It was fitting that Troy Vincent was one of the first Redskins to greet Nick Novak at midfield just after his game-winning field goal on Sunday.
Moments earlier, Vincent's block on a Cowboys field goal attempt had set up Novak's game-winning attempt.
With just 31 seconds remaining in the game, the Cowboys had marched 44 yards in four plays to set up a 35-yard field goal by Mike Vanderjagt.
The Redskins overloaded the left side of the line with Vincent and Carlos Rogers. Vincent blitzed inside, unblocked, to bat away Vanderjagt's kick with six seconds left.
The ball fell into the hands of Sean Taylor, who weaved his way downfield for 46 yards. A face mask penalty on Dallas offensive lineman Kyle Kosier added 15 yards to the play, giving the Redskins the ball at the Cowboys' 31-yard line.
Even though there was no time left on the clock, the penalty gave Washington one more offensive play. In came Novak, for a 47-yard attempt. His kick sailed toward the right, and the ball flew just inside the right goalpost, giving the Redskins a 22-19 win.
"It was Troy who blocked the kick and I asked him if he's ever done that before," head coach Joe Gibbs said after the game. "He said No.' He hasn't had a block in his whole career."
Said Vincent: "No, I'm not usually on the block team, but I was out there this time. [Jason] Witten went out to block Carlos and I came free. In the end, we got the block, got the return, got the penalty and got some momentum. Nick made the field goal."
The Cowboys were as stunned at the turnaround as everyone else.
"The blocked field goal, and then the return giving them a chance to win in regulation--that's the play that turned the game," head coach Bill Parcells said.
Added Vanderjagt: "All I know, I got the ball off and I hit it good. For a guy that's kicked thousands of balls in his life, I knew it was going in just by the way it came off my foot. I hit it great and I thought we were off to the races winning the game. But when you hear 'thud-thud,' it's not a good deal."
The last time the Redskins blocked a field goal was last year, on Dec. 24, 2005, when Renaldo Wynn blocked a field goal attempt by Giants' kicker Jay Feely in a 35-20 win.
Vincent signed with the Redskins on Oct. 16 to add depth to the Redskins' secondary. He played for cornerbacks-secondary coach Jerry Gray when they both were in Buffalo from 2004-05, so he was familiar with the Redskins' secondary scheme.
Vincent, a savvy 15-year veteran, ended up starting Sunday's game against Dallas, replacing Adam Archuleta in the lineup. Archuleta saw action in packages with five defensive backs.
Vincent helped call defensive adjustments in the secondary and finished the game with six tackles.
The victory was the Redskins' first in the NFC East this season. Washington travels to Philadelphia next Sunday to take on the 4-4 Eagles, another NFC East opponent. The game will almost certainly be special for Vincent, who played for the Eagles from 1996-2003 and earned five Pro Bowl nods as a cornerback.
For Vincent, Sunday's win over Dallas was a tune-up as he re-adjusts to NFC East-style football.
"That's the old rivalries," he said. "That's what I remember most about the NFC East. Every week, it doesn't matter the record, you've got to line up and play. And it was smash-mouth."