It was over when ...
Jeff Garcia's pass on fourth-and-5 was off the mark, allowing the Cowboys to take over on downs with 13 seconds left. The Bucs had converted two fourth downs on their 16-play drive before finally succumbing to the Dallas defense.
In the midst of a slump, the Cowboys relied on their new punter to inject energy into what seemed like a lifeless team. The Cowboys started this game sluggishly, too, looking much like the team that had lost three of its last four, until punter Sam Paulescu made a big hit to turn the momentum in the first quarter. Bucs return man Clifton Smith had made a few nice moves and seemed on his way to a big return when Paulescu, who had replaced the injured Mat McBriar, took him down with a form tackle in the middle of the field. From that moment, the crowd got involved and Dallas exhibited an increased energy level.
Dallas did not commit a turnover. Ball security issues had doomed the Cowboys during their two-game losing skid.
Dallas TE Jason Witten left the game in the first half with bruised ribs and did not return. ... Roy Williams caught his first TD as a member of the Cowboys, a 2-yarder with one second to go in the first half. ... Tampa Bay was held without a touchdown for the first time since Week 1 of 2007. ... Bucs DE Gaines Adams doubled his sack output for the year with two in the game.