CINCINNATI – It was an emotional win for the Cowboys, who squeaked out a 20-19 victory at Paul Brown Stadium. The Cowboys scored 10 points in the final two drives and had other big highlights in the game.
Here are five plays that might go unnoticed, but played a factor in the final outcome.
(Plays listed in chronological order)
Field Goal Attempt – The Cowboys were moving the ball with ease on the first drive and on third-and-1 from the Bengals 19, they went play-action where Tony Romo missed a pass to James Hanna. Instead of trying to get the first down, they elected for a field goal and a 3-0 lead. It gave some momentum to the Bengals, who promptly scored 10 quick points. While it seemed like the Cowboys needed to try and outscore Cincy and getting field goals wouldn't be enough, it turned out to be the right call, considering the 1-point victory in the end.
Missed Pass to Hawkins – The game was tied 10-10 late in the first half with the Bengals driving with a third-and-3 at the Cowboys' 15. Andy Dalton had Andrew Hawkins open over the middle but missed him on the pass, resulting in a field goal attempt. A touchdown lead would've been big for the Bengals in the long run.
Three Stops Near Goal Line – Here are three plays for the price of one. The Bengals led 13-10 and were looking for a 10-point lead. They appeared to score on Dalton's pass to Marvin Jones, but the officials said he went out of bounds first before the catch, nullifying the score. On the next play, Sensabaugh decked Jermaine Greshman for what appeared to be a touchdown grab. And then on third down, A.J. Green dropped a pass over the middle, forcing the Bengals to settle for a field goal.
Ogletree for Five – On third-and-2 with the Cowboys trailing by nine, Dez Bryant had a minor injury and needed a break. Kevin Ogletree not only entered the game, but Tony Romo went his way for a quick pass on cornerback "Pacman" Jones. It was a 5-yard gain and a first down. It led to another big catch on first-and-20 when Ogletree caught a 23-yard pass over the middle that led to a Bryant touchdown.
Quick Throw to Witten – This is the one Romo called the play of the game. It was third-and-5 from the Cowboys' 33 with 3:12 to play. It was unclear if they would've punted or gone for the fourth-down conversion. But Romo bought some time and then fired a pass to Witten in between two defenders for a first down at the 42. It extended the drive and led to Dan Bailey's game-winner.