For the first time in nearly three years, Texas Longhorns legend Colt McCoy started a game in the NFL, leading the Washington Redskins to a thrilling 20-17 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington.
It was also the first time that McCoy had played a football game in the state of Texas since he helped the Longhorns to a 13-12 victory over the Cornhuskers in the 2009 Big 12 championship game. But while that game was marked by massive struggles for McCoy and the offense, the former Texas quarterback had his current team clicking for much of the game on his return.
In throwing for 299 yards with one interception, McCoy completed 83% of his passes, the best ever for a Washington quarterback with 30 or more passes. He also added a rushing touchdown on a quarterback draw early in the fourth quarter to give Washington a 17-10 lead.
It took some time for McCoy to get into the flow of the game, however, as he threw an interception in the first quarter after the Redskins recovered a Cowboys fumble. He also admitted to calling a play wrong in the huddle and took a critical delay of game penalty in the fourth quarter before a sack took Washington out of field goal range, so it was hardly a perfect performance.
In the big moments, though, McCoy rose to the occasion.
One of those plays was an impressive scramble to his left on 1st and 10 from the Dallas 45-yard line in overtime. McCoy waved tight end Jordan Reed down the field and then lofted a pass on the run over a defender and into Reed's arms for a critical 16-yard gain that put Washington into field goal range.
Four plays later, Redskins kicker Kai Forbath hit a 40-yard field goal to provide the final margin.
"Last-second wins, right?" McCoy said, laughing. "But I grew up as the game went on. I felt more and more comfortable, and I started seeing the defense right. We made some plays down the stretch that good teams have to make to win games."
After the game, tweets of encouragement were sent out by some high-profile friends:
So proud for Colt. He is a real winner. 2-0 in Cowboy Stadium. Texas fans have seen him pull it out so many times.— Mack Brown (@ESPN_CoachMack) October 28, 2014
COLT CAME BACK TO THE CRIB AND GOT THIS W— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) October 28, 2014
Unfortunately for McCoy, his starting role in the nation's capital may be short lived, as Robert Griffin III is expected to return from his fractured ankle in the near future.
But since McCoy is only operating on a one-year contract in Washington, the game against Dallas served as something of an audition for next season and based on his performances over the last two weeks, a multi-year contract and back-up role could be in his future after he proved that he can perform at a high level in the NFL if he has the right pieces around him.