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With Romo back for the first time in a month, and playing with a splint protecting the broken pinkie on his passing hand, his numbers weren't great, but his presence was. His quick release and mobility in the pocket made the line look better than it had in a while. Phillips said he also thinks Romo forced the Redskins to approach the game differently, such as opting to go for it on the fourth-down play that Newman broke up.
"He affects the game," Phillips said. "He affects our players. He affects our attitude about what we can and can't do. ... It was certainly great to have him back and we could see a difference in our team with our offense and with our defense."
Several penalties and other mistakes gave the Redskins a short field that they turned into a touchdown on their first drive. After Dallas tied it shortly before halftime, the Cowboys gave up a long kickoff return that led to a field goal and a halftime deficit.
It could've been worse, though. Romo threw two interceptions, killing drives that were well into field-goal range, but the defense kept Washington from getting any points out of them. And while injured Clinton Portis outplayed Barber the first three quarters, "Marion the Barbarian" lived up to his nickname down the stretch.
Taking over at their 37 with 6:40 left, the Cowboys gave the ball to Barber on 11 straight plays -- 10 handoffs and one pass. The finale was a 3-yard gain on fourth-and-1 with 1:10 to go and Washington out of timeouts, letting Romo take a knee three straight plays to end it.
Phillips could've played it safe and opted for a short field goal, then asked his defense to keep the Redskins out of the end zone. But he trusted his offense to end the game right there. It did, thanks partly to a perfect call considering the defense Washington called.
"We literally didn't even have to block those defensive linemen," Davis said, drawing laughs from reporters. "I'm serious. We could've whiffed all up and down the line and we still would've made it just because of the way they lined up."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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