NFL: Washington Redskins beat Dallas Cowboys for final play-off place
Washington beat Dallas 28-18 in their winner-takes-all clash to claim the NFC East title and final NFL play-off place.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 31/12/12 6:55am
Results earlier on the final day of the NFL regular season meant that only one team could progress from their battle for the divisional title in America's capital - and it was the home side who move on to next week's wild card round when they will host Seattle.
The rookie combination of quarterback Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris has been the cornerstone of the Redskins' season, and that was again the case as Dallas found Washington's power running game too hot to handle.
It's an incredible feat for a team that started the season 3-6 but turned things around to finish 10-6 thanks to their two rookies - with Washington the first team since the 1943 Giants to make the post-season with rookies as their leading passer and rusher.
RGIII will get the headlines but it was Morris and Mike Shanahan's running game that won the day, with the sixth-round draft pick picking up 200 yards and three rushing touchdowns while Griffin passed for just 100 yards but also ran in a score.
Tony Romo had one of those games which has blighted his career, as he gave away three vital interceptions to cancel out his two touchdown throws - most notably when he lobbed an easy pick for Rob Jackson with just three minutes left to play.
Romo had previously given the 8-7 Cowboys the lead in the second quarter when he connected with his favourite target Jason Witten on a nine-yard pass.
Washington's running game was taking its toll though, and Morris levelled the game with a seven-yard run before Griffin faked the hand-off and ran him himself from ten yards in the third quarter despite struggling with a knee injury.
Morris burst out with a 32-yard TD to open up an 11-point lead for the hosts after a Dan Bailey field goal for Dallas, before Romo finally started to show his better side as he drove his team down the field and back into the game.
Romo hit Kevin Ogletree for a TD and then Dwayne Harris for a two-point conversion and when Dallas got the ball back with three minutes left and a three-point gap it was game on - until Romo blew it with an easy interception.
Morris was the star of the show and added to that billing with his third touchdown and exactly his 200th yard of rushing on the night as he broke the team's all-time season rushing record and recorded the third best ever by a rookie in the NFL.