Sunday, December 9, 2012
Dallas Cowboys 20, Cincinnati Bengals 19
Tragedy-struck Cowboys win crucial road game.
The Dallas Cowboys overcame real-world adversity and won an important road game Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati, defeating the Bengals 20-19 to keep their postseason hopes alive. The win, which occured a day after defender Jerry Brown was killed in a car crash involving backup nose tackle Josh Brent, improved Dallas to 7-6 on the year, a half-game behind the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East. Cincinnati fell to 7-6, losing a chance to slip into the second AFC wild card spot.
Down 19-10 heading into the fourth quarter and unable to move the ball effectively on offense, Dallas finally got a drive going with under 10 minutes left in the game. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo drove from his own 32 with a series of big completions, including a 23-yard strike to Kevin Ogletree on 1st-and-20 and a 15-yard pass to Miles Austin on 3rd-and-10, before getting a streaking Dez Bryant for a 27-yard touchdown that made it 19-17 with 6:35 remaining.
The Bengals took over the ensuing possession on their own 20 and quickly got a first down, but on 3rd-and-4 Cincinnati quarterback and former TCU star Andy Dalton was sacked by Anthony Spencer to stop the drive.
Dallas got the ball back at their own 28 with 3:44 left and the Bengals' offense never touched the ball again. Romo and the Cowboys methodically drove down the field, converting three times on third down and running down the clock. Finally, Dan Bailey nailed a 40-yard field goal as time expired for the win.
Romo had a good game statistically, going 25-of-43 for 268 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. DeMarco Murray was frustrated by a touch Bengals defense all day, but still managed to gain 53 yards on 21 carries, including a huge six-yard run for a first down to set up the game-winning field goal. Dez Bryant, who was held without a touchdown for his first four games, caught four passes for 50 yards and his ninth touchdown in his last nine games.
Dalton had a mediocre game, going 20-of-33 for 206 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. BenJarvus Green-Ellis led all rushers with 12 carries for 89 yards, and Andrew Hawkins caught the Bengals' only touchdown of the game.