The Cowboys and Redskins have certainly played more aesthetically pleasing games in their long and storied rivalry. Even so, Sunday night's 13-7 Redskins victory went down to the wire, with a potential game-winning Cowboys touchdown erased on an offensive holding call with no time left.
It's just one week, so you can't make too many sweeping conclusions, but there's no doubt that this was a big win for the Redskins. Washington might not be a Super Bowl team yet, but beating its division rival at home will plug some much-needed confidence into the early days of the Mike Shanahan era.
Some thoughts after the Redskins' dramatic victory:
• Unlike the Lions-Bears game, which ended in complete controversy because of a ridiculous NFL rule, there was no doubt that the ref made the right decision at the end of this one. Brian Orakpo was absolutely collared by Alex Barron -- a flag had to come out there.
• Any concerns about Miles Austin's big contract extension, Dallas fans? I didn't think so. If you need to know anything about Austin's work ethic and effort, look no further than Sunday night -- after signing a huge deal, he comes out and makes 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. He's clearly the No. 1 receiver in Dallas, and the competition's not even close.
• Washington's still got pretty substantial issues on the offensive line. Donovan McNabb's elusiveness will help to negate some of that, but the problems are still there. McNabb had trouble setting up in the pocket, and the Redskins' running game never did anything of consequence. Granted, the Cowboys' front is likely one of the better ones Washington will see, but the Redskins' line is still a work in progress.
• Speaking of offensive lines ... the Cowboys' banged-up front didn't do Tony Romo any favors Sunday night. The Redskins only sacked Romo once, Dallas' line killed any semblance of rhythm the team had with a stream of penalties. Between those mistakes and the 'Boys falling down 10 at the half, Dallas' running game never had a chance to rev up.
• On that note: eight carries for Marion Barber. Eight carries for Felix Jones. Neither of those numbers are high enough.
• It took until the 9:17 mark of the fourth quarter for a WR not named Santana Moss to catch a ball for the Redskins. Moss and tight end Chris Cooley received the majority of McNabb's looks. You can probably expect that to continue -- Washington's lack of receiving threats will probably be an issue all year. Even Moss dropped a wide-open reception in the fourth quarter, one that would've given Washington a first down.
• Old adage: You never take points off the board. Washington did in the third quarter, accepting an offsides penalty after Graham Gano had nailed a FG. Instead of being up 13-0, the Redskins couldn't get in the end zone, then had a FG blocked.
• That play at the end of the first half? One of the worst you'll ever see, in all aspects. Why run that play? Why did Tony Romo lateral to Tashard Choice? Why didn't Choice just go down? In the end, it cost Dallas the game.
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