Redskins beat Cowboys 28-18 to win NFC East

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 31, 2012
On a night when rookies Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris led the Washington Redskins to the top of the NFC East, team owner Dan Snyder sought out a long-suffering veteran during the postgame celebration. ''He said you've known how it's felt around here the last seven years,'' defensive lineman Kedric Golston said. ''So this is a sweet time.'' The Redskins are division champions for the first time since 1999, beating the Dallas Cowboys 28-18 Sunday in a winner-take-all end to the NFL's regular season. Washington (10-6) has won seven straight games and will host the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday. How long ago was 1999? It was six Redskins head coaches ago. ''I've been here for the 4-12, the bad times, almost being the joke of the NFL,'' said Golston, who came along in 2006. ''But to do this with this group of guys - the old and the new - it's good to be here.'' Certainly, Sunday night was mostly about the new. Morris, the out-of-nowhere sixth-round pick from Florida Atlantic, ran for 200 yards and had touchdown runs of 17, 32 and 1 yards. He was so dominant that the Cowboys - missing their five best run defenders due to injuries - fell hook, line and sinker nearly every time the Redskins faked the ball to him. Morris finished with 1,613 yards for the year, breaking Clinton Portis' franchise single-season record of 1,516 in 2005. By the end of the game, the fans who usually chant ''R-G-3!'' for Griffin were trying out a new chorus: ''Alf-red Mor-ris!'' ''I'll tell you what: Alfred Morris became a star tonight,'' Redskins tight end Chris Cooley said. ''He deserved it. He's a phenomenal football player.'' To which Morris answered: ''I'm never a star. I'll never be a star. Other people might think I'm a star, but I'm just Alfred.'' Griffin, seeking to regain his explosiveness after spraining his right knee four weeks ago, ran for 63 yards and a touchdown. With the running game working so well, he didn't have to throw much, completing just 9 of 18 passes for 100 yards. ''Move the chains,'' Griffin said. ''That's all they asked me to do.'' Washington is the first NFL team to rally from 3-6 to make the playoffs since the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1996. The Cowboys (8-8), meanwhile, will miss the playoffs for the third straight season, having stumbled in a make-or-break end-of-regular-season game for the third time in five years. ''We have to look where we are within our division and see exactly how to approach a team with the good players like they've got and a good coach like they've got,'' Dallas owner Jerry Jones said. ''And we have a big challenge ahead of us. They are, of course, in the tournament, and we have to sit at home and think about how to get in the tournament. This is very disappointing.'' Tony Romo threw three interceptions - matching his total from the last eight games combined. A poor throw was picked off by Rob Jackson when the Cowboys had a chance to drive for a winning score in the final minutes. ''I feel as though I let our team down,'' Romo said. Romo completed 20 of 31 passes for 218 yards, and his career is now further tainted by post-Christmas disappointments, including Week 17 losses to the Philadelphia Eagles (44-6) in 2008 and the New York Giants (31-14) last year. He's also 1-3 in playoff games. ''Your legacy will be written when you're done playing the game,'' Romo said. ''And when it's over with, you'll look back. ... It's disappointing not being able to get over that hump.'' The Cowboys also dealt with in-game injuries to receivers Miles Austin (left ankle), Dez Bryant (back) and Dwayne Harris (lower leg). Bryant, who had a torrid second half of the season despite breaking his left index finger, had four catches for 71 yards. Washington's slow start this season prompted coach Mike Shanahan to dismiss playoff hopes and declare that the remaining seven games would determine which players would be on his team ''for years to come.'' Griffin and his teammates had other plans, and the coach quickly changed his tune. Now the Redskins will be playing in January. ''All odds were against us,'' Morris said. ''But we believed in each other.'' NOTES: Griffin set two more NFL rookie records. His 102.4 passer rating topped Ben Roethlisberger's 98.1 in 2004, and his 1.3 percentage of passes intercepted is better than Charlie Batch's 1.98 in 1998. Griffin had already set the league mark for rushing yards by a rookie QB (815). ... Washington also set a franchise record for fewest turnovers in a season with 14, fewer even than the 1982 team that played only nine regular-season games because of a players strike. ... The Redskins will be playing a third consecutive playoff game against the Seahawks. They lost at Seattle as a wild card team in the 2005 and 2007 seasons. --- Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Harbaugh: NFL needs to make changes to preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker