In a critical early NFC East matchup, the Dallas Cowboys were looking to win their third straight game while Washington was trying to bounce back from two straight losses. Cooper Rush makes history as Dallas wins their third straight game defeating the Commanders 25-10.
Dallas had plenty to be excited about before the game. Even though Dak Prescott was inactive for the game, guard Conner McGovern and wide receiver Michael Gallup returned to the lineup giving their offense a big boost. A key inactive player for the Cowboys on defense was defensive back Jayron Kearse who was out for the game.
On the Cowboys’ opening drive, Cooper Rush and Ezekiel Elliot connected early on third down with a short dump-off pass that became a 31-yard completion. That led to Brett Maher converting on a 53-yard field goal to give Dallas an early 3-0 lead against Washington.
Good way to start things off! 🙌#WASvsDAL | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/ohK6BxVqwj — Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 2, 2022
On Washington’s first drive, they were able to record two first downs before Neville Gallimore recorded his first sack of the season and DeMarcus Lawrence forced an incompletion on third down. The Commanders were forced to punt on their first drive of the game.
After both teams were forced to punt, Rush connected with Lamb three straight times to start the drive that was 23-, 16-, and 17-yard completions. Those plays led to another Brett Maher field goal to start the second quarter giving Dallas a 6-0 lead.
Right through the uprights 🙌#WASvsDAL | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/EmCy5p1jP3 — Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 2, 2022
After the first play was a Cowboys field goal, both teams were forced to punt. Washington was able to drive down the field on seven plays thanks in part to J.D. McKissic’s 33-yard run to put the Commanders in the red zone. Carson Wentz would connect with Jahan Dotson in the back of the end zone for a ten-yard touchdown pass to give Washington a 7-6 lead.
Carson Wentz lofts it to rookie Jahan Dotson for a @Commanders TD! #HTTC 📺: #WASvsDAL on FOX 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/Iz3yIhF6EG pic.twitter.com/6AjdkLcty4 — NFL (@NFL) October 2, 2022
Dallas responded with a 15-play, six-minute drive that included Michael Gallup with a 15-yard catch and Noah Brown completing an eleven-yard pass. The drive ended with Rush rolling out of the pocket and connecting with Gallup for the nine-yard touchdown. After Maher’s extra point was blocked, the score would be Dallas leading 12-7.
MICHAEL GALLUP IS BACK ‼️ 📺: #WASvsDAL on FOX 📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/Iz3yIhF6EG pic.twitter.com/hh6S7k77jr — NFL (@NFL) October 2, 2022
Just before halftime, Wentz tried to test Trevon Diggs with a deep pass that resulted in Diggs recording his second interception of the season with ten seconds left in the quarter. The half would end with Dallas having the lead on Washington 12-7.
Trevon Diggs has had an interception in every Dallas Cowboys game against an NFC East rival this season. (via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/mKhxwE3EfV — RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) October 2, 2022
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The first offensive possession for Washington resulted in just one first down before Neville Gallimore and Donovan Wilson made nice tackles to force a punt. After being pinned inside their ten-yard line, Dallas was not able to do much offensively as they were forced to punt as well.
Two more punts would come after that. Rush would get the offense going midway through the third quarter with a 45-yard deep ball completion to Noah Brown to start their second possession of the half. After reaching the red zone for just the second time in the game, the Cowboys’ drive stalled out, and Maher connected on his third field goal of the game from 28 yards out to give Dallas a 15-7 lead.
This deep shot to @Nb_Eight5 helped set up the field goal! 📺: @NFLonFOX | #WASvsDAL pic.twitter.com/VQsNDs99GL — Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 2, 2022
Washington responded with an eight-play drive that saw the Commanders as close as the Dallas 17-yard line. An intentional grounding and false start penalties pushed Washington back as the penalties hurt them sending them out of the red zone. Those mistakes resulted in a field goal by Joey Slye to make the score 15-10 as Dallas maintained the lead.
Just before the quarter ended, Washington would once again produce a penalty that would give Dallas a major advantage. Washington’s William Jackson committed a 38-yard pass interference penalty as Rush tried throwing another deep ball targeted for Gallup. That penalty would put Dallas inside the Washington 35-yard line to start the fourth quarter.
Fireworks would start the quarter as for the second straight game, Rush found Lamb in the end zone for a fourth-quarter touchdown. This time it was a 30-yard completion in the end zone to give Dallas a 22-10 lead over Washington.
CeeDee Lamb with his second TD in as many games Cowboys 22, Commanders 10 pic.twitter.com/ua7LCYrN64 — Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 2, 2022
Washington was forced to punt the ball on their next possession but got a nice punt to pin the Cowboys at their own eight-yard line. Dallas would go three and out, but they didn’t have as good of luck with their punt as Bryan Anger muffed the punt for just 22 yards putting the Commanders at Dallas’ 30-yard line. Washington would not be able to take advantage as Diggs broke up a potential touchdown catch on fourth down to hold the Commanders from points.
Rush and Gallup would once again create a pass interference penalty against Jackson gaining 27 yards on the first play of the Cowboys’ next drive. Dallas wouldn’t be able to do much after that being forced to punt. In Washington’s third play of their next drive, Wentz throws a second interception of the game. This time, it was the rookie cornerback DaRon Bland with his first career interception.
Rookie DB DaRon Bland with his 1st career INT#DallasCowboys #NFLtwitter pic.twitter.com/db3DwpWYDg — Cover 3 Dynasty (@Cover3Dynasty) October 2, 2022
Not much would happen for Dallas as they went three and out, but still got points as Maher hit a fourth field goal to increase the Dallas lead to 25-10. The Cowboys’ defense was able to stay strong the rest of the game holding Washington out of the end zone to preserve the win.
Rush was efficient like he has been in the previous two starts with only one pass that was almost an interception if it hadn’t been a defensive penalty. He became the first Cowboys quarterback to win his first four starts. He finished the game with 223 yards passing with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Obviously, Gallup got some attention with it being his season debut, but Lamb lead the way at the receiver position. Lamb had one drive with three catches over 16 yards in the first half as well as coming in the clutch in the fourth quarter again with a touchdown catch. Gallup only had two catches for 24 yards, but Lamb had 97 receiving yards and a touchdown.
While the sack numbers weren’t there for Dallas, the front seven stepped up with pressure on Wentz throughout the game whether it came from Micah Parsons or DeMarcus Lawrence. Diggs made three nice pass breakups in the game including a late second-quarter interception. Donovan Wilson deserves a lot of credit as the stand-out on defense with great coverage on the receivers as well as applying pressure on Wentz in his DB/LB hybrid position.
The key statistic of the game was how Washington had eleven penalties for 136 yards while Dallas had just four for 20 yards. Dallas has had a recent history of being undisciplined with penalties, but Sunday showed major progress with it. Not to mention the Cowboys won the turnover battle with Washington committing two while Dallas went a third straight game without a turnover.
Dallas wins their third straight game to improve their record to 3-1. They are currently tied for second in the division with the Giants but own the tiebreaker due to their victory on Monday night. They will travel to Los Angeles next Sunday as they have a showdown with the Rams.