Tony Romo returns from back injury, but Cowboys lose to Redskins 20-17 in overtime
ARLINGTON, Texas – Tony Romo got back in the game just in time for the Dallas Cowboys' final drive in regulation, and when that didn't work out he got another chance in overtime.
While the Cowboys were happy to see Romo return Monday night after he missed a quarter following a shot to his surgically repaired back on a sack, they ultimately came up short in a 20-17 loss to the Washington Redskins.
Romo's final play in regulation was an intentional grounding penalty. The Cowboys then failed to make a first down on their overtime possession after Washington scored on Kai Forbath's 40-yard field goal.
"It was obviously painful, but I also felt like I could deal with it," Romo said, adding that his back wasn't the issue when he returned. "I don't know that it affected a ton. Their defense the last series or two affected it more than anything else."
The Cowboys (6-2) had their six-game winning streak snapped when Romo had to scramble before a fourth-down throw toward Dez Bryant fell incomplete. Washington (3-5) has won two in a row after a four-game losing streak.
Romo took what he called a "direct shot" to his back from Keenan Robinson on a third-down sack midway through the third quarter.
The 34-year-old Romo, who had surgery for a herniated disk last December, 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, got X-rays and then an injection.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who went down to the sideline to talk to coach Jason Garrett after Romo went to the locker room, said he was initially worried about the quarterback.
"Very concerned, the fact that he laid there as long as he laid there," Jones said. "When we looked at the play and saw that it was a knee he took in the side of the back, I felt better about it. Then when we got him back in here and looked at it real carefully, then everybody felt better about it."
Garrett said Romo would be evaluated again Tuesday. Romo said he expects to be ready to play Sunday against Arizona.
DeMarco Murray extended his NFL record with his eighth consecutive 100-yard game to start the season, running for 141 yards on 19 carries. He also had four catches for 80 yards, but lost a fumble at the Redskins 10 after a 36-yard reception in the first half.
Brandon Weeden directed the Cowboys to 10 points while Romo was out, and the game was tied when the starter jogged back onto the field with 1:52 remaining and Dallas backed up to its own 3 after a punt.
Washington appeared to recover Romo's fumble at the Cowboys 5 in the final minute, but linebacker Ryan Kerrigan couldn't control the ball before Murray got it. Romo then threw a third-down pass that went off the hands of cornerback Bashaud Breeland and was caught by Terrance Williams.
Dallas was unable to get another first down, though, and punted after Romo was called for intentional grounding with 16 seconds left. Washington quarterback Colt McCoy kneeled down after the punt, sending the game to overtime.
Weeden's first play was a handoff to Murray that he took 51 yards to the Redskins 6. That pushed Murray over 1,000 yards for the second season in a row, making him the first Cowboys running back with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith had 11 in a row from 1991-2001.
Murray then ran for 3 more yards before Weeden had consecutive incompletions, and Dan Bailey's 21-yard field goal tied the game at 10.
McCoy, a Texas native who like Weeden is a former Cleveland Browns quarterback, ran 7 yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Dallas got even again when Weeden threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten.
Bryant helped Dallas to a 7-3 halftime lead when he twisted and lunged into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
After making the short catch and getting away from cornerback David Amerson, Bryant was in the grasp of Ryan Clark near the 3 when the receiver twisted his body around to keep his knee from hitting the ground while fully extending his arm to get the ball to the goal line for his fifth touchdown.
NOTES: This was the 16th time Washington and Dallas played on Monday night, and each has won eight. ... The Redskins are 17-11-1 in overtime games, winning six of their last seven. Dallas is 14-12. ... Cowboys LB Joseph Durant tore a biceps muscle and is out for the season.
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