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Dallas Cowboys 27-20 Washington Football Team: Cowboys hold off late Washington comeback to clinch key NFC East win

The Cowboys built themselves a 24-0 half-time lead and a 27-8 advantage heading into the final quarter, only for Washington to pull back to within seven of their opponents courtesy of a Cole Holcomb pick-six touchdown, but Dallas held on for the win

Last Updated: 12/12/21 11:32pm



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Watch all of the highlights from the Week 14 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team.


Watch all of the highlights from the Week 14 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team.

The Dallas Cowboys held off a late Washington Football Team comeback to clinch a crucial 27-20 win over their NFC East divisional rivals on Sunday.

Story of the Game

The Cowboys built themselves a 24-0 half-time lead and a 27-8 advantage heading into the final quarter, with their defense – Micah Parsons and Randy Gregory in particular – swarming the Washington offense.

Washington starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke had a couple of spells out of the game as he took several heavy hits, one of which from Parsons saw him cough up a first-quarter fumble that was returned 37 yards by Dorance Armstrong for a score.

Dorance Armstrong returns a Taylor Heinicke fumble for a touchdown for the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter.

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Dorance Armstrong returns a Taylor Heinicke fumble for a touchdown for the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter.

Dorance Armstrong returns a Taylor Heinicke fumble for a touchdown for the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter.

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Earlier in the first period, a Heinicke interception had also helped set up a Dak Prescott touchdown pass to Amari Cooper from seven yards out, with Ezekiel Elliott adding on a two-point conversion.

In the second half, Washington finally got on the board as receiver Cam Sims pulled off a spectacular jump-ball catch for a 43-yard touchdown toss from Heinicke. The Football Team then stopped Dallas on their ensuing possession, but the Cowboys got the ball back moments later as Jourdan Lewis forced and recovered a fumble by Antonio Gibson to set up the fourth and final one of Greg Zuerlein’s field goals in the game.

In the fourth quarter, a Neville Gallimore sack knocked Heinicke out of the game he game with a knee injury. Backup Kyle Allen took over for Washington and directed a late touchdown drive, capped with Jonathan Williams going over at the goal line with five minutes remaining.

Washington still trailed by 13, but suddenly that deficit was reduced to seven inside 56 seconds when Cole Holcomb picked off Dak Prescott on the subsequent drive and ran it back 31 yards for the touchdown.

Cole Holcomb with an incredible pick-six interception score for Washington, as they threatened a lat comeback.

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Cole Holcomb with an incredible pick-six interception score for Washington, as they threatened a lat comeback.

Cole Holcomb with an incredible pick-six interception score for Washington, as they threatened a lat comeback.

Washington looked to have the momentum and, after the defense forced a quick three and out, they got the ball back again with three minutes to go to try and tie the game up. But, on 3rd-and-3, Gregory strip-sacked Allen, Jayron Kearse recovered the ball and Dallas ran the rest of the clock out to clinch a vital victory.

The Cowboys (9-4) not only halted the four-game winning streak of Washington (6-7) but they, crucially, have increased their lead in the NFC East divisional race to three games, with only four left of the 2021 regular season.

Stats leaders

Cowboys

  • Passing: Dak Prescott, 22/39, 211 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
  • Rushing: Ezekiel Elliott, 12 carries, 45 yards
  • Receiving: CeeDee Lamb, seven catches, 61 yards
  • Amari Cooper, five catches, 51 yards, 1 TD
Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott celebrate their scoring connection in the first quarter for the Dallas Cowboys at Washington

Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott celebrate their scoring connection in the first quarter for the Dallas Cowboys at Washington

Washington

  • Passing: Taylor Heinicke, 11/25, 122 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Kyle Allen, 4/9, 53 yards
  • Rushing: Antonio Gibson, 10 carries, 36 yards
  • Receiving: Cam Sims, three catches, 69 yards, 1 TD

Scoring Summary

Scoring summary

FIRST QUARTER
Cowboys 3-0 Washington Greg Zuerlein 35-yard field goal
Cowboys 11-0 Washington Dak Prescott seven-yard TD pass to Amari Cooper (two-point conversion)
Cowboys 18-0 Washington Dorance Armstrong 37-yard fumble return for TD (extra point)
SECOND QUARTER
Cowboys 21-0 Washington Greg Zuerlein 38-yard field goal
Cowboys 24-0 Washington Greg Zuerlein 37-yard field goal
THIRD QUARTER
Cowboys 24-8 Washington Taylor Heinicke 43-yard TD pass to Cam Sims (two-point conversion)
Cowboys 27-8 Washington Greg Zuerlein 29-yard field goal
FOURTH QUARTER
Cowboys 27-14 Washington Jonathan Williams one-yard TD run (failed two-point conversion)
Cowboys 27-20 Washington Cole Holcomb 31-yard interception return for TD (failed extra point)

What’s Next?

Washington and Dallas are both facing further NFC East divisional matchups next Sunday, with Washington on the road in Philadelphia to face the Eagles.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, head to New York to take on the Giants as they look to potentially clinch the division crown with a win.

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