One day after a tragedy rocked their team, the Dallas Cowboys found reason to celebrate.
Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher held up the jersey of his fallen teammate, Jerry Brown Jr., in jubilation Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati, just moments after Dan Bailey hit a 40-yard field goal to beat the Bengals 20-19 as time expired.
There were so many moments when the Cowboys looked done in this game. But Andy Dalton missed a number of key third-down throws, and his receivers didn't help out much either. A.J. Green had two drops to kill drives in a game that the Bengals controlled throughout.
Give the Cowboys credit for making all the necessary plays to win the fourth quarter. With the season on the line, Tony Romo converted on a third-and-10 to set up a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant on the ensuing drive.
The Cowboys' defense struggled to make stops all day, but they sacked Andy Dalton to get the ball back. Romo piloted Dallas into scoring position, where Bailey finished off Cincinnati. The Bengals had a great chance to take the lead in the AFC wild-card race, but they remain tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the loss.
The Cowboys still are fighting an uphill battle for an NFC playoff spot at 7-6, but a win like this gives them hope. On an extremely difficult weekend, they showed resolve and a newfound ability to finish.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.