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Redskins 28, Cowboys 18

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III runs for a 10-yard score in the third quarter to give Washington a 14-7 lead.

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Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III runs for a 10-yard score in the third quarter to give Washington a 14-7 lead.

LANDOVER, Md. — Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris needed only four months to put the Redskins in a place they haven't been this millennium — on top of the NFC East.

Led by two rookies serenaded loudly and lovingly as "R-G-3!" and "Al-fred Mor-ris!," the Redskins claimed their first division title since 1999, beating the archrival Cowboys 28-18 Sunday night in a winner-take-all finale to end the NFL's regular season.

Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner drafted second overall, ran for 63 yards and a touchdown. Morris, the out-of-nowhere sixth-rounder from Florida Atlantic, ran for 200 yards and three scores. He set the franchise single-season rushing record for the Redskins, who became the first team to rally from 3-6 and make the playoffs since the Jaguars in 1996.

"I could never imagine coming in here my rookie year and doing what I've been able to do," Morris said. "It's better than my wildest dreams."

After the final whistle, team captain Griffin walked off the field with a big smile, holding up his left index finger in a No. 1 gesture.

"These aren't ordinary rookies," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "For a guy to win the Heisman Trophy, be the top pick, the savior of the franchise, come in here so humble — from Day 1 he came in here working, that's why he has that 'C' on his chest."

The No. 4 seed in the NFC, the Redskins are 10-6 and will host the No. 5 Seahawks next Sunday, having won seven straight since their bye week. Seattle eliminated the Redskins the past two times Washington has been to the playoffs, in 2005 and 2007.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, will miss the playoffs for the third straight season, having stumbled in a make-or-break finale for the third time in five years.

Tony Romo had three interceptions including one by linebacker Rob Jackson with 3:00 left with the Cowboys down 21-18.

This was another post-Christmas disappointment for Romo. He also had Week 17 losses to the Eagles (44-6) in 2008 and the Giants (31-14) last year, plus a 1-3 playoff record.

Morris finished with 1,613 yards, topping Clinton Portis' 1,516 in 2005. Griffin's 10-yard touchdown run in the third quarter came when Griffin faked to Morris and ran around left end for a 14-7 lead.

Trying to play catch-up, Dallas pulled within three on a 10-yard pass to Kevin Ogletree and a two-point conversion with 5:50 to play. But Morris' third touchdown, a 1-yard run with 1:09 left, sealed the win.


Redskins 28, Cowboys 18 12/30/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 12:37am]
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