Final

Cowboys 20

(7-6, 4-3 away)

Bengals 19

(7-6, 3-4 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 9, 2012

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 3 7 0 1020
CIN 10 3 6 019

Top Performers

Passing: T. Romo (DAL) - 268 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: B. Green-Ellis (CIN) - 12 CAR, 89 YDS

Receiving: J. Witten (DAL) - 4 REC, 62 YDS

Cowboys erase late 9-point deficit, win on Dan Bailey's field goal

Associated Press
Sunday Blitz: Cowboys-Bengals Recap
Prim Siripipat and Cris Carter break down the Cowboys' 20-19 win over the Bengals
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

CINCINNATI -- Numb. Grieving. Distracted. The Cowboys were all those things on Sunday, dealing with the death of one teammate and the tribulations of another.

Winners, too, though they hardly felt like it.

Dan Bailey kicked a 40-yard field goal as time ran out, sending the Cowboys to a 20-19 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that ended a tough afternoon with a little bit of relief and their playoff chances enhanced.

Didn't last long, though. There will be a lot more emotional days ahead in Dallas.

"It's a hard, hard situation we're in," quarterback Tony Romo said. "There's no playbook for this sort of thing in life."

The Cowboys overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes behind Romo, who held his hand over his heart during a moment of silence to honor teammate Jerry Brown before the kickoff. The linebacker died in an auto accident early Saturday.

Defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, was still jailed in Texas on Sunday, charged with intoxication manslaughter.

The Cowboys (7-6) learned about Brown's death on their flight to Cincinnati on Saturday. Coach Jason Garrett told his team that the best way to honor him was to play well in a game with playoff implications for both teams.

One of the visitors' metal lockers at Paul Brown Stadium had a strip of white athletic tape with "53 JERRY BROWN" attached to the top, a wooden stool inside sitting upside-down. Brown's No. 53 jersey was on the sideline during the game -- defensive tackle Jason Hatcher held it up after Bailey's kick decided it.

It wasn't much of a celebration by an emotionally spent team.

"I don't remember crying this much other than maybe the day I was born," defensive lineman Marcus Spears said. "With Josh's situation and Jerry being gone, you felt it."

Players couldn't keep the tragedy out of their thoughts during the game, finding their minds wandering on the bench.

"I rarely let my emotions get the best of me," fullback Lawrence Vickers said. "Today they did, but this was the place to do it."

Owner Jerry Jones described his team as grieving when it took the field. It was the second consecutive week that an NFL team was playing a day after losing a teammate. Kansas City beat Carolina 27-21 one day after linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend and then himself at the Chiefs' practice complex.

When Bailey's kick ended it, the Cowboys had a lot of thoughts racing through their heads.

"The last 24 hours has really been something I've never experienced," Romo said. "It's something I've never experienced, and I think a lot of guys will tell you that. It's just been a roller coaster of emotions.

"It was a very -- and still is -- a very difficult thing that this football team is dealing with."

The Cowboys salvaged the game by scoring on their last two drives against the Bengals (7-6), who had won four in a row and had a chance to move into position for an AFC wild-card berth with a victory.

Romo threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 6:35 to go. Anthony Spencer's sack of Andy Dalton forced a punt, and Romo completed four passes on the drive to Bailey's winning kick.

Romo finished 25 of 43 for 268 yards with a touchdown, an interception and three sacks. DeMarco Murray converted a third-and-5 play to extend the final drive and ended up with 53 yards on 21 carries.

Newcomer Josh Brown kicked field goals of 25, 33, 25 and 52 yards for Cincinnati, which wasted an opportunity to move ahead of Pittsburgh for the second AFC wild card.

"They came here in an emotional situation, and you knew they were going to fight all the way," Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "That game meant a lot to them. They played great."

Dallas played a sloppy game until the closing minutes -- nothing out of character there -- and had a few especially bad moments.

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan went onto the field and yelled at a Bengals player who had said something to the Cowboys bench, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Dallas in the third quarter. Dallas also was penalized for 12 men on the field during the drive, which ended with Brown's third field goal and a 16-10 Cincinnati lead.

In the end, a defense that has allowed only three touchdowns in the last four games couldn't hold on. And the Bengals made it tough on themselves by using all three of their timeouts early in the second half, leaving them unable to stop the clock on Dallas' final drive.

Dalton was 20 of 33 for 206 yards with five sacks, one touchdown and an interception that Brandon Carr returned 37 yards to set up Murray's 1-yard touchdown dive in the second quarter.

Game notes


Bailey's game-winner was his second of the season. His 38-yarder beat Cleveland in overtime. It was Bailey's sixth game-winning FG, second in Cowboys history behind Rafael Septien's seven. ... Bryant caught four passes for 50 yards, leaving him with 1,028 yards for the season. It's his first 1,000-yard receiving season and the first by a Cowboy since 2009 (Miles Austin and Jason Witten). ... Bryant has caught a TD pass in five straight games, the longest streak of his career. ... Romo's 25 completions gave him a club-record 349 for the season. He completed his last 12 throws the previous game and his first five on Sunday, setting a club record with 17 straight completions. ... Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 89 yards on 12 carries, breaking his streak of three straight 100-yard games.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DAL
CIN
1st Downs2019
Passing 1st downs
1313
Rushing 1st downs
54
1st downs from penalties
22
3rd down efficiency
11-194-11
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays7058
Total Yards288336
Yards per play4.15.8
Total Drives1110
Passing239190
Comp-Att
25-4320-33
Yards per pass
5.25.0
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-295-16
Rushing49146
Rushing Attempts
2420
Yards per rush
2.07.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-00-0
Penalties6-498-70
Turnovers11
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession30:1129:49

Passing Leaders

DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Romo25/432686.2113-29
CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Dalton20/332066.2115-16

Rushing Leaders

DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Murray21532.517
Jones273.504
CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Green-Ellis12897.4038
Jones13737.0037

Receiving Leaders

DALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Witten46215.5025
Bryant45012.5127
CINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones34515.0017
Hawkins6447.3111

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDALCIN
dalFG8:40Dan Bailey 37 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 61 yds, 6:24
30
cinTD6:49Andrew Hawkins 8 Yard Pass From Andy Dalton (Josh Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 70 yds, 1:55
37
cinFG1:43Josh Brown 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 40 yds, 3:58
310
SECOND QUARTERDALCIN
dalTD10:39Demarco Murray 1 Yard Run (Dan Bailey Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 27 yds, 1:27
1010
cinFG3:29Josh Brown 33 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 66 yds, 7:09
1013
THIRD QUARTERDALCIN
cinFG9:26Josh Brown 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 70 yds, 5:38
1016
cinFG6:50Josh Brown 52 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 18 yds, 1:09
1019
FOURTH QUARTERDALCIN
dalTD6:44Dez Bryant 27 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Dan Bailey Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 68 yds, 3:12
1719
dalFG0:04Dan Bailey 40 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 50 yds, 3:44
2019

Research Notes

NEXT LEVEL: A.J. Green failed to catch a pass on any of his four targets at least 15 yards downfield Sunday, including a dropped pass. Green had caught 46.3 percent of his targets and ranked in the top five in receiving yards and touchdowns on such throws entering the game.
Dez Bryant didn't catch his first pass until 8:33 remaining in the third quarter, but made up for it by catching all four of his targets in the second half, including a 27-yard touchdown reception to pull the Cowboys within two points in the fourth quarter. Bryant has caught over 76 percent of his targets, including all nine of his touchdowns in the second half this season.
  [+]
Tony Romo posted a 84.5 Total QBR in the 4th quarter of Sunday's win over the Bengals, his 4th straight game with a QBR above 75.0 in the final period. Romo entered Sunday ranked 5th in the NFL in 4th-quarter QBR this season.

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