Washington Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns to help his team beat the Dallas Cowboys, 28-18, and claim the NFC East crown Dec. 31 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

The win earned the Redskins their first trip to the NFC playoffs since the 2007 season, and also made Washington the first team to bounce back from a 3-6 overall start to reach the playoffs since the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1996.

Washington sealed the victory late in the fourth quarter thanks to an interception of a Tony Romo pass by linebacker Rob Jackson. The pick gave Washington the ball in the red zone with only three minutes left in the game, eventually leading to Morris’ third touchdown of the game.

Player of the Game:
Redskins star rookie quarterback Robert Griffin had an average performance, completing just nine of 18 passes for 100 yards along with a short touchdown run. But Washington still dominated on offense, thanks to Morris, who carried the ball 33 times for 200 yards and three scores, including a 32-yard touchdown. Morris rushed for 1,613 yards this year, setting a new single-season franchise record—an amazing feat considering the great running backs who played in Washington throughout the team’s 80-plus year history, and Morris’ status as a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft.

Unsung Hero of the Game:
Linebacker Rob Jackson saved the game for Washington when he picked off Romo late in the fourth quarter. He probably won’t ever be considered an All-Pro player on the level of Brian Orakpo, the injured star he has replaced this season, but he has done an excellent job filling in. Washington will need Jackson to keep making key plays, as he did against Dallas.

More Game Notes:
Tony Romo finished the game 20-of-37 passing for only 218 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He’ll be the scapegoat for Dallas’ third straight season of missing the playoffs. Cowboys running back Demarco Murray ran for 76 yards on 17 carries. Washington was led on defense by veteran linebacker London Fletcher with 11 tackles.

The Redskins (10-6) will face the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field in the first round of the playoffs on Jan. 6 at 4:30 p.m.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor