The days of losing close games without quarterback Tony Romo appear to be over for the Dallas Cowboys.
Credit an seemingly error-free performance from unflappable rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who directed an 11-play, 80-yard game winning touchdown drive in the Cowboys’ 27-23 victory against the Washington Redskins Sunday.
Prescott completed 22 of 30 passes for 292 yards in the game.
But he was poised and calm on the final drive as he led the Cowboys to victory.
Running back Alfred Morris got the clinching score on a 4-yard run, to cap a successful trip back to FedEx Field.
Morris played his first four years with the Redskins before signing with the Cowboys as a free agent in the off-season.
But give the Cowboys defense as much credit if not more for the victory.
The maligned unit came up big five times in the second half, including a huge stop on fourth and 1 with 2 minutes left in the game.
A pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to Pierre Garcon was tipped by linebacker Justin Durant, setting off a wild celebration on the Cowboys sideline.
After a Cowboys punt, the defense had one final stop on them. A Hail Mary pass in the end zone fell incomplete.
“That’s the way we want to play. We want to be aggressive. We want to be downhill. That applies to coaches and that applies to players,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.
This was after an onside kick attempt by coach Jason Garrett backfired in the third quarter.
Following a 6-yard touchdown by Prescott to put the Cowboys up 20-17, Garrett gambled. But the onside kick attempt by Dan Bailey didn’t travel 10 yards.
So the Redskins took over at the Cowboys 48.
Seven plays later, the Redskins had to settle for a 29-yard field.
Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott fumbled on the next drive. Yet, the defense forced another field goal after Washington got as close as the 4.
The next time the Redskins had the ball. They had a third and goal at 7.
But safety Barry Church turned them away with an interception off Cousins in the end zone.
The Cowboys had only won one of their previous 13 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo. They were 1-11 when they finished 4-12 last season.
The Cowboys also lost seven games by one score or less in 2014.
That trend continued in the 20-19 season opening loss to the New York Giants.
It ended on Sunday in Washington as the Cowboys moved to 1-1 on the season.
The Redskins dropped to 0-2.
The Cowboys play host the Chicago Bears next Sunday at AT&T Stadium.