CINCINNATI – Something seemed to click in a makeshift defense playing with a bevy of backups as the fourth quarter began Sunday.
The Cowboys, who hadn’t made the Bengals punt once in the first half, forced three punts on Cincinnati’s final three possessions to allow the offense to complete another comeback victory.
“We didn’t have great rhythm throughout the day, but you’ve just got to hang in there,” said head coach Jason Garrett, “and speaking of hanging in there, just a real credit to our defense. We have a lot of different guys playing.”
At one point, cornerback
Injuries are nothing new to this defense, and once again the Cowboys persevered and hobbled through another matchup. A litany of unfamiliar faces took the field to account for injuries, and with so much change on defense, Garrett needed his veterans to seize the moment.
Carr’s interception on a pass intended for Green in the second quarter with the Cowboys trailing, 10-3, turned the momentum the Cowboys’ way. The defense wouldn’t allow the Bengals into the end zone the rest of the day.
“It wasn’t perfect, but our guys continued to hang in there, particularly when our offense wasn’t doing a whole lot,” Garrett said. “They kept us in the ballgame, and ultimately we were able to make a couple drives to allow us to score some points.”
The defense benefitted from dropped passes, including a potential touchdown grab for Green, but the patchwork group also made the necessary plays to force the Bengals into four field goals when they got into Cowboys territory. The defense held up long enough for linebackers
Ware was held in check all game until he forced Cincinnati to punt with a third-down sack on quarterback Andy Dalton on the Bengals’ first drive of the fourth quarter.
Spencer followed suit on the Bengals’ next possession with a third-down sack of Dalton to force another punt after quarterback
“The guys that are used to being out there a lot, they need to step up a little bit,” Garrett said. “On a number of different occasions in this ballgame, they did. Brandon makes the big interception, Spence makes the big sack, D-Ware gets a holding penalty and a sack. All those guys over the course of the ballgame, they just kept fighting.”
“It doesn’t look pretty all the time,” said defensive end