Mark Rypien played 2 good games and had 2 losses to show for it.
But Sunday, he threw 3 touchdown passes and ran for another to get his first pro victory as a starting quarterback while leading the Washington Redskins past the Dallas Cowboys, 35-17.
“This game gave me a lot of confidence and that’s what I’ve been working for,” Rypien said. “It has been frustrating the last 2 weeks knowing the games could have gone either way.
“Our defense was the key. When the defense gave it to us, we produced.”
Kelvin Bryant caught 2 scoring passes from Rypien, ran for a touchdown and rushed for 118 yards for the Redskins.
Washington (3-3) turned 3 Dallas turnovers into touchdowns.
“This was one we had to have,” Washington Coach Joe Gibbs said. “We were in a hole and had to crawl out. We had some guys stand up for us today. We were due.
“I’m especially proud of (Rypien). Our offense did a great job. Bryant stepped up and played great and that’s what we have to have.”
Rypien, making his third start since Doug Williams was injured, and Bryant, taking over at running back from Timmy Smith, made Dallas (2-4) pay for 3 first-half mistakes to take a 28-10 lead.
Rypien cut short a Cowboy comeback with a 24-yard, fourth-period scoring pass to Bryant.
Timmy Newsome’s 1-yard scoring run after Rypien’s fumble gave Dallas a 7-0 lead, but Rypien replied with a 13-yard scoring pass to Gary Clark.
Monty Coleman’s second-quarter interception positioned Washington for a 10-yard Rypien-to-Bryant scoring pass and Bryant scored on a 9-yard run after Alvin Walton’s interception to make it 14-7. Terry Orr recovered Kelvin Martin’s fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Dallas 23, and 2 plays later Rypien ran 19 yards for a score.
Steve Pelluer of Dallas threw a 35-yard fourth-period touchdown pass to Martin before he was replaced by veteran Danny White.