Redskins comeback rally falls short as they fall to Dallas, 33-30

Even with a furious second half rally that saw them erase a 20 point deficit, the Redskins could not overcome the early hole, nor their own mistakes, as they fell to the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 33-30 on Sunday.

Down 27-7 in the third quarter, Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman – who was named the starting quarterback on Friday ahead of Donovan McNabb – led Washington on three consecutive touchdown-ending drives to tie the score at 30 with just over three minutes left in the game. However, Dallas answered with their seven play, 31 yard scoring drive that was capped off by David Buehler’s 39 yard go-ahead field goal that ultimately decided the game’s outcome.

Grossman, whose promotion was hotly debated all week, lead the Redskins to arguably their best offensive performance of the season. He finished the game 25-of-43 passing for 322 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. The 30 points scored the team marks the highest output of the 2010 season, and Grossman’s four touchdown performance is the best of any Redskins quarterback since the 2005 season.

The Redskins, once again, dug themselves an early hole which ultimately proved to be their undoing. The Cowboys, set up by a 38 yard return on the opening kickoff, scored a field goal on the game’s opening drive. After Grossman threw his first interception of the afternoon the Redskins second possession of the game, Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna found Miles Austin for a three yard touchdown pass that put Dallas up 10-0.

After the Cowboys tacked on another field goal early in the second quarter, the Redskins finally got themselves going on offense, driving 78 yards on eight plays, and ending the drive with a 19 yard screen pass from Grossman to running back Ryan Torain that went for a touchdown. However, the Cowboys answered right back with their own scoring drive, ending with Kitna’s 14 yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten, giving the Cowboys a 20-7 lead, which they took into the half.

After receiving the kickoff to start the second half, the Redskins handed the ball right back to the Cowboys after DeMarcus Ware sacked Grossman, causing a fumble which the Cowboys would recover at the Redskins 15 yard line. Five plays later, Tashard Choice’s three yard touhdown run put the Cowboys up 27-7.

From there, it finally appeared that the Redskins offense came to life. On the first play of the subsequent drive, Grossman hit receiver Anthony Armstrong for a 47 yard completion, and hit Santana Moss on a quick slant pattern three plays later for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Even after the Cowboys responded with their own 10-play, 80 yard drive that ended in a 20 yard field goal by Buehler, the Redskins would answer right back with their own 14 play, 83 yard drive. Grossman hit Moss on a five yard scoring strike, and lasered in a pass to tight end Chris Cooley for the two point conversion, cutting the lead to 30-22.

The Redskins then held the Cowboys to a three and out, and went right back to work. After getting the ball on their own 44 yard line, thanks to an ugly punt by Cowboys punter Matt McBriar, the Redskins took advantage of the short field and found the endzone eight plays later. Grossman hit Cooley for a five yard touchdown score, and then completed a pass to fullback Mike Sellars on a play-action pass for the two point conversion, tying the game at 30.

After Buehler’s 39 yard field goal gave back the lead to the Cowboys, the Redskins could not overcome the little amount of time left on the clock (50 seconds), and the fact that they had no timeouts to stop the clock with. After starting their last drive on their own 20 yard line, Grossman got them as far as their own 47 yard line before throwing the game ending interception to Cowboys cornerback Terrance Newman.

The loss puts the Redskins record at 5-9, a very disappointing mark given their 4-4 record midway through the season. They will head to Jacksonville next week to take on the Jaguars.


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