'Boys shutdown Skins

'Boys shutdown Skins

Dallas shuts out lowly Washington 17-0 to clinch a playoff berth and improve to 10-5 on the season.

In another game the Dallas Cowboys absolutely had to have, the defense was dominant and Tony Romo was brilliant.

And along the way, Dallas returned to the playoffs while setting up a defacto NFC East Championship game next week against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Romo threw for 286 yards and the defense shutdown the Redskins in every sense of the word in a 17-0 win Sunday night.

It was the second time this season the Dallas Cowboys did not allow the Redskins to score a touchdown. In fact it was the first in the history of the series that Washington has failed to score a touchdown in both games.

"I think we showed the December jinx is not here," said wide receiver Roy Williams. "Last year, we were in the same situation and didn't get it done. 2009's a different year."

Terence Newman's interception of a tipped pass led to the Cowboys' first-quarter touchdown, a four-yard scoring strike from Romo to Williams.

Jason Witten helped set up the next Dallas score when he caught a career-long 69-yard pass on a crossing pattern that moved Dallas all the way down to the Redskins 3-yard line.

Marion Barber scored on the very next play, giving the Cowboys a commanding 14-0 before halftime.

After that the defense took over, with the final scoring coming courtesy of former Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham - who made a 23-yard field goal to make the final score 17-0.

And now ... it sets up the monumental matchup with the Eagles next weekend.

"I look at Philadelphia as a playoff game," Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "It's so meaningful to us."

NOTES: David Buehler added two touchbacks today to give him 25 for the season - leaving him two shy of Lin Elliott for the most in a Cowboys season since 1991. ... Newman's 23 career interceptions broke a tie with Don Bishop and tied Darren Woodson for 10th in franchise history. ... Romo's 286 yards today gave him 4,172 for the season - his second 4,000-yard season and the second-most in team history behind his 4,211 in 2007. ... Dallas special teams coach Joe DeCamillis underwent an appendectomy at a Virginia hospital Sunday and missed the game. Offensive assistant Wes Phillips, son of the head coach, handled the special teams units.

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