GAME RECAP: COWBOYS 25 – BILLS 24

Yes!!!  Folk Kicks Game-Winner as Time Expires in Thrilling Comeback Win!

An NFL game is 60 minutes long.  Apparently someone forgot to tell the Buffalo Bills that.  The Dallas Cowboys stunned the upset-minded Bills and their crowd after Nick Folk kicked the game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired in a classic that improved the Cowboys’ record to 5-0 headed to a battle next Sunday against the also 5-0 New England Patriots at Texas Stadium.

What more can I say about this game?  Tony Romo had what was the worst game so far in his young career stat wise, completing 29/50 passes for 309 yards and 2 TD’s, but threw 5 interceptions and also fumbled once, committing 6 turnovers for the game.  It was very hard for Cowboys fans to watch, but he did his job on the last two drives of the drive to give us a chance to win.  That’s all I was asking for tonight, and it turned out great.  Not many teams could’ve overcome what the Cowboys did tonight.

"That’s a sign of a pretty resilient team," Romo said. "I think our team, outside of me, played an outstanding football game. They dug me out of it. It was tough to go through that, especially on Monday night.

"No one is going to care when it’s all said and done how you won the game."

On the 3rd play of the first Cowboys’ drive, Romo threw an interception to George Wilson who returned it 37 yards to the house to give the Bills a 7-0 lead.  The Cowboys would answer though, as Tony Romo found a wide-open Jason Witten for a 22-yard TD pass to tie the game at 7.

After tacking on a field goal to give the Bills a 10-7 lead, Buffalo had Dallas pinned deep in their own territory again, Chris Kelsay picked off Tony Romo in the end zone to give the Bills a 17-7 lead. 

Tony Romo did get the Cowboys into field goal range with :03 left and Nick Folk nailed a 47-yarder to cut the Buffalo lead to 17-10 at halftime.  Not too bad considering it could’ve been a lot worse with Romo’s 4 INT’s in the 1st half.

In Dallas’ first drive of the 2nd half, Romo looked more poised, leading the Cowboys on a 14-play drive.  However, it stalled at the Buffalo 12 and Nick Folk kicked a 29-yard FG to cut the deficit to 17-13.  The ensuing kickoff was tough to watch though, as Terrence McGee ran the kickoff back 103 yards for the Bills touchdown and a 24-13 lead. 

It remained that way until early on in the 4th Quarter when Nick Folk kicked yet another FG, this time a 37-yarder.  To make it a one-score game at 24-16.

Things would start to get crazy now.  Just when it looked like the Cowboys might be driving a another score to move closer or possibly take the lead, Tony Romo fumbled at his own 49 and turned the ball over for a 5th time.  The fumble was recovered by Buffalo’s Kyle Williams at the Dallas 48.

The Cowboys defense, which was stellar all night, got a huge stop and bailed Romo out again as Terence Newman picked off Trent Edwards pass at the Cowboys 5 and returned it 70 yards to the Buffalo 25, but fumbled.  It was recovered by Dallas nose tackle Jay Ratliff at the Bills 17.  The Cowboys couldn’t cash it in though, as Romo threw his 5th pick and committed his 6th turnover on the night.  The pass was picked off by John DiGiorgio at the goal line and returned for 38 yards.

The Dallas defense again stepped up, forcing a 3-and-out, and giving their offense one more shot to tie the game up.  Starting from his own 20, Romo led the Cowboys on what was his best drive of the night, completing 9/11 passes, the last one to Patrick Crayton for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 24-22.  Now Dallas only need the 2-point conversion to tie the game up, but Terrell Owens couldn’t hang on to a Romo pass that was ripped out of his hands with :20 left in the game by Jabari Greer. 

So with :20 seconds left the Cowboys had the slim shot of an onside-kick recovery, and then either driving into field goal range or completing a hail-mary to win the game.  Then, it happened.

 Nick Folk made the onside kick, Sam Hurd tipped it ahead, and Tony Curtis, the Cowboys backup tight end, recovered it to give the Cowboys hope.

After a near catch by Terrell Owens that would’ve given the Cowboys a chance to win the game with :01 left, Tony Romo completed two short passes to get Nick Folk into FG range.  With :02 left and the game on the line, Nick Folk would be attempting a 53-yard game-winner.  With the Buffalo crowd up on their feet and cheering as loud as they could, Nick Folk calmly nailed the 53-yarder right down the middle to win the game for Dallas.  But wait!  Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron called a timeout right before the snap.  Nick Folk would have to do it again.  The 2nd attempt looked like a carbon-copy of the first one, nailed right down the middle, and this time, the Cowboys won the game!  Buffalo was even offsides on the play too.

"Oh, it’s great," Folk said. "It shows you how good we can be and what we can do if we don’t make mistakes. And even if we do make mistakes and we stick together as a team, we still stay in the game."

"I haven’t been around anything like that, and that’s 31 years I’ve been in the league," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said of his triumphant return to Buffalo, where he was 29-19 from 1998-2000

The Cowboys never really did establish the running game.  Julius Jones carried the ball 12 times for 41 yards while Marion Barber III ran it 8 times for 28 yards.

Cowboys receivers still had a decent day though, despite Romo’s troubles.  Jason Witten had 9 catches for 103 yards and a TD, while Patrick Crayton had 6 catches for 73 yards and a TD.  Marion Barber III had 6 receptions for 45 yards while fullback Deon Anderson caught 4 passes for 39 yards.  Terrell Owens only had 2 catches for 25 yards.

On defense, the Cowboys were stifling once again, only allowing 3 points the whole game.  the other 21 came on 2 INT returns for TD’s and a kickoff return for a touchdown.  Terence Newman had the only interception and turnover that the Cowboys forced for the game.  The Dallas defense also recorded 3 sacks, 1.5 from DeMarcus Ware, 1 from Jason Hatcher, and .5 from Jay Ratliff.  The Cowboys also only gave up 229 yards of total offense to Buffalo.

Nick Folk was 4/4 on field goals.  He connected from 47, 29, 37, and the big one from 53 yards out that gave the Cowboys a come-from-behind win in dramatic fashion as time expired that made him the game hero.  He even had to make it twice.

Man what a game!  No Cowboys fan is going to forget about this one for years to come.  An instant classic in my book!  Now we can finally focus on the matchup that we’ve all been waiting for this Sunday! 

HOW ‘BOUT DEM COWBOYS!!!

Comments
  1. Kelly

    Wow Dustin, you nailed the recap, thats right on!
    What a game! I’m still so damn excited.
    Unbelievable! Just shows they never give up!!!

  2. mike

    I’d like to say THANX FOLKS!!!! To the parents of Nick!!

  3. Barb

    Dustin,
    I have to say that’s a beautiful re-cap.
    Very well written.
    Thank YOU!!
    I can’t wait for Sunday!
    xoxoiluvromoxoxo

  4. Barb

    I live in Rochester NY so I went to the game, and it was awesome! The Bills fans were rowdy and extremely cocky, thinking they were going to win, and then thinking they did win. Very frequently they yelled stuff questioning Romo’s sexuality and how Dallas sucks (I guess they don’t know the stats!). And it was devastating for them to lose like that! But they deserved it! 5-0!