IRVING, Tex. -- For all of the new pass plays in Dallas' retooled offense, it was the running game of Emmitt Smith that gave the Washington Redskins the most trouble last night.
Just like last year, when the Cowboys' elusive running back ripped through the Redskins for 132 yards, Smith rushed for 104 in the first quarter alone.
Then Smith retreated to the bench with dehydration in the second quarter and the Cowboys' running game went with him and the Redskins went on to win, 33-31.
"The running game did suffer when he wasn't in and it forced us into the passing game," said Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who completed 27 of 42 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns. "He does such a good job of making people miss him."
Smith scored two touchdowns before his role was greatly reduced because of the dehydration. One came on a mercurial 75-yard run in the first quarter in which no less than five Redskins missed potential tackles -- among them Darrell Green, Brad Edwards, Wilber Marshall and finally, at the 5-yard line, Andre Collins.
Smith's second TD came in the second quarter when he took a short pass from Aikman, bounced off strong safety Alvin Walton at the 2 and went into the end zone. Walton suffered a bruised shoulder on the play and did not return to the game.
After running for 104 yards on five carries in the first half, Smith gained only eight more yards on six rushes the rest of the game. He finished with 112 yards on 11 attempts and caught eight passes for 42 yards.
"Smith was sick after his long run," said Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson. "He took an I.V. at halftime, but he just wasn't himself and that slowed us somewhat."
Dallas fullback Daryl Johnston also left the game with
For Dallas, the play of the game may well have been a late hit by defensive end Daniel Stubbs on quarterback Mark Rypien in the third quarter.
Stubbs decked Rypien on a third-down incompletion, and the penalty gave the Redskins a first down on the Washington 39. Two minutes later, the Redskins rushed for a first down out of punt formation, and the 85-yard drive culminated in the fourth quarter with a one-yard touchdown run by Gerald Riggs. The drive covered 8:20 and negated a 24-23 Cowboy lead.
"It was an aggressive mistake," Stubbs said. "I was a half-step late. It was a judgment call."
Rypien deemed it a "marginal call." He said it made up for what he considered a poor intentional grounding call earlier in the drive when the ball slipped from his grasp and hit the ground two feet in front of him.
The Redskins, who snapped a six-game losing streak on Monday Night Football, came away with a frightening list of injuries. Left guard Joe Jacoby and right tackle Ed Simmons left the game with back spasms and a right knee sprain, respectively.
Washington's secondary took a harder hit. In addition to Walton, free safety Brad Edwards sprained his right ankle, while safety Terry Hoage suffered back spasms in pregame warmups and was unable to play. Another safety, Danny Copeland, left the game with a cramp.