Cowboys Surrender 23-Point Lead, Fall 37-36 To Packers
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW/AP) — Matt Flynn and the Green Bay Packers matched the biggest comeback in franchise history. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have a loss that might sting for a long time.
Flynn threw four touchdown passes in the second half, Eddie Lacy had the winning score on a 1-yard plunge after an interception by Romo gave them another chance, and the Packers rallied from 23 points down at halftime to beat the Cowboys 37-36 Sunday.
Romo tossed two interceptions in the final 3 minutes, the first one giving Green Bay a chance for the go-ahead score with the Cowboys in position to run out the clock with a 36-31 lead. Lacy scored with just over 1 1-2 minutes left.
“This obviously falls in the tough loss category” Romo said after the game. “We let one slip away and we didn’t execute across the board.”
“Probably one of the toughest losses in my short NFL career,” said safety Barry Church after the game. “Things started to unravel. They got momentum and we weren’t able to seize it back.”
Playing on the same field where they won the 2011 Super Bowl, the Packers matched the 1982 team, which rallied past the Los Angeles Rams after trailing by 23.
The Packers (7-6-1) kept their playoff hopes alive with Aaron Rodgers possibly returning next week.
The Cowboys (7-7) blew a great chance to pull even with Philadelphia in the NFC East, remaining a game behind with two to play.
Dez Bryant, who had 153 yards receiving, had picked up a first down just before the 2-minute warning that looked as if it would Dallas help hold off a huge Green Bay rally. But Romo threw behind Miles Austin after escaping a sack and Sam Shields intercepted at midfield.
The Packers steadily moved downfield before the plunge by Lacy, who had 141 yards rushing.
Behind for the first time since the first quarter, Romo threw a ball too far in front of Cole Beasley, and Tramon Williams made a diving grab that was initially called incomplete. When the video review overturned the call, Flynn ended the game with kneel-downs.
Bryant walked off the field and into the tunnel before the game ended.
Williams had an earlier interception overturned on review with Dallas clinging to a 29-24 lead. He cradled a deflected pass in his arms, but officials reviewed that the nose of ball hit the turf.
The Cowboys went on to score when Bryant made a leaping grab over M.D. Jennings and got two feet down in the back of the end zone for a 36-24 lead.
Flynn answered with his fourth straight scoring drive to get back within five. He finished with 299 yards passing, including second-half scoring tosses of 13 yards to Jordy Nelson, 3 yards to Andrew Quarless, 11 yards to James Starks and 3 yards to James Jones.
Romo threw for 358 yards to break a four-game streak where he didn’t have more than 250, but the late interceptions will only fuel the feeling his critical mistakes will keep the Cowboys from going deep in playoffs for the first time since their last Super Bowl title during the 1995 season.
Rodgers was the MVP when the Packers beat Pittsburgh for the Super Bowl title on Dallas’ home field, but this time he had to watch from the sideline with a headset after doctors didn’t clear him to play, forcing to miss his sixth straight game since breaking his left collarbone.
DeMarco Murray had 134 yards rushing and a touchdown for Dallas.
Dallas still controls its own destiny in the NFC East, traveling to Washington next Sunday before hosting Philadelphia in the finale.
“We’ve just got to stick together and fight through all this adversity,” said Brandon Carr. “Wins cure all in this league. We all know that.”
Despite the loss, veteran defender DeMarcus Ware said he is not ready to give up. “We don’t give up here. Good players come back from adversity and this is an adverse time, and we still have a chance.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was not as forgiving saying “this one is the hardest losses that i’ve experienced. That’s a shame that we lost that ballgame.”
(© Copyright 2013 CBSDFW.com a division of CBS Local Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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