Highlights and lowlights from the Commanders’ win over the Cowboys

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A look at the good (Hail!) and bad (Fail!) from the Washington Commanders’ 26-6 wins over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

When Howell found Terry McLaurin open over the middle for a 16-yard score in the first quarter, he joined an exclusive club of rookie quarterbacks — including Trey Lance, Tim Tebow, Matt Ryan and Kordell Stewart — to throw a touchdown on their first career attempt. Howell finished 11 for 19 for 169 yards, and with a nine-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, he became Washington’s first rookie quarterback to run and pass for a score in the same game since Robert Griffin III in 2012. Howell also got his first career interception out of the way when he forced a pass into triple coverage in the end zone. Afterward, Howell revealed that he grew up a Cowboys fan, which made the win in his debut all the more sweet.

As Commanders eye the future, Sam Howell makes a case to be part of it

“S—–,” Prescott, using a word that rhymes with kitty, said of his performance after completing 14 of 37 passes for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception. During one particularly ugly sequence in the second quarter, the Cowboys’ quarterback made a poor throw that bounced off the chest of diving Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller. On the very next play, Prescott threw in Fuller’s direction again. This time, Fuller stayed on his feet, jumped the route, made the interception and raced 29 yards into the end zone. Fuller’s second pick-six of the season marked Prescott’s 11th interception in his past seven games.

McLaurin set a new single-season career high with 1,191 receiving yards after making three catches for 74 yards, including a 52-yard grab on a beautiful throw by Howell in the second half. “That ball literally walked into my hands,” McLaurin said of Howell’s dime, which traveled 60 yards in the air. McLaurin made a rare mental mistake when he tossed Howell’s first career touchdown pass to a fan in the FedEx Field stands. Washington’s equipment staff managed to recover the memento for Howell by trading a football that the quarterback autographed on the sideline during the game.

Cowboys punter Bryan Anger fumbled the snap on a punt on Dallas’s first possession and was tackled at his own 20-yard line, leading to Washington’s first touchdown. A muffed punt by KaVontae Turpin that Christian Holmes recovered at the Dallas 15-yard-line later in the first quarter put the Commanders in position to add to their lead, but Joey Slye had the first of his two missed field goals. Slye and Cowboys kicker Brett Maher both missed extra points. Washington’s Pro Bowl-bound punter Tress Way managed to drop three of his seven punts inside the 20, but it was an otherwise awful game for the Cowboys’ and Commanders’ special teams units.

Sonny Jurgensen became the fourth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Sammy Baugh, Sean Taylor and Bobby Mitchell. At halftime, the Commanders unveiled a giant “Thank You Sonny” banner on the field. Jurgensen, 88, was shown on the video board in a suite with his good friend and fellow former Washington quarterback Billy Kilmer. With a cigar in his mouth, Jurgensen watched as Kilmer unveiled a framed No. 9 jersey. Jurgensen’s longtime broadcast partner, play-by-play man Frank Herzog, was a guest in the Commanders’ radio booth for the festivities.

Fail: Third-down conversions

Dallas was 4 for 18 while Washington was 3 for 14 on third down, which made for a long game with few sustained drives and 17 punts. Dallas went three and out on 10 possessions, and the teams combined for six consecutive three and outs on their first six possessions of the second half.

With running backs Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. both out, second-year pro Jaret Patterson received his first carries of the season after being signed to the 53-man roster last week. The Prince George’s County native made the most of his opportunity, rushing for 78 yards on 17 carries. With Jamin Davis inactive, third-year linebacker Khaleke Hudson earned his first start of the year. He finished with seven tackles, earning praise and a game ball from Commanders Coach Ron Rivera. Rookie left guard Chris Paul, a seventh-round pick out of Tulsa, played well in his NFL debut.

New quarterback? Probably. New owner? Hopefully.

A blowout loss in front of a pro-Cowboys crowd at home would’ve been a more fitting (potential) end to Daniel Snyder’s tenure as owner, but considering he didn’t bother showing up, a positive performance to build on heading into the offseason was a welcome surprise. No change for the Commanders over the coming months would be more meaningful than Snyder ceding control of the franchise he has spent the past 23 years ruining. It’s a possibility after Snyder announced in November he was exploring a sale of the team, and if it happens, it’ll be cause for a parade. If Sunday was the end, Washington went 164-220-2 under Snyderwith six winning seasons, two playoffs wins and, until recently, one toxic workplace culture.

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