WASHINGTON -- Paul Palmer, acquired to replace the traded Herschel Walker, ran for 110 yards and a touchdown Sunday night to spark the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-3 victory over the Washington Redskins, giving Jimmy Johnson a belated first NFL coaching triumph.
Dallas, 1-8, won for just the second time in 21 games. The only other victory during that two-season stretch came the last time the Cowboys visited RFK Stadium, when they downed the Redskins 24-17 on Dec. 11, 1988.
Palmer, a third-year player, was signed by the Detroit Lions after being waived by the Kansas City Chiefs in preseason and was then dealt to the Cowboys on Oct. 17, five days after Dallas sent Walker to the Minnesota Vikings. Palmer, who carried the ball 18 times, scored the game's lone touchdown on a 2-yard run in the third period for a 10-3 Dallas lead.
Palmer, making his third start for Dallas, grew up in the Washington suburb of Potomac, Md., and starred at Churchill High School, before going to college at Temple.
Roger Ruzek kicked field goals of 20 and 43 yards to contribute to the upset.
The Redskins, 4-5, suffered their second straight loss after three straight victories.
Johnson had lost just nine games in his five seasons at the University of Miamibefore coming to the Cowboys to replace Tom Landry when oil man Jerry Jones bought the team.
Dallas, whose defense was ranked 26th in the NFL entering the game but has held two straight foes without an offensive touchdown, clamped down on the league's No. 1 offense. Washington quarterback Doug Williams, playing for the first time this season after August back surgery, was unable to rally the Redskins.
A Dallas rush defense ranked dead last in the league held Washington to just 50 yards rushing on 21 carries.
Williams completed 28 of 52 passes for 296 yards, with two interceptions. Rookie Steve Walsh completed 10 of 30 passes, but did not throw an interception.
After the teams exchanged missed field goals in the scoreless first quarter, the Cowboys capitalized on their second interception of Williams in the first half to take only their second halftime lead of the season.
Safety Bill Bates snared an underthrown pass by Williams intended for Gary Clark and returned to the Redskins' 34 with 24 seconds left in the half. Walsh's 25-yard pass to Kelvin Martin set up Ruzek's 20-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the half for a 3-0 lead.
Chip Lohmiller's 35-yard field goal at 10:02 of the third period tied the score 3-3. Five plays earlier, instant replay official Chuck Heberling overturned a field call on an apparent fumble by Art Monk, allowing the Redskins to retain possession at the Cowboys' 32.
Palmer ran 47 yards on a draw up the middle before being tackled from behind by Brian Davis at the Redskins' 6. Two plays later, Palmer ran 2 yards for a touchdown for a 10-3 Dallas lead at 12:43 of the third period.
After an unneccessary roughness penalty on Washington's Joe Mickles on a punt gave Dallas the ball at the Redskins' 44, Palmer's 14-yard run helped set up Ruzek's 43-yard field goal with 4:05 left in the game.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, on his first day on the job after replacing the retired Pete Rozelle, watched the game from the stands at RFK Stadium. Tagliabue, a Washington lawyer, is a Redskins season ticket holder.