LANDOVER — The storied rivalry between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys was on full display in an intense battle for the top spot in the NFC East standings, a game whose fate came down to the final possession, on Oct. 21.
Veteran running back Adrian Peterson (bottom right) paced the Washington offense with 99 yards rushing on 24 carries while the defensive unit remained unrelenting throughout the evening as the Redskins notched a close home victory, 20-17, over Dallas at FedExField in Landover to retain the No. 1 seed in the NFC East.
Offensive flow and rhythm seemed to be a struggle for both teams in the first half. Washington quarterback Alex Smith (top right) and Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott threw a touchdown each to tie the score, 7-7, at halftime.
The third quarter saw minimal action, and Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins nailed two field goals while the Cowboys’ Brett Maher nailed a 47-yarder to make it 13-10 midway through the fourth quarter.
Washington held running back Ezekiel Elliott to only 33 yards on 15 rushes and forced three fumbles, one of which was recovered on the goal line by Redskins linebacker Preston Smith to put the Redskins up 20-10 inside of five minutes to play.
Prescott endured constant pressure from the Redskins defensive line in the second half but made some heroic late-game plays, consisting of first-down rushes and passes to receiver Cole Beasley to quickly move Dallas into the red zone.
The drive ended with a leaping one-yard touchdown by Prescott to cut the deficit to 20-17, giving the Cowboys a chance to pull off the upset.
After Washington came up empty on the ensuing drive, Prescott led a charge downfield into field goal range with three seconds left.
Maher had the chance to send the game into overtime on a 52-yard field goal attempt but fell short as the ball bounced off the side of the goal post, sealing the win for Washington.
The packed stadium erupted when the time expired as Washington redeemed itself after falling short in the previous four meetings with the Cowboys.