Dallas quarterback Tony Romo came close to pulling off a comeback, driving the Cowboys down field with less than 2 minutes left. On the game's final play, Romo hit Roy Williams in the right corner of the end zone, but the apparent touchdown was waved off because of holding by tackle Alex Barron.
Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb went 15-of-32 for 171 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in his first game with Washington since coming over from Philadelphia.
The season-opening victory also marked the debut of Coach Mike Shanahan, who replaced Jim Zorn after the Redskins went 4-12 last season.
Romo finished with 282 yards and a touchdown.
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