It was a tale of three games, really--the part where the Cowboys dominated, the part where the Broncos dominated and the part where the two teams traded blows--but Dallas fell short against the visiting Broncos on Sunday in Arlington, by a final of 51-48
Tony Romo started out 5-5 passing, that last of those coming on a three-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant to cap the team’s first drive and give the home team a 7-0 lead. Then after Eric Decker fumbled on the Broncos’ first drive, Dallas drove 45 yards and returned to the end zone with a four-yard DeMarco Murray touchdown run.
Romo became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw for 500 yards on Sunday, and finished 25 of 36 for 506, five touchdowns and one interception, but the pick was a critical one. More on that later
Peyton Manning and co. did the dominating for the rest of the half after the Murray score.
Manning threw for three touchdown passes (two to to Julius Thomas and one to Eric Decker) and ran another one in in the Broncos’ final four possessions of the half. Dallas actually bookended the scoring in the second quarter with a pair of Dan Bailey field goals (of 43 and 48 yards, respectively), but they found themselves down 28-20 at half.
In the second half, the game turned into a heavyweight prizefight.
Manning opened up the scoring, as he’s done in each game this season, with a touchdown--this one a two-yarder to Wes Welker--but it’d be his last on the day. He finished 33 of 42 for 414 yards, four touchdowns (and the rushing touchdown) and an interception.
Romo hit Terrance Williams for an 82-yard touchdown pass, and then the defense held the Broncos out of the end zone for the first time in their last five drives. Matt Prater hit his first of three field goals on the day, but Dallas quickly answered with another Romo-to-Bryant touchdown pass.
On the ensuing drive, Manning threw his first interception of the season--after an astonishing 20 touchdown passes--and Dallas took the opportunity 51 yards. Jason Witten capped the drive with a touchdown catch to give Dallas the lead, and the rookie Williams brought the two-point try in to bring it to 41-38 Dallas.
After Prater tied it up on the next drive, Dallas and Denver traded touchdowns again--Dallas with an 11-yard pass from Romo to Cole Beasley and Denver with a one-yard run by Knowshon Moreno.
With things tied at 48 and around two minutes, Romo threw that interception, just his second on the year. After driving well into the red zone, Denver ran out the clock, and Prater hit the game-winning field goal as time ran out on the 51-48 Cowboys loss.
Dallas is now 2-3 on the season.
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