and instinct for running the football," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He makes a lot of runs that people don't really recognize how good they are; little subtle runs, 4-, 5-, 6-yard runs where he's finding the crease, finding the soft spot and moving forward. And he was able to do that throughout the ballgame. He's a damn good football player."