Patrick Crayton made a spectacular catch of a deflected pass in the endzone to get the Cowboys to a 4-1 record with a 31-22 victory over the visiting Bengals at Texas Stadium on Sunday. With just under 2-minutes left in the game, WR Patrick Crayton made his only and most important reception of the game when a Romo pass went through the hands of intended receiver Miles Austin into his to give Dallas a touchdown, which they desperately needed to ice the win over the winless Bengals.
After a defensive stop on a two-point conversion attempt by Cincinnati following the second T.J. Houshmandzadeh TD catch to make the score 24-22, Romo led his team down the field on a 5:34 drive that would end with a Patrcik Crayton touchdown. Romo, who ended the game with only 176-yards passing, a fumble and interception, would finally make the plays in the fourth quarter to help Dallas avoid an upset-minded Cincinnati team.
Marion Barber, Felix Jones and the running game had a much better performance than last week, closing the day with a total of 180-yards on 23-rushes and 84-yards from Barber while rookie Felix Jones exploded for 96-yards on just 9 carries. Jones, who has scored a record four touchdowns in just five games, and Jason Witten had much better contributions to the effort with Witten leading all receivers with 79-yards on eight catches and one touchdown.
Terrell Owens only caught two passes from Romo, but one was a 57-yard touchdown catch-and-run that would pull the Cowboys out of an offensive slide in the second half. With only one catch leading into the fourth quarter, Owens appeared to be on his way to more unhappy sound bytes regarding Dallas’ offense until he streaked across the middle and caught Romo’s throw in-stride on his way to the endzone for a score to get to 24-16.
The defense, after struggling with the Cincinnati offense in the second-quarter, managed to get two key turnovers in the second half helping Dallas overcome their own turnovers. DeMarcus Ware had a sack with several big tackles and LB’s Greg Ellis, with an early interception, and Zach Thomas made some big plays. But none of the defensive plays were much more important to the win than the strip of the ball from Cincy’s Chris Perry by Jay Ratliff, which was recovered by Marcus Spears, or the 2-point stop by S Keith Davis on a pass to Ben Utecht.
Overall a much better effort by Dallas, who, after seemingly falling flat once they had a 17-0 lead, got some great plays when they needed it, such as the special catch for the last-minute touchdown by Crayton.