Despite some bumps in the road in the second half, it was pretty much all Cowboys on Saturday night in Tampa Bay, as Dallas beat the Buccaneers by a final of 31-15.
The Bucs fumbled on the first drive of the game to give Dallas nice field position for their opening offensive possession. Seven plays and 56 yards later, Dallas opened up the scoring with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Romo to Miles Austin.
Then, following a punt on Tampa Bay’s next possession, Dallas drove to the Bucs’ nine-yard line before Romo hit Dez Bryant for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0. The second quarter saw more of the same, as Romo connected with Laurent Robinson on a nine-yard touchdown pass, and ran one in himself to bring the score to 28-0, at half--the second largest halftime lead in franchise history.
The second half started a little more inauspiciously than the first for Dallas. On the opening drive of the half, Adrian Clayborn strip-sacked Romo, allowing Dekoda Watson to scoop the ball up and return it for seven yards to give Tampa Bay their first score, and draw the deficit to 21 at 28-7.
Dallas answered with a 68-yard drive and a 30-yard field goal from Dan Bailey, to once again extend the lead, this time to 31-7.
Late in the third quarter, Tampa Bay’s offense finally found its rhythm, driving 75 yards on 12 plays, eventually finding the end zone on a 13-yard pass from Josh Freeman to Dezmon Briscoe. The Bucs converted the two-point conversion with a pass from Freeman to tight end Kellen Winslow, making it a two score game at 31-15.
But, unlike in past weeks, Dallas’ defense held. There was no scoring in the final frame of the game, leaving us with a final of Dallas 31, Tampa Bay 15. For tonight, anyway, Dallas has a half-game lead on the Giants in the NFC East.
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