There were about six minutes left in the first, and it looked like the Washington Commanders were about to see the momentum swing in their direction.
The Commanders' pass rush, which had been in Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush's face throughout the first half, forced the quarterback to underthrow his pass. It was snagged by Benjamin St-Juste, who returned the interception to the Cowboys' 45-yard line.
But there was a problem. An illegal contact penalty wiped away the turnover. Dallas went on to score five minutes later. That about sums up the afternoon for the Commanders in a 25-10 defeat.
Washington (1-3) never truly saw the game get out of hand. Its defense, which allowed 24 points in one quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles, delivered an admirable performance against the Cowboys, allowing 279 total yards. While Rush and the Cowboys marched into the red zone multiple times, Washington held strong and only allowed one touchdown drive.
Check out the top photos of the Washington Commanders taking on the Dallas Cowboys in their Week 4 matchup. (Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)
The Commanders, however, could never get a firm grasp on the contest. The sparks from the offense quickly flamed out, mostly because of costly penalties that included two intentional grounding calls. Third-and-long was commonplace for the unit, which all but wiped away a solid ground game that saw Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and Jonathan Williams combine for 137 yards.
After the Cowboys hit two field goals to take a 6-0 lead, the Commanders got on the board in the first half for the first time since Week 1. Carson Wentz capped off a seven-play, 65-yard drive, assisted by big runs from Williams and McKissic, by hitting Jahan Dotson for a 10-yard score, giving the rookie his fourth touchdown of the season.
Dallas got to work and responded on its ensuing drive. Rush and the Cowboys went on a 15-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Rush finding Michael Gallup, who had returned from a torn ACL he suffered last season, for a 10-yard score to retake the lead.
After Wentz threw an interception to Trevon Diggs, his second of the season, to end the second quarter, the half ended with a 12-7 lead in Dallas' favor.
Washington saw little success on its first two drives of the third quarter, one of which was backed up by an offensive holding call. The Cowboys struggled just as much to start the half, but it did find some traction with a 28-yard field goal and a 30-yard score by CeeDee Lamb to start the fourth quarter.
Washington did manage to cut into the Cowboys' lead with a 45-yard field of its own, but that came after an intentional grounding and a false start backed it up from the Cowboys' 17-yard line to the 31-yard line.
The Commanders had a stroke of good luck after a punt from Bryan Anger landed at the Cowboys' 30-yard line. However, the drive ended with a turnover on downs, and with eight minutes left in the game, the Cowboys ran out the clock to claim the victory.