Rousing returns of two stars sparks Cowboys

All the talk before this Game of the Week centered around the return of Tony Romo. The Dallas quarterback had missed two games with a broken pinkie on his right hand and the Cowboys had seen their record slip to 5-4 so Romo was rushing back in a cavalry-like gallop to save the season.

There was so much attention paid to Romo and the splint on his passing hand how it would effect the Dallas passing game that hardly anyone noticed the return of Terence Newman to the defense. But Newman had just as much impact as Romo -- if not more -- on the Cowboys' 14-10 win over NFC East rival Washington.

Newman, a Pro Bowl cornerback, returned to the lineup after missing five games following surgery for a sports hernia and he shut down the Redskins top receiver, Santana Moss, limiting him to five catches for 29 yards. Moss came into the game with 44 catches (eighth in the NFC) for 672 yards (fifth in the NFC).

"I think everybody had to make a stand, not just the defense but the offense had been struggling," Newman said after the game. "It was important for everybody to come out and have a good game."

Newman made a critical play early in the second half. Leading 10-7, the Redskins took the kickoff and drove into Dallas territory. Quarterback Jason Campbell successfully converted three third downs with passes to three different receivers: Devin Thomas, Chris Cooley and Ladell Betts.

The Redskins appeared headed for another touchdown which would have pushed their lead to 10 points and stoked the sellout crowd of 90,830 at FedEx Field. The Dallas defense needed to make a big play. With the ball on the 35, Campbell tried to complete a third down pass to Moss, but Newman cut in front of the receiver to make a diving interception.

It was only the third interception thrown by Campbell this season and just the fourth interception for the Dallas defense, but it could not have come at a better time. It killed a Redskins threat, it deflated the home crowd and it gave the Cowboys a much-needed lift.

In the fourth quarter, after the Cowboys had taken the lead on a Romo touchdown pass to rookie tight end Martellus Bennett, the Redskins again threatened, driving to the Dallas 37. But on a fourth-and-four play, Campbell again looked to Moss and Newman was in position to knock the ball away.

The Cowboys took possession and behind the power running of Marion Barber, they chewed up the final 6:40 to win the game. The victory lifted Dallas into a tie with Washington at 6-4, three games behind the division leading New York Giants.

When the Cowboys and Redskins met in Week 4, Moss had a big game with eight receptions for 145 yards, his third consecutive 100-yard game against Dallas. Newman was hobbled in that game which the Cowboys lost 26-24, but he is healthy now following his surgery.

"I tried to fight through (the injury) and didn't have a great game," Newman said. "I keep hearing my name on TV that this guy beat me and that guy beat me, so I had something to prove."

He proves it convincingly in the Game of the Week.

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