Dallas Cowboys: Dallas' win over Browns was far from pretty; Cowboys take what they can get

Cowboys showed some resiliency coming back from 13-0 deficit, force overtime and then win on Dan Bailey's 38-yard field goal
by Michael Baldwin Published: November 18, 2012
Advertisement
;

photo - The Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy, left, congratulates Dan Bailey (5) on his game winning field goal against the Cleveland Browns in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 23-20. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) ORG XMIT: CBS156
The Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy, left, congratulates Dan Bailey (5) on his game winning field goal against the Cleveland Browns in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys won 23-20. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) ORG XMIT: CBS156

ARLINGTON, Texas — A wild 23-20 overtime win over Cleveland on Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium is an example why there are skeptics whether the Dallas Cowboys are a viable playoff contender.

The standings say that's the case. With six games left the Cowboys are only one game behind the New York Giants. But inconsistent play and glaring shortcomings raise doubt.

“A Hall of Fame pitcher told me a long time ago, ‘You have to somehow win a game when you don't have your best stuff,” said Dallas coach Jason Garrett. “I don't think we had our best stuff today, but we found a way.”

The schedule favors Dallas.

Climbing back to .500 for the first time in a month, the Cowboys (5-5) play four of their final six games at home. Only one team left on the schedule — Pittsburgh — has a winning record.

But against the Browns (2-8) the Cowboys trailed 13-0 at halftime and needed 10 first downs by penalty — nine called against Cleveland's secondary — to escape with a win in a game Dallas' beleaguered offensive line allowed quarterback Tony Romo to be sacked seven times.

“I'm not going to make any excuses for winning,” Romo said. “I know it's hard no matter who you play. At the same time, we need to play better going forward if we're going to do things we hope to achieve.”

Sparking the second-half rally was wide receiver Dez Bryant, who had a career day. The former Oklahoma State star collected 12 receptions for 145 yards, highlighted by a 28-yard touchdown that put Dallas up 17-13 with 6:46 to play.

That's when the game, arguably the Cowboys' postseason hopes, bounced back and forth.

“Anyone who was watching understood how important this win was,” Romo said. “You could feel it, the sense of urgency our team played with.”

A Dallas goal-line stand stopped the Browns three consecutive plays at the 1-yard line to protect the 17-13 lead with 1:42 to play.

The Browns, though, used all three timeouts to get the ball back at the Dallas 17-yard line following a 21-yard punt return and a Dallas horse-collar penalty.

Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden, the rookie from Oklahoma State, fired a 17-yard touchdown to Ben Watson to give the Browns a 20-17 lead with 1:07 left in regulation.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Report: Wes Welker suspended four games
  2. 2
    Report: Cowboys to bring in Michael Sam for physical
  3. 3
    Broken Arrow couple jailed on homicide, abuse complaints after death of foster child
  4. 4
    Grantland.com compares OSU's Tyreek Hill to 'celestial being'
  5. 5
    Family of Oklahoma teenager killed by off-duty cop files protective order against key witness
+ show more