Drive of the game: Anthony Spencer's sack

December, 9, 2012
12/09/12
5:49
PM ET
CINCINNATI -- When the Cowboys have needed their defense to make important stops this season, most of the time it hasn't.

Against Washington, Cleveland, Atlanta, the New York Giants, Carolina and Baltimore, the defense allowed offenses to either re-take leads or extend leads late in games.

On Sunday, the Cowboys made two big stops in the fourth quarter. DeMarcus Ware ended one drive with a sack of Andy Dalton that was followed by Dez Bryant’s 27-yard touchdown catch.

With 6:35 to play, the Cowboys needed another stop. The Bengals picked up a first down on the first two plays of the drive, but were able to force a third-and-4 three plays later. With their defense beaten up with more injuries (Morris Claiborne and Ernie Sims were out), Anthony Spencer came up with a 10-yard sack of Dalton to force a punt.

The Cowboys got the ball back with 3:44 to play and were able to win it on Dan Bailey’s 40-yard field goal attempt with no time left.

“We have a lot of different guys playing and you guys hear me say this all the time, we don’t talk about injuries, but there were a lot of different combinations out there playing,” coach Jason Garrett said. “That’s a good offense. They can run the football. They can throw the football. They’ve got some playmaking type guys. It wasn’t perfect but our guys just continued to hang in there, particularly when the offense wasn’t doing a whole lot. They kept us in the ballgame and ultimately we were able to make a couple of drives to allow us to score some points to win the ballgame, but the defense did a great job over and over and over again of getting stops, getting us the ball back and giving us a chance.”

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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