By Steve Ginsburg
LANDOVER, Maryland (Reuters) - The Washington Redskins opened the highly anticipated Mike Shanahan era in style Sunday night by slipping past the Dallas Cowboys 13-7 in the season-opener for both teams.
With new coach Shanahan barking orders from the sidelines, the Redskins snapped a three-game losing streak against their bitter rivals in the NFC East largely courtesy of a controversial late holding call.
"A lot of teams are very close. You've got to find a way to get it done. And that's what our football team did today."
"I've never seen that happen," said Cowboys coach Wade Phillips. "We score a touchdown and then get a penalty and the game is over.
"I thought they grabbed our guys several times trying to get to our quarterback but I guess they didn't."
Romo, who completed 31 of 47 passes for 282 yards and one touchdown, said the finish was hard to take.
"I thought we won and then 10 or 15 yards after running away I noticed people weren't coming out on to the field," he said. "It's hard to swallow."
The cornerback rambled 32 yards for the score to give the Redskins a 10-0 lead, somersaulting in celebration to the roars of nearly 91,000 fans at FedEx Field.
"I was able to get my hands on the ball, break it out and pick it up and score," said Hall. "My intention the whole time was to rake the ball out."
Quarterback Donovan McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowler playing his first game with the Redskins after 11 seasons in Philadelphia, hit 15 of 32 passes for 171 yards.
The Cowboys outgained the Redskins by 380 to 250 yards, however, and McNabb conceded the offence had sputtered for most of the evening.
"Offensively, we just didn't get the job done," he said. "We made enough plays, drove the ball, and got in the red zone. We just have to finish it. That's discouraging for us."
Shanahan, who replaced Jim Zorn after last season's 4-12 record, was thankful to walk away with the win any which way.
"It's very special because Dallas is a very good football team," he said. "We didn't win a division game last year. I thought it would be a great way to start off this year and fortunately we found a way to get it done."
(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)