GAME RECAP – Dallas Cowboys post historic comeback win
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. It’s amazing the things you can accomplish when, you know, you actually hold on to the ball. And when you can take it from the other guy? Well, that’s a recipe for success.
The Dallas Cowboys fell behind the St. Louis Rams early, 21-0, after a DeMarco Murray fumble and a Tony Romo interception led to 14 points for the home side. But, the Cowboys overcame the early miscues and recorded a couple of key turnovers of their own to battle back for a 34-31 victory, the largest comeback during regulation in team history.
Murray, who had never been known as fumbler (only three times, coming into this season), has now put the ball on the ground in each of the team’s first three games. After St. Louis opened the day with an extended 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive for an early 7-0 lead, eating up 8:50 of clock, Dallas was putting together a drive of its own when Murray coughed it up at the St. Louis 35-yard line.
Given the gift, the Rams the struck five plays later when quarterback Austin Davis hit Brian Quick on a 51-yard scoring pass for a 14-0 advantage
That was then followed later in the second quarter with Romo trying to throw a short out from deep in his own territory to Dez Bryant on the right side, only to have Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins step in front for an easy pick and a waltz into the end zone, 21-0.
From there, though, the Cowboys found a little life. Sticking with their game plan, they handed the ball off to Murray five times on their ensuing possession, the drive helped by a 26-yard defensive pass interference penalty on the Rams that put the ball on the St. Louis 1-yard line. That left it to the workhorse running back to finally get Dallas on the board, 21-7.
After the Dallas Cowboys then recovered a turnover of their own with 42 seconds left in the half, Henry Melton pouncing on a fumbled snap, the offense got close enough for Dan Bailey to split the uprights from 29 yards out to inch Dallas closer, 21-10.
If momentum wasn’t on the Cowboys’ side before the break, the pendulum swung fully to the blue and silver once the third quarter got underway. The Dallas Cowboys opened the second half with the ball, and after a horrible read by the St. Louis secondary, Bryant found himself all alone behind the defense.
Romo hit his target for an easy 68-yard touchdown.
Later in the third, Bailey nailed a 40-yarder after a key stop by the Dallas defense on a fourth-and-1 at the Cowboys’ 15-yard line. The effort extended Bailey’s consecutive kicks made to 28, a new team record, and narrowed the deficit to only one, 21-20.
Now, it seemed to be only a matter of time before the comeback would be complete. St. Louis tacked on three more points, but Romo then took his team 84 yards in 11 plays, capping things off with a 12-yard pass to Terrence Williams to give the Cowboys their first lead of the game, 27-24.
And when Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter then grabbed a Davis offering on the Rams’ very next snap and raced 25 yards untouched into the end zone for another seven points, the game seemed well in hand, 34-24 with just over six minutes left to play.
St. Louis, however, wasn’t done just yet. Davis picked apart the Dallas Cowboys secondary, primarily cornerback Morris Claiborne, to march the Rams 80 yards in 3:22 to close the gap to 34-31.
Things then got interesting when the Cowboys were forced to punt, snapping a streak of putting points on the board in five straight possessions, with St. Louis getting the ball back at their own 14-yard line with two minutes left in the game.
But there was Claiborne, who had struggled throughout the day, leaping high and coming down with an overthrown pass to record his fourth career interception, icing the win.
With that, the Dallas Cowboys had their historic victory. Dallas improved to 2-1 and will now host the New Orleans Saints (1-2) in prime time next Sunday night.
RELATED: Scouts Take – Tony Romo’s poise, Hitchens among 12 thoughts
- The numbers never tell the true performance of a team or player, but what you see with your own eyes at these games usually does. As poor as Tony Romo was in the 49ers game with his decisions, his overall performance was the complete opposite in this game against the Rams. Sure, we can talk about the interception that Jenkins grabbed, but that was a big-time read and break on his part – that’s going to happen. Against the Rams, it was Romo’s mobility and poise that helped win this game, and that is something that we all have questioned these past two weeks.
- DeMarco Murray ended up with a 100-yard rushing game again, but it’s surprising that he really didn’t end up with more. There is a side of me that believes that when the Rams got up to their early lead that some of those opportunities went by the wayside.
- If you want to know, that last interception by Morris Claiborne is how he made plays at LSU. I know. I have seen him do it before. (Editors note: Bryan Broaddus is an LSU alum)
- There is no doubt that this defense needs Rolando McClain in the lineup, but Anthony Hitchens has to be proud with the way that he played. After the game, he passed me on the field, and I told him “Good game, Rook.” He just smiled and said thanks. The film will show mistakes and after his missed tackle on the first drive, I thought he settled down.
- Henry Melton sucked it up and finished this game with some type of injury. He was on the sideline with a wrap on his leg, but Jason Witten encouraged him to get back out there because the team needed him. And to Melton’s credit, he did just that.
- Best pass rushes for the day came from slot blitzes by the corners. On the Bruce Carter interception, it was Orlando Scandrick who got home on Rams quarterback Austin Davis to force the poor pass.
- I made a mistake and didn’t give Rams running back Zac Stacy enough credit in my breakdowns. He was a load to deal with for this Dallas Cowboys defense.
- I don’t know what kind of plan Rod Marinelli and his staff can come up with to handle these tight ends they face each week, but something needs to be done. I made the suggestion to try Sterling Moore, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see him or Jeff Heath handle that going forward.
- Robert Quinn has played in three games against Tyron Smith and he has yet to record a sack.
- I knew there was a reason that when studying the Rams, I wanted to face quarterback Shaun Hill instead of Austin Davis. I honestly felt like the only chance that the Rams had to win this game was if he played because of his arm strength, mobility and the way that he was able to finish the play. He can be a long-time starter in this league from what I have seen.
- I love how the coaches now put Terrance Williams in those blocking positions when they are trying to run the football. Dwayne Harris would be my ideal guy to do that job, but Williams is not afraid to get his nose dirty. It’s part of becoming a complete receiver when you can show the toughness to handle those assignments.
- If the Edward Jones Dome press box was a restaurant, I would eat there every night. Best food I have ever had at a football game. The selection was wide and the quality was 5-star worthy for this man’s taste buds.
Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Pro Football Analyst/Former NFL Scout
RELATED POSTGAME VIDEOS …
FOX HIGHLIGHTS: Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis Rams| (Watch Video)
RELATED GAME-ACTION VIDEOS …
Tony Romo interception returned for touchdown | Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is intercepted by St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins for 25-yard TD | :55 | Watch Video Clip
Dez Bryant wide open for 68-yard touchdown | Tony Romo connects with wide receiver Dez Bryant for a deep 68-yard touchdown. | 1:05 | Watch Video Clip
Romo finds Terrance Williams from 12-yards out | Tony Romo connects with wide receiver Terrance Williams for a 12-yard touchdown. | :40 | Watch Video Clip
Bruce Carter intercepts Austin Davis for Pick 6 | St. Louis Rams QB Austin Davis is interception by Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter for 25-yard touchdown. | :52 | Watch Video Clip
Morris Claiborne ensures Cowboys win with interception | Rams QB Austin Davis is intercepted by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne. | :57 | Watch Video Clip