Landover -- The Cowboys defensive performance against Washington can be described with quite a few negative adjectives: it was uneven, sloppy, inadequate, and at times shoddy.
But let's stop there because Cowboy defenders overcame all the issues and in the game's biggest moments, they made clutch plays.
And how many times have they been on the others side of that?
"They had some plays," said cornerback Brandon Carr, "but we kept our poise and we made sure we fought to the end and in the fourth quarter we came up big for our team."
After Jason Garrett's failed third quarter onside kick, Washington took over the ball on the Cowboys 38, but the defense held them to a field goal.
Zeke Elliott's fourth quarter fumbled put Cowboys defenders in dire straights, as well. But the red zone defense held up again, forcing another field goal.
And when it looked for the world like Washington was about to deliver the knockout blow, Barry Church stepped in front of Kirk Cousins pass for the kind of pivotal play this much-maligned defense has rarely seen in the last year-plus.
"They were in short field management situations pretty much the whole game," said Safety Barry Church. "We were able to standup up as a defense and step up in the red zone. That proved to be the difference."
So, despite giving up 432 total yards and several big plays, Cowboys defenders aren't about to focus too much on the negative.
"Never apologize for winning in this league because they're tough to come by," said cornerback Mo Claiborne. "We got that victory. We're going to enjoy it and put it behind us."
Not everyone on that defensive was enjoying it though. Defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford said he didn't feel much better after this game and he's not the only one.
Cowboy fans understand the sentiment and give thanks that a faulty defensive performance, thanks to pivotal play-making, produced a win.
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