Around the NFL  

 

Tony Romo helps end Dallas Cowboys' losing streak

Print

Tony Romo is back and suddenly the Cowboys can close again. They dominated the fourth quarter in a 24-14 victory in Miami over the Dolphins.

1. Tony Romo had two Cassel-like interceptions on Sunday under pressure. But the Cowboys ended their seven-game losing streak because Romo -- unlike his backups -- can make up for his mistakes with terrific plays under pressure. Romo changed plays at the line of scrimmage to pick up third-and-longs. He hit big plays down the field. He improvised when under duress on the way to 227 yards on 28 attempts. In short: He looked like Romo and the Cowboys' offense looked like it did in 2014 by holding the ball for 38:50.

2. At 3-7, the Cowboys are only two games out of the NFC East lead. Their chances can't completely be discounted in the division if their defense continues to play like this. Miami only had nine first downs in the entire game. Ryan Tannehill had 13 yards in the first 29 minutes and the Dolphins couldn't sustain their offense the whole game. Rolando McClain's pick-six typified a great outing from the Cowboys' linebacker group, led by McClain and Sean Lee.

3. Don't pin this game on Ndamukong Suh or the Dolphins' defensive line. Suh and Olivier Vernon dominated the vaunted Cowboys front for much of the game, especially when Romo went back to pass. The Cowboys smartly focused on the run game in the fourth quarter, and the Dolphins' defense was gassed after being on the field for more than 90 plays last week. Dallas ran 27 more plays than the Dolphins.

4. At 4-6, the Dolphins are barely in contention for a wild card in the AFC. Interim head coach Dan Campbell is part of the problem. Given a chance to go for it on fourth-and-short near midfield, Jason Garrett had trust in his offense. The Cowboys converted and later scored. Campbell, meanwhile, punted in the same situation. He also punted on fourth-and-six down 10 points in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys didn't let the Dolphins get the ball back until there was less than a minute to go.

5. Give Darren McFadden and the Cowboys' offensive line credit for getting better as the game wore on. Stymied in the first half, McFadden finished with 129 yards on 29 carries as Dallas imposed its will late in the game.

Print