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story.lead_photo.caption Washington Football Team strong safety Landon Collins (26) knocks the ball of the hands of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

LANDOVER, Md. -- Cole Holcomb kept his eyes on Ezekiel Elliott in coverage and while rushing the passer, intercepting the ball once after it bounced off the Dallas running back and bulldozing him on the way to a sack later.

Holcomb and Washington's defense dominated Elliott and the Cowboys offense on Sunday, piling up six sacks, the pick and a forced fumble that became a safety in a 25-3 blowout.

That defensive play set the tone and helped Washington snap a five-game skid and deal Dallas another frustrating defeat.

"The past weeks we've played really well in spurts, and then we're finally starting to get to a more consistent basis with the team," Holcomb said. "When we're firing on all cylinders, we can be a good team."

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Montez Sweat led Washington (2-5) with two sacks and Landon Collins knocked the ball out of Andy Dalton's hands for an early safety before leaving with an ankle injury. Dalton was under siege all day behind a patchwork offensive line before being knocked out of the game in the third quarter on a shoulder-to-head hit from Jon Bostic, who was ejected.

Dalton was 9 of 19 for 75 yards before being concussed. The Cowboys said the veteran quarterback was doing better after the game than when he walked off the field and would be flying home with the team.

"He doesn't really remember what happened," said rookie Ben DiNucci, who was 2 of 3 for 39 yards in relief of Dalton after the game was out of hand.

Washington allowed 142 total yards and put up 397 to win a game by double digits for the first time since November 2018.

Dallas (2-5) lost back-to-back games after Washington held Elliott to 45 yards rushing on 12 carries and rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb dropped a handful of passes thrown his way.

A dominant defensive performance combined with rookie Antonio Gibson's first 100-yard rushing game and a touchdown and a well-managed game by Kyle Allen were enough to put Washington back in the race in the dreadful NFC East, the first division without a three-game winner through Week 7 in a non-strike season.

"We can be right in the thick of what's going on in our division," Cach Ron Rivera said. "Who knows? We'll see. We'll compete and we'll work hard and try and get things done."

Allen was 15 of 25 for 194 yards with TD passes to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas in his third consecutive start since taking over as starting quarterback.

Flags flew and Bostic was ejected, but Cowboys Coach Mike McCarthy was disappointed players didn't go after the Washington linebacker for his headshot on Dalton.

"We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another," McCarthy said. "It definitely was not the response you would expect."

Elliott wished he and his teammates had a better reaction -- within reason.

"We've got to find a way to not cross that line, but we've still got to protect our guys," Elliott said. "But doing that you've got to be careful because we're already down a bunch of guys that to be going in throwing punches and you get kicked out the game, you can't help the team from the sideline. You can't help the team from the locker room."

Washington was the last team this season without a single-game 60-yard rusher. Gibson had 72 yards and a TD by the end of the first quarter and finished with 128 on 20 carries.

As a team, Washington picked up 208 yards on the ground while allowing just 83.

The next play after taking a swipe from Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, McLaurin ran right by him for a 52-yard TD catch. The usually reserved second-year receiver conceded he gets fired up when poked and didn't hear too much jawing from Diggs the rest of the game.

"Nah, there wasn't too much after that," McLaurin said. "There wasn't a whole lot of talking after that."

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) collides with Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. Dalton left the field after this hit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) collides with Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. Dalton left the field after this hit. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) lies on the ground after getting hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) lies on the ground after getting hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton's (14) helmet comes off after getting hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. Dalton left the field after this hit and Bostic was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton's (14) helmet comes off after getting hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. Dalton left the field after this hit and Bostic was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, center, on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera, center, on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy on the sidelines in the first half of an NFL football game against Washington Football Team, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy on the sidelines in the first half of an NFL football game against Washington Football Team, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Football Team safety Deshazor Everett (22) stops Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) from making a catch in the endzone in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. Also on the field is Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53).(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Football Team safety Deshazor Everett (22) stops Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) from making a catch in the endzone in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. Also on the field is Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53).(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) celebrates his touchdown with teammates wide receiver Cam Sims (89) and tight end Logan Thomas (82) in the first half of an NFL football game against Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) celebrates his touchdown with teammates wide receiver Cam Sims (89) and tight end Logan Thomas (82) in the first half of an NFL football game against Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Dallas Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson (37) and cornerback Trevon Diggs (27) fail to stop Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) from scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Dallas Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson (37) and cornerback Trevon Diggs (27) fail to stop Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) from scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) scores a touchdown against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (27) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) scores a touchdown against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (27) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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