WASHINGTON: Dan Bailey nailed a 54-yard last gasp field goal as the Dallas Cowboys kept their season alive with a 19-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
Bailey held his nerve to settle an error-strewn battle between the NFC East rivals, which exploded into life during a frenzied final two minutes.
Bailey’s game-winning score was set up after the Cowboys’ Lucky Whitehead set off on a 45-yard run to the Cowboys 43 with the score tied at 16-16.
Backup Dallas quarterback Matt Cassel—shouldering his team’s offensive burden after a season-ending injury to Tony Romo—connected with Dez Bryant for two quick completions to advance 20 yards.
Two incomplete passes followed, but Bailey’s long-range effort sailed through the posts with yards to spare and Dallas clinched a victory, which saw them improve to 4-8.
Washington, who could have taken a grip on the division with a victory, fell back to 5-7, the same record as divisional rivals New York and Philadelphia.
Bailey’s field goal was the final act of a drama-filled finale, which looked to have turned in Dallas’s favor when Washington receiver DeSean Jackson fumbled with 1:26 left after an ill-advised attempted punt return.
The Cowboys scored two plays later through running back Darren McFadden to take a 16-9 lead.
However the Cowboys left enough time on the clock to give Washington the chance to mount one last drive and the Redskins were given the perfect platform after Rashad Ross returned for 41 yards.
A further penalty for a facemask foul saw play advanced to the Dallas 43-yard line and four plays later quarterback Kirk Cousins picked out Jackson with a 28-yard touchdown pass with just 44 seconds left.
The Washington touchdown looked to have forced overtime, but Whitehead’s superb kickoff return helped create Bailey’s shot at glory.
The victory still leaves Dallas in the hunt for a playoff berth, although they have little margin for error in their four remaining regular season games, which include a daunting trip to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.