This is the backstory to one of the great moments of Week 8, the Washington Redskins' thrilling overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys on "Monday Night Football". The Redskins' shocking road win behind a third-string quarterback, as well as the Detroit Lions' comeback from 21 down to beat the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium in London and the Arizona Cardinals' triumph in the "Battle of the birds" with a late touchdown and last-second defensive stand are nominees for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the week. Cast your vote for the GMC Never Say Never Moments of Week 8.
A longtime division rivalry. A third-string quarterback returning to his home state to play the team he rooted for. An injury to a star quarterback. A team owner springing into action, removing himself from his luxury box perch to head to the sidelines. All of these subplots and the dramatic on-the-field theatrics helped make for one of the most memorable Monday night games in recent memory.
Here are the key moments before the moment:
The play:Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant beasts his way to the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown play.
The aftermath: Bryant caught a screen pass and pushes through two Redskins defenders to reach the ball out to cross the plain of the goal line. It was one of the more athletically impressive plays of the 2014 season. For Bryant, the score represented his fifth touchdown in six games against the Redskins. He has one or more receiving touchdowns in five of eight games this season, and in 10 of his last 13 games.
With Romo out, Weeden takes over
The play:Cowboys backup quarterback Brandon Weeden connects with tight end Jason Witten for a 25-yard touchdown play.
The aftermath: This is exactly how everybody imagined this Monday night showdown would come down to, two Cleveland Browns castoff quarterbacks dueling under the expansive and expensive Jerry World dome. Weeden was pressed into action when Romo gave Cowboys fans a real scare after getting hit on his surgically repaired back. While Romo received treatment in the locker room, Weeden assumed the controls of the Cowboys' prolific offense. His first drive resulted in a Dan Bailey field goal to tie up the score at 10-10. Weeden's next drive presented a 17-10 lead for Dallas.
The real McCoy
The aftermath: McCoy's scamper put the Redskins up 17-10 on the Cowboys, and planted a seed of encouragement that Washington might just be able to pull off an upset against what had been one of the NFL's hottest teams entering Week 8. McCoy set up his own score by dropping a 45-yard bomb to receiver DeSean Jackson. It was Jackson's second reception of 40-plus yards; he had a catch go for 49 yards earlier in the game.
The play: On the opening drive of overtime, McCoy floated a pass to tight end Jordan Reed, who tip-toed the sideline for a nifty 16-yard play, which put the Redskins into position for the winning field goal by Kai Forbath.
The aftermath: A heaping helping of drama preceded McCoy's heroics. After the two-minute warning, Romo returned to the game. The quarterback was provided with quite a tall task to achieve glory, with a drive starting at their own 3-yard line and only 1:52 to get the go-ahead score. It was an adventure. On a second-and-1 play, Romo was sacked, fumbled the ball, which appeared to be recovered by the Redskins but somehow slipped back into the hands of the Cowboys. Given a second chance, Romo connected with receiver Terrance Williams for an 18-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Unfortunately, the drive stalled after that, resulting in a punt and the expiration of regulation.
Following the McCoy-to-Reed play and Forbath's go-ahead field goal, the Cowboys had a chance to at least tie up the game again with a field goal, per the NFL's overtime rules. However, that drive ended in disappointment for Dallas as Washington rookie defensive back Bashaud Breelandbatted down Romo's final fourth-down pass.
While McCoy's immediate future with the Redskins is uncertain -- Robert Griffin III is expected to return to the starting lineup once deemed healthy enough to play -- the former University of Texas quarterback made quite an impression. In snapping the Redskins' nine-game road losing streak, McCoy now boasts the highest completion percentage for a Redskins quarterback with at least 30 pass attempts in a game (83.3). McCoy also has the NFL's highest completion percentage since Week 7 (85.7), bettering those of Peyton Manning (77.0), Aaron Rodgers (also 77.0) and Ben Roethlisberger (76.8) -- who is coming offone of the NFL's all-greatpassing performances.
Thanks to their third-string quarterback -- McCoy stood behind RGIII and Kirk Cousins on the team's depth chart entering the season -- the Redskins might have salvaged what entering Monday night's game had been a disappointment. McCoy has led the Redskins to two consecutive wins, and with games aganst the Vikings (3-5) and Buccaneers (1-6) coming up, rising to .500 isn't totally out of question. Relevancy in November is a very distinct possibility.