LANDOVER, Md. — Jerry Jones' team is tied for first place. Dan Snyder has never had a team lose this many in a row.
But such was the nature of the Dallas Cowboys' 27-24 overtime victory over the Washington Redskins that it was winning owner Jones who afterward declared: "I stayed mad all day."
"That is what happens," Jones said, "when you go in maybe thinking that you have a little more going for you than you possibly should."
Jones said he wasn't picking on the coaches — he was merely reflecting his own roller-coaster feelings after the Cowboys allowed a last-minute game-tying touchdown in regulation and survived a missed Redskins field goal in overtime. Dallas came in with the momentum of solid back-to-back wins over the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills, but on Sunday came the reminder that rivalry games can never been taken for granted — even when the other team is struggling.
Even so, Dan Bailey's 39-yard field goal 9:21 into overtime — coupled with the New York Giants' loss to the Philadelphia Eagles — has the Cowboys (6-4) tied with the Giants atop at the NFC East.
"Stacking these wins together is what good teams do this time of year," said Tony Romo, who set up the winning field goal with a 26-yard pass to Dez Bryant to convert a third-and-15. "You need to put yourself in position."
Meanwhile, the Redskins (3-7) are stacking losses and now sit alone in the division cellar. The streak is at six, the longest since the 0-7 start in 1998. Snyder, who bought the team the following year, doesn't hold court in the locker room the way Jones does, but it's safe to say Washington's owner didn't enjoy the sights on the field or the sounds of the Cowboys fans cheering in his stadium.
"It stings more," said Rex Grossman, whose 4-yard pass to Donte' Stallworth with 14 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime, "because as a player you understand how much our owner wants to win this game. We understand how much the fans want to win this game."
Romo completed 23 of 37 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns — plus no interceptions and a 100-plus quarterback rating for the third straight week. He keeps, with no dispute, his title as the NFL's Mr. November, improving to 18-2 with 49 TDs and 12 interceptions in the month.
He did it in classic Romo style, scrambling to find Laurent Robinson for a game-tying, 7-yard touchdown and rolling left to buy time before spotting Jason Witten for the go-ahead, 59-yard score — both in the fourth quarter.
When that wasn't enough, Romo used his feet again in overtime, connecting with Bryant to move the Cowboys into field goal range.
"That's Romo. He's like a snake, man," Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "When you rush him, he's slippery. He's all over the place."
The Redskins proved they can still play a competitive game. They hadn't scored a first-half touchdown or held a lead since Oct. 2; both of those streaks had ended by the time they took a 14-10 lead into the locker room at halftime. They had scored only 20 points combined in their three previous games, but Grossman led them to 24 and solidified the No. 1 spot in his second start since regaining the job from John Beck. He completed 25 of 38 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
The Redskins were set to win after taking the opening possession of overtime into Dallas territory, but Graham Gano's 52-yard field goal was barely wide right.
"It's not one of those games where we just got beat down," said Washington's Jabar Gaffney, who caught seven passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. "We gave it away. We gave that one away. We've got to learn how to win again."
Gano's miss set the stage for a flashback moment. It was on a third-and-21 that Romo found Bryant open against cornerback DeAngelo Hall for a 30-yard gain that set up the winning field goal in the Cowboys' 18-16 win over the Redskins in Week 3. Hall was again the victim in the key Romo-to-Bryant connection in overtime on Sunday.
"The way I'm playing right now, they need to go and cut me," Hall said, "because I'm definitely not worth what I'm getting."
Notes: Redskins LT Trent Williams hurt the MCL in his left knee on the missed overtime field goal. Coach Mike Shanahan said the injury "didn't look very good." Washington was already using its fifth starting offensive line configuration in six weeks. ... Redskins CB Josh Wilson left with a hamstring injury. S LaRon Landry was inactive with an ailing left Achilles tendon, and rookie LG Maurice Hurt was out with a knee injury. ... Dallas has won six of seven vs. Washington.
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
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