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Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM CST
Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM CST
Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 2:00 PM to 2:25 PM CST
Don’t Forget About These Five: Overtime Provides Bonus Plays
IRVING, Texas – While there were a handful of memorable plays from Sunday’s game with the Browns, like always, there are some that may go unnoticed.
Here are five plays that might have been overlooked, but still had a factor in the outcome.
(Plays listed in chronological order)
1. Weeden’s overthrow – The Browns showed no fear early in the game and already led 7-0 and were driving for more. On third-and-9 from the Cowboys’ 33, Brandon Weeden overthrew a wide open Josh Cooper on the left sideline for what would’ve been a first down, likely putting the Browns inside the Cowboys’ 15. Instead, they settled for a field goal and kept the game manageable.
2. Ware/Hatcher combine for sack – The Browns went through the first half without allowing a sack, but on a key third-and-9 from the Cowboys’ 41-yard line, and already leading 13-0 and looking for more, Weeden took a split sack from DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, wiping out their possession. The Cowboys were able to get the ball back and drive for a field goal to get on the board and ignite the comeback.
3. Lob pass to Bryant – Trailing 13-3, the Cowboys hadn’t provided much offensive firepower, especially in the passing game. But on a second-and-4 from their own 17, Tony Romo lofted a perfect pass to Dez Bryant for 30 yards near midfield. It was the third straight completion to Bryant, who also added an 11-yard grab to the 2-yard line that led to a Felix Jones touchdown. Bryant had four catches on that drive, none bigger than the 30-yarder that flipped the field position.
4. Fourth down to Vickers – Of all the receiving options the Cowboys seem to have, fullback Lawrence Vickers will never be near the top the list. And you just don’t see many fourth down passes to the fullback in the flat. But on fourth-and-1, trailing 13-10 early in the fourth, Romo floated a pass to Vickers, who made a leaping grab for three yards to extend the drive. The Cowboys took the lead a few plays later with a Bryant touchdown catch.
5. Touchdown to Watson – Now, TD passes typically don’t make this list of plays you might forget, but how and when this play occurred proved to be big. Cleveland started with a first down on the 17-yard line after a questionable horse-collar tackle with 1:10 left. The Cowboys had just one timeout as well. But, Cleveland had to focus on scoring and taking the lead. Weeden found Watson in the end zone for a touchdown and a 20-17 advantage, but the drive lasted just three seconds. The Cowboys were able to get the ball back with their one timeout and drove for the game-tying field goal.
Bonus Plays: (Since the game went to overtime, we can provide a few more key plays as well)
6. Late-drive Penalties – The Cowboys took advantage of 50 yards in penalties to get into field goal range. A 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty that knocked Kevin Ogletree out of the game moved the ball up to the 39-yard line, and then a 35-yard pass interference call on Sheldon Brown trying to cover Dwayne Harris got them in field goal range.
7. 13-yarder to Miles – In the first possession of overtime, Romo converted a third-down pass to Miles Austin over the middle on third-and-12 at the Cowboys’ 38-yard line. That put the ball on the Browns’ 49 and while they didn’t get a first down, it flipped the field position in the Cowboys’ favor and eliminated a chance to punt to Joshua Cribbs again.
8. Unreviewable play – For some reason, the officials decided not to review a potential fumble by Austin, stating the pass was ruled incomplete. The officials blew the call dead immediately, although the Browns defenders recovered the ball. The Cowboys were able to pick up a first down and eventually win the game on Bailey’s field goal.