LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- A perfect day for the Washington Redskins
would include a complete, start-to-finish, no-let-up humiliation of
the Dallas Cowboys. Make it a game that puts the playoffs within
serious reach, and you've got sheer nirvana.
From the raucous pregame chants of "We Want Dallas" to the
seven sacks, four turnovers and four touchdown passes, the
celebration never stopped in Sunday's 35-7 blowout, Washington's
most one-sided victory in the 45-year history of the rivalry.
"We've got a lot of Dallas fans, even in D.C.," Washington
defensive end Renaldo Wynn said. "I've been here four years, and
I've just been getting sick and tired of hearing about it, what
they're going to do. So you don't even know how enjoyable it was
for us to get this win and get a sweep. It hadn't happened since
'95. It's unbelievable. It's something I'll definitely remember."
The Cowboys' first play from scrimmage was a pass tipped by
Phillip Daniels and intercepted by Cornelius Griffin. The rest of
the game was more of the same. Daniels finished with four sacks and
a fumble recovery, Marcus Washington had two sacks, an interception
and a forced fumble, Chris Cooley caught three of Mark Brunell's
four touchdown passes, and Clinton Portis ran for 112 yards.
"It was one of those nights where everything went our way,"
coach Joe Gibbs said.
The score was 28-0 at halftime, with the Redskins scoring on
drives of four, eight, two and two plays. They capitalized off two
interceptions, a bad punt and a long pass to Santana Moss that
brought back memories of his two fourth-quarter touchdown catches
in the stunning 14-13 win over the Cowboys on a Monday night in
"People kept saying it was a fluke that first game," Daniels
said. "I think we showed today it was no fluke."
Many Redskins fans went to sleep that September night thinking
their team had lost. This time, they left early knowing the
Redskins had won. The 28-point margin of victory topped the
27-point victories over the Cowboys in 1986 and 1996, and the 37-10
win in 1996 came when playoff-bound Dallas rested its star players
in the final game at RFK Stadium.
Washington's third straight victory left the Redskins (8-6) and
Cowboys (8-6) two games behind the New York Giants in the NFC East,
but the Redskins hold the tiebreaker because of their first Dallas
sweep in 10 years. Washington's 8-2 conference record also puts it
in position for a wild-card berth and its first postseason
appearance since 1999.
The victory came with a price. Right guard Randy Thomas, the
Redskins' most consistent lineman and the lead blocker on many of
Portis' wide runs, is lost for the season after breaking a bone in
his lower leg in the fourth quarter. Thomas was carted off the
field as many of the 90,588 fans -- a Redskins record at FedEx Field
-- chanted "Randy!"
Dallas also had its right guard, Marco Rivera, carted off in the
fourth quarter with a strained neck after landing on his head
during a running play. He was to be re-evaluated overnight in a
"He has movement and feeling," Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels
The Cowboys were an embarrassing shell of a Bill Parcells team.
Tied for the league lead in fewest penalties, they committed nine
miscues, including three false starts by three linemen on the same
drive. Drew Bledsoe threw three interceptions and lost one fumble
to account for all of Dallas' turnovers -- even though the banged-up
Redskins' defense played without injured starters LaVar Arrington
and Carlos Rogers.
"They just outplayed us in every area," Parcells said in a
terse postgame briefing. "We had really no chance to win the game.
... We just lost our poise and played very, very poorly."
Even punter Mat McBriar had a bad day with several shanked
punts, one of which set up a Redskins touchdown, and kicker Billy
Cundiff missed a field goal. The Cowboys, who have dropped three of
four, were blown out for the first time this season -- their five
previous losses were by a total of 20 points.
"Nobody's more shocked than us," receiver Patrick Crayton
said. "Mistakes, penalties -- everything we could do to ourselves
to kill ourselves, we did it today. Right now, it's just
That's music to the ears of anyone wearing burgundy and gold,
even if he's a Hall of Fame coach.
"This is big-time for Coach," tackle Chris Samuels said. "He
just kept saying, 'Stay after 'em! Stay after 'em!' Even when we
were doing well."
Brunell's four touchdown passes matched his career high.
... The Redskins are 3-0 since going to all-white uniforms. ...
Terry Glenn became the first Dallas player with 1,000 yards
receiving since Rocket Ismail in 1999.
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