WASHINGTON -- Running back Alfred Morris swore afterward that his return to Washington held no special significance.
His fourth quarter touchdown, however, was very significant.
Morris scored on a 4-yard run with 4:45 left to help the Dallas Cowboys defeat his former team, the Redskins, 27-23 on Sunday, avoiding an 0-2 start.
"No vindication, no hard feelings, no anything," said Morris, who was allowed to leave as a free agent in the offseason after four years with Washington.
After the score, Morris celebrated with his swing for the fences, a move seen numerous times at FedEx Field during his four years as a Redskin.
Morris capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that came after Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins was intercepted throwing into triple coverage in the end zone as the Redskins appeared on the verge of taking a 10-point lead.
"He did an outstanding job in that situation, but really throughout the game," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said of Prescott. "Number of different things came up during the game and he just handles it with poise and composure."
On the Redskins next possession, Cousins' pass to Pierre Garcon on fourth-and-1 from their own 44 was tipped by a defender and incomplete.
"Didn't like my initial option so I had to get off that," Cousins said. "Went to where I threw the football and in taking a little longer to get it there, that allowed the inside linebacker to make a play on the ball."
Washington got the ball back with 1:30 left and no timeouts. A 37-yard completion on third down to Chris Thompson got them to midfield, but a desperation Hail Mary on the final play landed out of the back of the end zone.
The defending NFC East Champion Redskins dropped two straight home games to open the season.
"We're 0-2, we're in last place and we have to get it turned around quick of the season can slip away from us," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "A lot of football left ... we're going to keep grinding and get back to work."
Prescott was sacked four times but finished 22 of 30 for 292 yards with no turnovers. Fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliot carried 21 times for 83 yards and a touchdown, but spent the crucial drives down the stretch on the sideline because of two fumbles, one in the fourth quarter that Dallas recovered. Dez Bryant, held to one reception in Week 1, had seven catches for 102 yards.
"You just have to be patient," Bryant said. "This is an outstanding offense with a lot of good playmakers and you've just got to be patient."
Cousins struggled with his accuracy and completed 28 of 46 passes for 364 yards, with one touchdown and the interception. Tight end Jordan Reed had five catches for 70 yards.
The game was turnover free until Washington's Josh Norman stripped Elliot and Washington recovered at the Dallas 34 with 1:39 left in the third quarter. The Redskins had first-and-goal at the 9, but settled for a Dustin Hopkins field goal and a 23-20 lead after three quarters.
Washington took a 17-13 lead when it got the second-half kick and went 75 yards in eight plays. Cousins completed five of his six passes on the drive, including a decisive bullet for an 11-yard score to Jamison Crowder in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.
Dallas quickly regained the lead. On third-and-11 from the Redskins 23, Prescott found Bryant for 16 yards. Two plays later Prescott scrambled six yards for the touchdown with 5:41 left in the third quarter.
The Redskins then took a botched onside kick and came away with a field goal, tying the game at 20.
"Coming out in the second half I thought our defense did an excellent job in a couple of those sudden change situations," Garrett said. "After the onside kick attempt and the after the turnover that we had, did a real good job of holding them to field goals."
The Cowboys opened the game by driving inside the Washington 10. Prescott found Bryant twice on third down for 18 and 17 yards, then Beasley on a slant for 28 yards to the 5. Dallas couldn't punch it and Dan Bailey's 22-yarder made it 3-0.
After Cousins overthrew an open Jamison Crowder for what would have been a touchdown on Washington's first possession, a punt pinned Dallas at its own 6-yard line. The Cowboys went 94 yards in nine plays to make it 10-0 when Smith bulled in from the 1 with 1:39 left in the first quarter.
The Redskins made it 10-7 when, from the Dallas 14, Matt Jones ran left and, as he was tackled, extended the ball across the goal line for the touchdown.
NOTES: The Cowboys have won four straight at Washington. ... Cowboys RB Alfred Morris had five carries for seven yards and a touchdown. He spent his first four seasons with Washington and ranks fifth on the team's all-time rushing list with 4,713 yards. ... Dan Bailey (150) became just the second Dallas kicker to reach 150 career field goals. Rafael Septien made 162. ... Cowboys RT Doug Free made his 100th career start. ... Redskins TE Vernon Davis played his 150th career game. .. The Redskins are 0-2 for the first time since 2013, when they started 0-3.