Cowboys Seal Victory With Late Touchdown Against Bengals
It was much closer than it looked like it was going to be early in the second quarter. The Cowboys had a 17-0 lead, and it looked like the Cowboys were getting back in their groove after last week.
Then all of a sudden, the offense began to sputter, and the Bengals slowly crept back into the game. It took some big plays by the defense and a late touchdown to Patrick Crayton to get the win.
The Cowboys offense was firing on all cylinders early in the game. The Cowboys scored on their first three possessions. After Greg Ellis intercepted a deflected pass by Carson Palmer, the Cowboys’ first of the season, the Cowboys couldn’t move the ball and settled for a 30-yard Nick Folk field goal to take an early 3-0 lead.
The Cowboys would strike again on their next possession. After forcing the Bengals into a three-and-out, Tony Romo drove down to the Cincinnati 33, but it was 4th and 4. Instead of opting for the long 50-yard field goal for Nick Folk, Wade Phillips decided to gamble and go for it. He won. Felix Jones carried the ball to the right, 33 yards for a touchdown to put the Cowboys up 10-0.
The Cowboys would go up 17-0 when Tony Romo found Jason Witten over the middle for a 4-yard score down the middle. Romo also found Witten for 29 yard down the middle earlier on the drive.
The Bengals kicked 41 and 31-yard field goals to cut the Dallas lead to 17-6 at halftime. Things would get even tighter in the second half.
The Cowboys went 3-and-out quickly, and the Bengals scored again. Carson Palmer found T.J. Houshmandzadeh for an 18-yard touchdown. The game was now 17-13, and after a 40-yard field goal off of a Tony Romo interception by Shane Graham, the Bengals cut it to 17-16.
Then the Bengals stunned the Cowboys and tried an onside kick. They recovered it and were poised to take the lead away from Dallas. It was time for the defense to make a stand, and they did. Three plays into the Bengals’ drive, Tank Johnson forced a fumble and it was recovered by Anthony Specncer at their own 41.
Two plays later, the Cowboys got some much needed breathing room. Tony Romo found a wide open Terrell Owens for a 54-yard catch-and-run score to make it 24-16 Cowboys.
The Bengals got a great kick return off of the kickoff, and they turned it into a touchdown. Carson Palmer once again found T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the end zone, this time for 10 yards. The Bengals went for two to try to tie the game, but the attempt failed and it was 24-22 Dallas.
The Cowboys would seal it late on what you could call a fortunate touchdown. Tony Romo’s pass went through Miles Austin’s hands, was deflected by Austin, and fell right into the hands of Patrick Crayton to give the Cowboys a 31-22 lead. The Bengals turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, and the game was over.
Tony Romo didn’t really have his best day passing. He was 14/23 for 176 yards with three touchdowns, an interception, and a lost fumble. Romo has now thrown at least one interception in eight straight games.
It’s amazing what happens when you let Felix Jones touch the ball on offense. On his first carry, he ran 33 yards for a touchdown. He carried the ball 9 times total for 96 yards and that touchdown. Marion Barber ran the ball 23 times for 84 yards.
The usual suspects had nice days receiving. Jason witten caught 8 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Terrell Owens reeeled in 2 balls for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Nick Folk made his only field goal of 30 yards. He is still yet to miss a field goal this season.
The defense made the big plays when it had to in this game. Demarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff had a sack each. Demarcus Ware now has at least one sack in each of his last eight games. Greg Ellis came up with an interception, the Cowboys’ first on the season, and Tank Johnson and Anthony Spencer teamed up to force and recover a crucial fumble.
This win was by no means the prettiest thing ever, A few plays that go the other way and we could easily be 2-3, but the fact is that we are still in a good spot at 4-1. The Cowboys now embark on a two-game road trip to Arizona and St. Louis. Hopefully the Cowboys can get back to their dominating ways against Arizona. They really need a game like that now.