NFC East

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones watched his team fall to Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins twice last season, but never before had Jones been a part of a three-game losing streak to the Cowboys’ NFC East rival.

Jones’ Cowboys avoided that on his 71st birthday Sunday night, defeating the Redskins 31-16 at AT&T Stadium.

After quarterback Tony Romo threw for a whopping 506 yards in a heartbreaking 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos last week, Romo had just 170 yards through the air against the Redskins. Moreover, running back DeMarco Murray left the game with a sprained left knee, and to make matters worse, defensive end DeMarcus Ware exited early with a right quad injury.

Wait a minute.

The Cowboys won with Romo throwing for just 170 yards and with no Ware or Murray? How did that happen?

Cue Dwayne Harris, who may get a slice of his owner’s birthday cake.

Harris had 222 total return yards, including an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return that set up a Terrance Williams touchdown reception.

Give credit to the Cowboys’ defense as well, something that couldn’t have been done the first five weeks of the season. Although the defense gave up 433 yards to the Redskins, they only gave up one touchdown. Cornerback Brandon Carr was everywhere in the secondary, and defensive end Kyle Wilber came up with a huge play by forcing and recovering a fumble on an RGIII sack, which ultimately led to a game-clinching score for the Cowboys.

With Murray out, rookie running back Joseph Randle saw the majority of the snaps, gaining 17 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. If Murray is out for an extended period of time, it will be interesting to see what the Cowboys can get out of Randle.

Despite losing two key players, the Cowboys picked up a much-needed win Sunday night to improve to 3-3 and stay tied with the Eagles for first place in the NFC East. Dallas did what it was supposed to do by defeating a struggling Redskins team at home, so fans should be content.

After all, normally when the Cowboys are supposed to do something, they find a way to screw it up.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, otherwise known as the red-headed robot, is notorious for preaching the need for his football team to play well in all three phases of the game. Dallas accomplished this against Washington.

Dallas will need that consistent play to continue this Sunday when they take on Philadelphia in a battle for first place.