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ARLINGTON, Texas – If this is Colt McCoy's only start for the Washington Redskins, it sure was memorable.
The small-town West Texas kid calmly led another winning drive at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, this time for the Washington Redskins five years after the former Texas Longhorn star beat Nebraska on a march to a last-play field goal in the Big 12 championship game.
McCoy directed Washington to Kai Forbath's 40-yard field goal in overtime and Dallas was unable to answer after Tony Romo came back from an injury to his surgically repaired back, sending the Redskins to a 20-17 victory on Monday night that snapped the Cowboys' six-game winning streak.
Two weeks ago, the last thing McCoy's family and friends expected was him making his first NFL start in nearly three years in his home state. But then McCoy replaced an ineffective Kirk Cousins at halftime and led a comeback win over Tennessee in Week 7, and Robert Griffin III still wasn't ready to return from a dislocated left ankle.
"I had to tell a lot of people, 'No,'" McCoy said of the influx of ticket requests. "I didn't make any money this game with all the tickets I bought."
It was quite likely a limited engagement. If the Redskins (3-5) decide Griffin has recovered enough from an injury that has sidelined him since Week 2, the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year and former Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor will start against Minnesota on Sunday. The Redskins have their bye the following week.
"Robert's our starter," coach Jay Gruden said. "I haven't wavered off of that in my mind. When he's ready, he'll be ready to go."
It was McCoy's first appearance at the home of the Cowboys since his Texas-record 45th victory for the Big 12 title against Nebraska — 13-12 on a last-play field goal. And he won after beginning the night with a career NFL record of 6-15.
"Last-second wins, right?" McCoy said, laughing. "But I grew up as the game went on. I felt more and more comfortable and I started seeing the defense right. We made some plays down the stretch that good teams have to make to win games."
The Cowboys (6-2) had one last chance after Forbath's kick, but didn't get a first down. Romo's final pass on fourth down was knocked away by rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland.
"Well, it's terribly disappointing," owner Jerry Jones said. "Jay Gruden and his staff, their organization, they came in here and took it to us and they won the game. We couldn't get it done."
Things to consider after the Redskins snapped an eight-game losing streak against NFC East teams with their first win since beating Dallas in the 2012 finale with a playoff berth on the line. They also ended a seven-game losing streak in prime time and won in back-to-back weeks for the first time since that win over Dallas almost two years ago.
ROMO'S BACK: Romo left after getting sacked by Keenan Robinson in the third quarter but returned for the final Dallas drive of regulation.
The 34-year-old Romo, who had surgery for a herniated disk last December after getting injured against the Redskins, reached for his back after the hit and stayed flat on the ground before trainers rolled him to his side. He walked to the locker room mostly under his own power. Coach Jason Garrett said X-rays were negative and Romo had a back contusion.
"Even if I hadn't had back surgery, I probably would have felt that one pretty good," said Romo, who was 17 of 28 for 209 yards and a touchdown while getting sacked a season-high five times. "It was a direct shot."
Backup Brandon Weeden led two scoring drives with Romo out to help force overtime.
WINNING DRIVE: McCoy, who was 25 of 30 for 299 yards, threw 23 yards to Pierre Garcon to get the winning drive going. On third-and-3 from midfield, he fled the pocket, pointed to Jordan Reed to run up the field and lofted a pass that Reed caught while tiptoeing inbounds. Another 16-yarder to Reed made Forbath's job much easier.
MURRAY STILL ROLLING: Dallas running back DeMarco Murray extended the record he took from Jim Brown a week ago with his eighth straight 100-yard rushing game to start the season. He had 141 yards rushing and another 80 receiving, but also had his fifth fumble of the season at the end of a 36-yard screen pass inside the Washington 10 in the first half.
DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS: Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather had two of the sacks on Romo to go with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Breeland had four pass breakups for a secondary that held Dez Bryant to a season-low 30 yards receiving on three catches, although Bryant did have a touchdown.
SEASON-ENDING INJURY: Dallas linebacker Justin Durant sustained a season-ending injury when he tore an arm muscle in the fourth quarter. The starting trio of Durant, Rolando McClain and Bruce Carter never made it through a full game together.
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