The Washington Football Team leads the Dallas Cowboys, 22-3, at the break. Here are three takeaways from the first two quarters:
1. Rushing Offense Comes Alive
Washington entered Sunday last in the NFL with 82.2 rushing yards per game, yet with one carry on the first drive, it picked up nearly half of that total. On 2nd-and-9 from the Dallas 45-yard line, Gibson received an inside hand-off around the right end and cut upfield for 40 yards before being brought down.
While Washington's opening possession ended with Kyle Allen being tackled inches from the goal line, Gibson found the end zone on the next possession, rumbling 12 yards into the end zone to extend the team's lead to 9-0.
After totaling 57 yards on 20 carries the past two weeks, Gibson racked up 94 yards on 11 carries and scored his team-leading fourth rushing touchdown of the season. Washington has rushed for 124 yards as a team.
2. Defense Gets To Andy Dalton Early
Dallas rolled into FedExField with the NFL's No. 1 offense, but it didn't take long for Washington to make its presence felt on Andy Dalton.
After Allen was stopped one yard short of the goal line, Washington forced a 3rd-and-8 at the Cowboys' 16-yard line. Dalton saw pressure coming and immediately scrambled to his right, but he wasn't fast enough for Landon Collins, who knocked the ball loose on a nine-yard sack. The ball, which rolled into the end zone, was recovered by tight end Dalton Schultz and who was ruled down, giving Washington it's first safety of the year as well as a 2-0 lead.
The play was the start of an impressive first half from the defense. The team held Dalton to 67 yards on just eight completions, while the Cowboys were limited to just 65 yards on the ground.
3. Terry McLaurin Gets Back At Trevon Diggs
Terry McLaurin had a relatively quiet performance for much of the first half. He nearly got in the end zone on Washington's opening drive, but he hadn't gotten loose for a big play until Cowboys rookie Trevon Diggs started jawing with him after a three-yard run.
One play later, McLaurin made Diggs pay; lined up as an outside receiver, McLaurin used his 4.3 speed and breezed past the former University of Alabama player. Allen then floated his pass to McLaurin, who caught ball at Dallas' 13-yard line and ran in for the 52-yard score.
The touchdown was McLaurin's first since Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals. Through two quarters, he has caught all four of his passes for 64 yards and an average of 16 yards per reception.