Romo Leads Cowboys To Win In First Game Back Print
Written by mark   
Sunday, 16 November 2008 19:55
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Tony Romo celebrated the go-ahead touchdown pass by bouncing up and down like a little kid, carefully avoiding any further damage to his heavily wrapped right pinkie.

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A few minutes later, Terence Newman celebrated a fourth-down stop by running around with both arms outstretched, like a child imitating an airplane.

Romo and Newman were back Sunday night, and so are the Dallas Cowboys, who put themselves firmly back into the NFC playoff race with a 14-10 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Romo, returning after missing three games with a broken pinkie on his throwing hand, overcame a pair of first-half interceptions to complete 19 of 27 passes for 198 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to rookie Martellus Bennett that put the Cowboys ahead for good with 10 1/2 minutes to play.

Newman, back after missing five games with a sports hernia, had an even more impressive return. He had a second-half interception deep in Cowboys territory and shut down Santana Moss, holding the Redskins' best receiver to 29 yards on five catches. Newman batted away a pass to Moss on fourth-and-4 at the Dallas 37 with 6:40 remaining, ending Washington's final drive.

The Cowboys then ran out the clock, with Marion Barber finishing off a 114-yard night on 24 carries, to improve to 6-4, tied with the Redskins and a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. The threesome can virtually give up on catching the division-leading New York Giants (9-1), putting them into what promises to be a tight battle for wild-card berths over the final six weeks of the season.

Dallas had gone 2-4 after a 3-0 start and performed miserably on offense during Romo's absence. Fortuitously, last week's bye gave Romo, Newman and left guard Kyle Kosier a chance to heal, even as owner Jerry Jones publicly fretted about the direction of the team.

The Cowboys were trailing 10-7 when second-round draft pick Bennett showed remarkable concentration to snag his scoring catch over safety Chris Horton while on the run at the goal line. Bennett held on to the ball while getting hit by another safety, LaRon Landry, for his second touchdown catch of the season.

Clinton Portis, who wasn't expected to play due to a sprained knee, carried 15 times for 68 yards and went over 1,000 yards for the season for the Redskins, whose offense remains mired in a scoring slump. Jason Campbell went 22-for-34 for 162 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Redskins failed to score a touchdown in a 23-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers before last week's bye. They took a 7-0 lead Sunday night on their opening drive on a 2-yard pass to fullback Mike Sellers but failed to find the end zone again.

Romo completed his first six passes - but only for 47 yards. His accuracy deserted him on a third-and-3 at Washington's 27 when he threw a pass behind Terrell Owens and right to cornerback DeAngelo Hall. It was Hall's fourth interception of the year but his first with the Redskins, who signed him last weekend after he was cut by the Oakland Raiders.

The Cowboys were driving deep in Redskins territory later in the first half when another Romo-to-T.O. misconnection resulted in a turnover. The pass was on target, but cornerback Carlos Rogers nailed Owens just as the ball arrived. Rocky McIntosh caught the deflection for his first career interception.

But Dallas tied it at 7 on an 80-yard drive that included a 28-yard pass to tight end Jason Witten and a 25-yard strike to Owens. Barber scored from 2 yards with 1:01 remaining in the half.

Rock Cartwright returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards, setting up a 41-yard field by Shaun Suisham with 4 seconds left to put the Redskins ahead 10-7 at the half.

In the second half, it was the Redskins' turn to spoil promising drives. Newman picked off Campbell at Dallas' 33, and Suisham drew the fury of coach Jim Zorn when a 46-yard field goal attempt fell well short of the goal posts.

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