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Don’t Forget About These Five: Mixture Of Difference-Makers

Posted Oct 6, 2013

ARLINGTON – Peyton Manning and Tony Romo put on a show for the ages. There were plays made by both quarterbacks and several playmakers all over the field in Denver’s 51-48 win.

But all games have those hidden plays that can be forgotten, but end up having a huge impact on the outcome. Here are a handful that changed this game:

1. Tyron’s Penalty – The Cowboys came out firing on offense, scoring 14 quick points and were primed for more after DeMarco Murray’s 13-yard run to the Broncos’ 3-yard line. But on first down, left tackle Tyron Smith had a false start penalty as the play clock was about to expire. The way Murray was running the ball, it’s likely they would’ve scored another touchdown on the ground, but instead, the Cowboys attempted three straight passes from the 8-yard line and Romo was sacked on third down, forcing the Cowboys to settle for a field goal. Against Peyton Manning, 17-7 is much different than 21-7.

2. Dez Fumble – As great as Dez Bryant played, the Cowboys couldn’t afford any turnovers, especially one giving the Broncos a short field. After Denver trimmed the lead to 17-14, the Cowboys came right back out looking to answer. But on first down, Romo hit Bryant on a 12 yard pass to the left side, but the receiver quickly fumbled it away with the Broncos recovering at the 41. A few plays later Denver took the lead, 21-17, and snatched momentum away from the Cowboys.

3. Moreno For 11 – Jumping to the fourth quarter, the Cowboys led 41-38 in a wild shootout, having turned the momentum back in their favor. On third-and-10 with the sun right in Manning’s face, a stop by the Cowboys’ defense would’ve been huge to the flow of the game. Instead, Manning found running back Knowshon Moreno underneath for just enough yards to get a first down. The 11-yard gain kept the drive alive, and the Broncos eventually tied it up with a 50-yard field goal by Matt Prater.

4. Penalty Accepted – With the Cowboys leading 48-41 in the final four minutes, the Broncos were flagged for holding after a 2-yard run by Moreno to the 5. The Cowboys chose to push them back to the 17 for second down. The next play was a 16-yard pass to Wes Welker, followed by a touchdown run by Moreno. Second guessers would say the Cowboys should’ve declined the penalty and tried to stop him on third down.

5. Sack on Romo – With the game tied at 41, the Cowboys had a shot to win the game with a field goal. On first down, Romo was sacked by Shaun Phillips for a 6-yard loss. While the Cowboys were arguing for a horse-collar call and then questioned why the clock stopped for about 10 seconds that would’ve run the time down to the two-minute warning, it forced the Cowboys to run another pass play. This time, Romo had to force the ball and avoid a second sack, but threw an interception. That was all Peyton Manning needed as he made sure the Cowboys never touched the ball again.

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