ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas’ Zeke and Dak Attack rolled to a franchise-record 10th consecutive regular-season victory on Thursday, a 31-26 win over the Washington Redskins.
Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott scored on 4- and 1-yard runs on a day when rookie quarterback Dak Prescott scored on a 6-yard run and directed an offense that racked up 353 yards.
Impressive as that was, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins actually won that statistical battle before 93,099 fans at AT&T Stadium, where Washington gained a massive 505 total yards while falling to 6-4-1.
The NFC East-leading Cowboys (10-1) completed a two-game sweep of defending division champion Washington. Their lone defeat occurred in the season opener when they fell to the visiting Giants, 20-19.
“Honestly, I don’t even know how the NFL playoffs work,” said Elliott, who gained 97 yards on 20 carries and leads the NFL with 1,199. “I know if you win the division, you’re in there. I haven’t been paying attention to [Washington’s] record or other guys’ record. But I mean, it’s always big to get division wins. I think they were on a pretty good winning streak, so I don’t know what they need to do to get in the playoffs.”
Elliott, who has emerged as a bona fide MVP candidate, added that he knows exactly what it feels like to win 10 in a row. “It feels great,” said Elliott, who broke Tony Dorsett’s Cowboys rookie rushing record of 1,007 yards last week against the Baltimore Ravens. “It’s teamwork. We’re very close, it’s very special and we’re just enjoying going out there and competing together.”
Prescott reprised his performance from Dallas’ 27-23 victory over Washington in Week 2. He completed 17 of 24 passes for 195 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams that gave the Cowboys a 17-3 lead just before halftime.
“I have tons of confidence in myself, this team and the coaching staff,” said Prescott, who has completed 138 consecutive passes without an interception in the last five games. “I never go into the game thinking we’re going to lose, it’s always what do we have to do to win. I feel like that’s how this team thinks. Nobody is waiting for someone to make that play. It’s just been happening week after week.
“We’re one play away every time from scoring. Everybody do their job and we’ll have a chance to score every time. Nothing we do surprises us.”
Cousins completed 41 of 53 passes for 449 yards and three touchdowns, including a 67-yard strike to DeSean Jackson that pulled the Redskins to within 24-19 with 9:22 left. Elliott’s 1-yard run with 6:29 remaining gave Dallas a 31-19 lead.
That score offset an ensuing 15-play, 75-yard Washington drive capped by Cousins’ 8-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Reed that made it 31-26 with 1:53 remaining. Reed also snared a 5-yard touchdown pass that cut the Redskins’ deficit to 17-12 early in the fourth period.
When Dustin Hopkins’ onside kick bounced out of bounds at the Washington 47 with 1:53 to go, the Redskins were done. Hopkins’ day included field goals of 24 and 20 yards, along with misses from 43 yards (wide left) and 55 yards (wide right).
“We fell behind early, fought our way back, but in the end, it wasn’t good enough,” said Cousins, who had directed the Redskins to wins in six of their previous eight games. “The Cowboys are a good team. They’re 10-1 for a reason, and we knew it was going to take an extraordinary effort today.”