Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. It's amazing the things you can accomplish when, you know, you actually hold on to the ball. And when you can take it from the other guy? Well, that's a recipe for success.
The Dallas Cowboys fell behind the St. Louis Rams early, 21-0, after a DeMarco Murray fumble and a Tony Romo interception led to 14 points for the home side. But, the Cowboys overcame the early miscues and recorded a couple of key turnovers of their own to battle back for a 34-31 victory, the largest comeback during regulation in team history.
Murray, who had never been known as fumbler coming into this season, has now put the ball on the ground in each of the team's first three games. After St. Louis opened the day with an extended 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive for an early 7-0 lead, eating up 8:50 of clock, Dallas was putting together a drive of its own when Murray coughed it up at the St. Louis 35-yard line.
Given the gift, the Rams the struck five plays later when quarterback Austin Davis hit Brian Quick on a 51-yard scoring pass for a 14-0 advantage
That was then followed later in the second quarter with Romo trying to throw a short out from deep in his own territory to Dez Bryant on the right side, only to have Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins step in front for an easy pick and a waltz into the end zone, 21-0.
From there, though, the Cowboys found a little life. Sticking with their game plan, they handed the ball off to Murray five times on their ensuing possession, the drive helped by a 26-yard pass interference penalty on the Rams that put the ball on the St. Louis 1-yard line. That left it to the workhorse running back to finally get Dallas on the board, 21-7.
After the Cowboys then recovered a turnover of their own with 42 seconds left in the half, Henry Melton pouncing on a fumbled snap, the offense got close enough for Dan Bailey to split the uprights from 29 yards out to inch Dallas closer, 21-10.
If momentum wasn't on the Cowboys' side before the break, the pendulum swung fully to the blue and silver once the third quarter got underway. The Cowboys opened the second half with the ball, and after a horrible read by the St. Louis secondary, Bryant found himself all alone behind the defense.
Romo hit his target for an easy 68-yard touchdown.
Later in the third, Bailey nailed a 40-yarder after a key stop by the Dallas defense on a fourth-and-1 at the Cowboys' 15-yard line. The effort extended Bailey's consecutive kicks made to 28, a new team record, and narrowed the deficit to only one, 21-20.
Now, it seemed to be only a matter of time before the comeback would be complete. St. Louis tacked on three more points, but Romo then took his team 84 yards in 11 plays, capping things off with a 12-yard pass to Terrence Williams to give the Cowboys' their first lead of the game, 27-24.
And when Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter then grabbed a Davis offering on the Rams' very next snap and raced 25 yards untouched into the end zone for another seven points, the game seemed well in hand, 34-24 with just over six minutes left to play.
St. Louis, however, wasn't done just yet. Davis picked apart the Cowboys secondary, primarily cornerback Morris Claiborne, to march the Rams 80 yards in 3:22 to close the gap to 34-31.
Things then got interesting when the Cowboys were forced to punt, [embedded_ad]
snapping a streak of putting points on the board in five straight possessions, with St. Louis getting the ball back at their own 14-yard line with two minutes left in the game.
But there was Claiborne, who had struggled throughout the day, leaping high and coming down with an overthrown pass to record his fourth career interception, icing the win.
With that, the Cowboys had their historic victory. Dallas improved to 2-1 and will now host the New Orleans Saints (1-2) in prime time next Sunday night.