ARLINGTON, Texas -- Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall had hoped to get some hits on Tony Romo's sore ribs.
After an 18-16 loss to Romo and the Cowboys on Monday night, Hall was taking shots at a referee and his own coaches for what happened on the late drive that ended with Dallas rookie Dan Bailey kicking his sixth field goal with 1:47 left.
The drive was extended when Romo avoided a rush on a third-and-21 play and hit Dez Bryant for a 30-yard completion. Bryant was dragged down by Hall, who was flagged for a facemask penalty that tacked another 15 yards on the play.
"I told the ref after that call, that might have been his worst call of the game," Hall said during an expletive-filled rant. "He's going to get demerit points for that call. Because that wasn't no facemask."
On the play the Redskins had eight men on the line – another thing that irked Hall.
"Sooner or later, someone's going to (expletive) figure it out," Hall said. "You don't have to be a rocket scientist. ... The end result was a first down."
Coach Mike Shanahan said it's easy to second-guess everything.
"We had a chance to have a sack there. He did a good job scrambling and made a play," Shanahan said. "It happens. That's the nature of the game. It didn't work."
For the Redskins, there was no 3-0 start after giving up a lot of 3s.
Washington (2-1) last won its first three games in 2005. The Redskins had never opened the season with three consecutive wins over NFC teams.
Even though the Redskins finally got some hits on Romo after halftime and held Dallas (2-1) out of the end zone the entire game.
Bryant said he thought Hall "was on my back and I was going to try to block him out."
Knowing that Romo was back on the field eight days after breaking a rib and getting a small puncture in his lung, Hall had said he would be asking for some corner blitzes and hoping to put his helmet on whatever hurt for Romo.
But Romo mainly avoided taking any hits in the first half by constantly getting rid of the ball in a hurry with short passes and handoffs.
That changed right away on the first play of the second half, when Ryan Kerrigan swiped the ball out of Romo's hand. Though Romo quickly recovered, Adam Carriker sacked him for a 5-yard loss.
Eight plays later, Brian Orakpo blitzed without being blocked. Romo had to get rid of the ball in a hurry and threw an interception to Kevin Barnes. Because he got the ball out of his hands, Romo didn't take the full brunt of a hit, but still ended up on the ground under Orakpo.
The Redskins converted that into a nine-play, 76-yard drive that ended with Rex Grossman's 1-yard TD pass to Tim Hightower for a 16-9 lead with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
They didn't score again, and their final chance ended when Grossman was hit from behind by Anthony Spencer and fumbled in the final minute.
"We had pressure. He made a play when he had to. That wasn't the difference in the game," Shanahan said. "We're going to find out what type of football team we have. When you lose like that it hurts. We don't have time to feel sorry for yourself."
The Redskins are on the road next week to play winless St. Louis (0-3).
The only time Romo was touched by a defender in the first quarter came on Dallas' opening drive when defensive end Stephen Bowen, who left the Cowboys as a free agent in July, brushed the quarterback's lower legs after he had already let go of an incomplete pass.
On the Cowboys' other possession of the first quarter, left tackle Doug Free was called for holding, a penalty that likely kept Romo from behind crushed by the charging Orakpo.
Later on that same possession, Redskins safety LaRon Landry forced a fumble in his season debut, stripping the ball from Kevin Ogletree after a catch.
The ball was originally given back to the Cowboys after officials ruled that Barnes tipped the ball while he was out of bounds. But Washington challenged the call, and after a review showed Barnes' body was still in the air when he touched the ball, Josh Wilson was credited with a recovery that set up the Redskins at the Cowboys 10.
But they had to settle for the second of Graham Gano's three field goals. And they had another field goal attempt blocked after a poor snap.
Washington had opened the game with a 10-play, 42-yard drive for Gano's 46-yard field goal. After tight end Chris Cooley converted third-and-1 with a 3-yard run and caught a 17-yard pass on the next play, the drive stalled out.
"We have to finish those drives and not kick field goals," said Grossman, who finished 22 of 37 passing for 250 yards.
Notes: The Redskins are 0-3 at Cowboys Stadium. ... This was the 15th Dallas-Washington game on a Monday night and the Cowboys are 8-7. The only other teams that have met more are Denver-Raiders, 16 times.