1. Ware Extends Bucs' Drive
With the Bucs leading 3-0 late in the first quarter and the Cowboys' offense already struggling, the defense appeared to get Tampa off the field with a three-and-out stand on Bradie James' tackle. However, DeMarcus Ware was flagged for an offside penalty, which was just enough for a first down. The Bucs continued to move the ball and settled for Matt Bryant's second field goal, giving Tampa a 6-0 lead.
2. Ratliff Sack
The Bucs had a 6-3 lead and the momentum as the first half was coming to an end. Jeff Garcia was driving Tampa's offense with a third-and-three at the Cowboys' 25. But with no receivers getting open, Garcia tried to extend the play towards the sideline before Jay Ratliff gave him no more room to run. Garcia then lost his feet and was sacked by Ratliff for an eight-yard loss back to the 33. On the next play, Matt Bryant missed a 51-yard attempt wide to the right, giving the Cowboys the ball at the 41.
3. Barber Collars Barber
Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber indeed helped the Cowboys back in the game just before halftime when he brought down Marion Barber with a horse-collar penalty, resulting in a first-down for the Cowboys, who were about to punt. Instead, the Cowboys used the penalty, plus three more on the Bucs during the drive, and grabbed a go-ahead touchdown with one second remaining in the half.
4. Bradie James Sack
Pinned back close to their goal line, the Bucs had trouble moving the ball to start the second half. On a second-and-five from the 25, the Cowboys brought a delayed blitz by linebacker Bradie James, who stuffed Garcia for a six-yard loss back to the 19. That made the ensuing third-down play a much tougher obstacle for the Bucs, who opted for a short screen to Warrick Dunn for only three yards. The punt gave the Cowboys a short field where they added a 45-yard field goal by Nick Folk.
5. Barber's First Down
Forced with a tough decision midway through the fourth quarter, the Cowboys elected to go for it on fourth-and-one at their own 38 with just under seven minutes to play. Wade Phillips went for his bruiser back Marion Barber, who plunged his way for the needed yard and a first down. While the Cowboys didn't get another first down it did eat up two more minutes of clock, giving the Bucs the ball with just 4:15 to play.