ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Cowboys have been leaning on DeMarco Murray this season to carry the offense. On Sunday against Houston, it was Tony Romo who saved the day.
Romo threw off his back foot to Dez Bryant to set up Dan Bailey’s winning field goal in overtime, and the Cowboys beat the Houston Texans 20-17 despite blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Bailey’s kick was set up when Tony Romo threw off his back foot with pressure from the pass rush and Dez Bryant made a spectacular leaping catch for 37 yards to the Houston 31.
“I got to come down with it,” said Dez after the game. “That’s something I always tell Tony. When the ball is in the air, I’m going to try my best to come down with it. And that’s exactly what I did.”
Romo earlier escaped a sure sack from J.J. Watt for a 43-yard scoring pass to Terrance Williams.
After the Texans scored twice in the final 2:27 of regulation, Bailey’s miss from 53 yards on the final play of regulation ended a franchise record streak of 30 straight made field goals.
“I guess all good things come to an end at some point,” said Bailey. “But the good thing is, you can always start again. Misses are going to happen. That’s just the reality of the game.”
The Cowboys (4-1) won their fourth straight for the first time since 2011 heading into a trip to Super Bowl champion Seattle, their only road game in a stretch of six games.
The Texans (3-2) rallied behind Arian Foster, who had 157 yards rushing and a tying 1-yard score with 41 seconds left in regulation.
NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray had 136 yards for Dallas, his fifth straight 100-yard game to start the season.
After the Cowboys stopped the Texans on the first possession of overtime, they were facing third-and-8 when Romo unloaded just to avoid a sack. Bryant made a spectacular leaping catch over Johnathan Joseph for a 37-yard gain to the Houston 31. Bailey’s kick came three plays later.
The Texans pulled even by converting a fourth down on a drive to Randy Bullock’s 29-yard field, then needing just four plays to go 45 yards to Foster’s second touchdown with 41 seconds left.
Houston had just 86 yards total offense at halftime, but Foster had 127 rushing himself in the second half. He went 48 yards on consecutive plays, the latter from 15 to put Houston ahead 7-3 in the third quarter.
Romo answered four plays later on probably the best test so far of the 34-year-old’s surgically repaired back.
He spun to his right as Watt closed in, then threw just about as far as he could with more pressure coming. Williams had an easy catch in the end zone when Houston’s Kendrick Lewis fell at the goal line just before the ball arrived.
“I didn’t know [Watt] was coming free,” said Romo, reflecting on the play. “I think you just instinctively feel it and do whatever you think gives you the best chance to get out of it and make a play.”
Jason Witten helped set up Williams’ score with a 34-yard catch for 10,000 yards receiving in his career, joining Tony Gonzalez and Shannon Sharpe as the only tight ends with that many yards. He finished with 59 yards to put him at 10,014 for his career.
Murray, who had his fourth fumble in five games in the first quarter, was denied a chance to join Jim Brown and O.J. Simpson as the only running backs with at least 100 yards and one touchdown in the first five games of the season.
It looked like he would get the TD, but Romo instead threw a 2-yard scoring pass to Bryant for a 17-7 lead in the fourth quarter. Bryant had nine catches for 85 yards.
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