Cousins' critical mistake dooms Redskins, 27 - 23

Alfred Morris scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 4-yard run with under five minutes left Sunday, leading the Dallas Cowboys to a 27-23 victory over his former team, the Redskins, after Washington's Kirk Cousins threw an end-zone interception .
 
With rookie quarterback Dak Prescott looking poised throughout and scrambling for a 6-yard TD run in the second half, Dallas (1-1) won for only the second time in its past 16 games without the injured Tony Romo - and both of those victories came at Washington (0-2).
 
Prescott finished 22 for 30 for 292 yards.
 
Morris was drafted by Washington in 2012 and played his first four seasons there. But his role was reduced last year and he was allowed to leave as a free agent. His first TD in a Cowboys uniform capped an 80-yard drive that started when Barry Church picked off a pass from Cousins intended for Pierre Garcon.
 
Cousins went 28 for 46 for 364 yards, with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder in the third quarter that gave Washington its first lead, 17-13 in the third quarter.
 
But Cousins and the defending NFC East champion Redskins will rue the second-half chances they wasted. They got the ball inside Dallas' 40 on consecutive possessions - once because of a failed onside kick and once because cornerback Josh Norman caused a fumble by Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott - but settled for a field goal each time.
 
Still, Washington led 23-20 and appeared on its way to adding to the margin after Cousins began a drive by completing a 57-yard pass to rookie Josh Doctson. But on third-and-goal at the 6 with 10 1/2 minutes left, Cousins put the ball right in Church's gut.
 
Garcon stomped his foot coming off the field. Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses threw his helmet on the sideline.
 
Prescott then took the Cowboys on a 10-play drive that culminated in Morris' score.
 
NORMAN'S ASSIGNMENT
 
                One big question entering the game was whether Norman would be assigned to cover Cowboys WR Dez Bryant no matter where the receiver lined up - or stick to one side of the field, as the $75 million defensive back primarily did in Week 1, when he stayed on the left side regardless of where Steelers WR Antonio Brown was. The answer: Norman mainly remained on the left side of Washington's defense, often leaving CB Bashaud Breeland on Bryant, early on, but eventually started to "travel" to where Bryant was.
 
ODD ONSIDE
 
After taking a 20-17 lead in the third quarter, Dallas opted to try an onside kick - and recovered it. But there was one big problem: The football traveled about 8 yards, not the required 10. So not only did Washington get the ball, but thanks to the penalty, it started at Dallas' 38, and drove to a tying 29-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins.
 
STATS
 
Elliott finished with 83 yards on 21 carries, including a 1-yard TD run. ... Morris ran five times for a total of 7 yards. ... Redskins RB Matt Jones gained 61 yards on 13 carries with a 14-yard scoring run.
 
BAD MISS
 
On third-and-7 from Dallas' 37 on Washington's opening possession, Cousins had Crowder wide open and behind the defense for what should have been an easy-as-can-be TD. But Cousins overthrew the second-year receiver, and that bad miss ended the drive, because coach Jay Gruden chose to punt.
 
WALL AND DEZ
 
                Washington Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall is not going to endear himself to many D.C. sports fans with this move, showing up on the visitors' sideline Sunday in a blue-and-white, No. 22 Emmitt Smith Dallas throwback jersey.
 
INJURIES
 
Redskins: NT Kedric Golston injured his right hamstring on the first play from scrimmage, eventually was driven toward the locker room on a cart and did not return. Ziggy Hood took over at nose tackle.
 
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
 


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