Romo Comes Through – Cowboys Avoid another Heartbreaking Loss
Sure the Cowboys won the game, and it’s a win they desperately needed, but let’s be honest, should it have come down to the last minute of the game against a team that had just one victory coming in? This team will take any win it can get and coming off the debacle in Detroit a week ago, this ugly win beats the alternative but still–the Vikings. The 27-23 win keeps Dallas alone atop the NFC East with a 5-4 record.
The good news is that Tony Romo had a chance to pull the game out in the final minutes and he came through. Thanks to Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missing an extra point after Minnesota took the lead on Adrian Peterson’s 11 yard touchdown run with 5:40 to play, the Cowboys only needed a field goal to tie on the final drive.
Maybe that sense of comfort gave Romo the peace of mind to not force anything on the Cowboys final drive. Anyway you want to spin it, The Cowboys will gladly take the W. The Cowboys actually trailed 10-6 at the half because the Vikings defense came to play at Jerry World. And so did a couple of Vikings with local connections. Adrian Peterson, playing his first game at the new stadium is from Palestine and Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder went to high school at Colleyville Heritage. Peterson was held in check for most of the first half but exploded after the intermission. Ponder got his starting job back and played steady if not spectacular all day.
The Cowboys should have had the game in hand and been able to cruise to a win after they scored 2 touchdowns within ten seconds of each other early in the second quarter. Jason Witten caught a beautiful 26 yard pass from Romo to give the Cowboys a 13-10 lead and the on the very next play, the highly suspect Cowboys defense, put points on the board. After Ponder was stripped of the ball in the end zone, little known defensive tackle Nick Hayden recovered it to put Dallas ahead 20-10. But that same defense let the Vikes march right down the field in less than 3 minutes to make it 20-17.
It stayed that way until Peterson did a little showing off for the 80-plus family and friends he bought tickets for. On a 4th and one at the Cowboys 11 yard line, Peterson did his Earl Campbell impression and bulled his way into the end zone with 3 Cowboys hanging on for the ride. When Walsh missed the extra point wide right, just the third missed extra point in the NFL all season, the score was 23-20 instead of 24-20. Huge difference. It seemed like deja vu all over again when Romo had his pass picked off with 4:29 to play. If the Vikings could have gotten a couple of first downs it would have been another horrible loss. But the Dallas D held them to three and out and Romo got another chance with 2:44 to play.
Near midfield with less than 2:00 to play, Romo hit Dez Bryant with a 34 yard pass down to the Minnesota 21 yard line. Suddenly no one was thinking overtime. Four plays later Romo scrambled and hit Dewayne Harris with a 7 yard pass to give the Cowboys the 27-23 win.
Romo had another big stats day…34-51 for 337 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those 51 passes were against just 9 running plays for Dallas, so the often talked about balance was once against missing. The Vikings did run the ball…and very well.
Peterson rushed 25 times for 140 yards and the score and showed that despite playing on a 1-7 team, he’s still capable of almost winning games on his own. No time for the Cowboys to take a breath, they travel to New Orleans next Sunday and the Saints are coming off an upset loss to the Jets. Can you say “hello 5-5.”