The Dallas Cowboys made it interesting, as they always do, but found a way to win on Sunday in Arlington, topping the visiting Minnesota Vikings by a final of 27-23.
The Cowboys’ scoring was limited to a pair of field goals by Dan Bailey (of 41 and 44 yards) in the first half. Dallas actually led for around 10 minutes in the first half, but like last week against Detroit, the defense couldn’t hold as the clock ran down on the half.
After a 23-yard Blair Walsh field goal got the Vikes on the board (and tied the game at the time) in the first, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder capped a 79-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run to give his team the 10-6 lead late in the second quarter. Ponder finished 25 of 37 passing for 236 yards, a passing touchdown to go along with the rushing TD, and an interception.
The Cowboys came out firing in the second half.
Tony Romo threw his first touchdown pass of the day less than five minutes into the third quarter as he found Jason Witten for 26 yards to give Dallas the lead once again at 13-10. Less than ten seconds later, with the Vikings backed up to their own six, defensive end George Selvie stripped Ponder. The fumble was recovered by Nick Hayden in the end zone to extend the lead to 20-10.
But then, if that were the end of it, this wouldn’t be the Dallas Cowboys we’re talking about.
The Vikings came right back, first with a touchdown pass from Ponder to tight end Kyle Rudolph and then (less than three minutes later) with an 11-yard touchdown run from Adrian Peterson--a run that was quite demoralizing for the Dallas defense. After the onslaught, the Vikings had the lead back at 23-20. It would have been 24-20, but Walsh missed the extra point.
Romo threw his only pick of the day in the fourth, but the defense held, giving the offense one more chance. Fortunately, they took advantage of it.
Romo was 8 of 8 passing on that final drive, capping it with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Harris with 42 seconds left to send Dallas to a 27-23 victory. On the day, Romo was 34-51 passing for 337 yards, two touchdowns and the pick.
Dallas goes to 5-4, while Minnesota goes to 1-7 on the year.
The Cowboys will face the New Orleans Saints next week.
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