IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Steve Spurrier stirred up most of the
Dallas Cowboys with a comment he made 10 months ago.
For Emmitt Smith, the motivation to beat the Washington
Redskins' coach began in 1989, when he was a junior at Florida.
The payback provided a new spin to what's becoming a redundant
storyline: Dallas beating Washington.
The Cowboys won 27-20 Thursday, beating the Redskins for the
10th straight time and turning what once was the league's most
bitter rivalry into its most lopsided. No other team has won as
many in a row against another team.
Smith led the way with 144 yards rushing, his most in two years.
Roy Williams returned an interception for a touchdown late in the
third quarter, then Joey Galloway strutted into the end zone with
the go-ahead score early in the fourth.
"We said all along how much we respect them and what Spurrier
has going,'' Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "That made that
effort from our players all the more sweeter.''
The streak is remarkable, considering the Cowboys (5-7) are only
33-48 against the rest of the league during the span, which began
in November 1997.
Spurrier vowed things would change when he was hired in January,
even promising owner Dan Snyder the game ball from his first
victory over Dallas. A clip of that comment was played inside Texas
Stadium just before kickoff, drawing boos that quickly turned to
cheers when the screen turned black except for the words, "Not
"No game balls on this side,'' said Spurrier, noting that the
teams play again Dec. 29 in Washington. "Hopefully we'll give them
a little better test next time.''
Smith's bitterness toward Spurrier dates to college. He had a
year of eligibility left when Spurrier took over the Gators, and
the coach hardly made an effort to convince him to come back for
his senior year.
Slights, real or perceived, have driven Smith to the top of the
NFL rushing list, and the chance to prove this point fueled his
best day since Dec. 10, 2000, when had 150 yards against -- who
else? -- the Redskins.
Smith had seven runs of at least 11 yards, upping his career
total to 17,021, despite bruising his hand and straining his neck.
This was the 76th 100-yard game of his career, tying Barry Sanders
for second-most in league history, one behind the record held by
"You start adding elements like Spurrier, the Skins -- it makes
it more special,'' Smith said. "I knew I was having a good game.''
After a first quarter that showed why both teams are among the
bottom six offenses in the league, the game featured a little of
everything: a blocked punt, blocked field goal, missed extra point,
an interception returned for a touchdown and a missed field goal.
There was a bit of the wacky, too: Washington had to have its
kicker punt because the punter broke his nose, while Dallas ran out
of offensive linemen after losing two starters to injuries within
Things were looking good for Washington (5-7) when Danny
Wuerffel threw his third touchdown pass for a 20-10 lead early in
the third quarter. The scores came over four drives, with the only
exception a two-play, clock-killing series at the end of the first
But the Redskins missed the extra point, and little went right
for them again.
On third-and-12 from the 1, Wuerffel threw a pass that bounced
off the hands of running back Kenny Watson and straight to
Williams. Although the Cowboys still trailed 20-17, they had the
"You could look in their eyes and see they were deflated,''
Dallas defensive lineman La'Roi Glover said.
Billy Cundiff missed a 37-yarder that would have tied it, but on
the next drive Chad Hutchinson hit Galloway on a crossing route. He
broke so free from the coverage that he was able to slowly walk the
final 5 yards. Cundiff added a 42-yarder with 4:23 left.
The Redskins had second-and-1 from the Dallas 34 after that but
turned it over on downs. The game ended with the Cowboys
intercepting a heave from rookie Patrick Ramsey, who replaced
Wuerffel on that play because of a head injury.
Hutchinson became the sixth Dallas quarterback to rack up a
victory during the streak -- the longest for either team in the
series' 85-game history -- by going 12-of-25 for 145 yards and two
Hutchinson guided the league's lowest-scoring team to its most
points this season, and its first NFC East victory.
Wuerffel was 21-of-36 for 243 yards with three TDs and three
interceptions. He hadn't thrown a touchdown pass since 1998 and had
only nine in his previous 20 games.
Washington fell to 0-6 against Dallas on Thanksgiving. ...
Williams has interceptions in three straight games. ... Kicker
James Tuthill averaged 40 yards on four punts, including a
53-yarder on his first try, after punter Bryan Barker broke his
nose. ... Barker was to spend the night in a Dallas hospital.
Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter sprained his right knee and is having
an MRI Friday. ... Cowboys center Andre Gurode left with a strained
groin in the second quarter.
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