|Date of game: 12/2/2012
Recap: Dallas vs. Philadelphia
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns, including the go-ahead, 6-yard score to Dez Bryant late in the fourth quarter, to lead the Dallas Cowboys past the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-33, on Sunday night.
Romo completed 22-of-27 passes for 303 yards and three scores to give him 168 passing touchdowns in his career and make him the Cowboys' all-time leader in passing TDs. Troy Aikman previously held the record with 165.
"Tony's certainly been a real productive quarterback for us. There is no doubt about that," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said about Romo setting the franchise record.
Bryant finished with 98 yards and two scores on six receptions, while DeMarco Murray returned from a six-game absence and racked up 83 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for Dallas (6-6).
Jason Witten had a game-high 108 yards on six catches in the Cowboys' third win in four games.
Nick Foles went 22-for-34 through the air for 251 yards and a touchdown in his third consecutive start for Philadelphia (3-9) in place of an injured Michael Vick.
Bryce Brown followed his impressive debut with another big game, recording 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 24 carries, but lost a costly fumble late in the fourth quarter as the Eagles dropped their eighth straight game for the first time since opening the 1968 campaign at 0-11.
Dallas trailed, 17-10, at the half, but received the ball to start the third quarter and drove 80 yards in seven plays to tie the game.
Murray converted a 3rd-and-1 at the Cowboys 42 by bouncing a run out to the right for a 27-yard gain before Romo bought some time in the pocket and threw a short pass out to Bryant, who evaded several defenders en route to a 23-yard touchdown.
But the Eagles quickly regained the lead with an 11-play, 80-yard trek that included a run of 17 yards by Brown and an 11-yard tote by Dion Lewis prior to Riley Cooper's one-handed grab around a defender in the right side of the end zone for a 15-yard score with 5:27 left in the third quarter.
The Cowboys opted to go for a 4th-and-inches at the Philadelphia 39 on the ensuing drive and Murray was initially ruled to be stopped for no gain to turn the ball over on downs, but Dallas challenged the spot and was awarded the first down on the review.
Romo took advantage of the continued drive three plays later, capping the 12-play, 80-yard march by finding Miles Austin over the middle and the receiver raced 27 yards for a touchdown to knot the game at 24-24 with 13:41 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia kept the back-and-forth affair alive on its next touch with a 43-yard field goal by Alex Henery, but Dallas again responded with a touchdown to take its first lead of the game.
Faced with a 3rd-and-2 deep inside his own territory, Romo dropped back and pump-faked before lofting a 35-yard yard bomb down the right sideline to Bryant.
Two plays after a 36-yard reception by Witten moved the ball down to the Philadelphia 4-yard line, Bryant grabbed a short pass to the right and bulled past cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie into the end zone for a 31-27 edge with 5:35 remaining.
Foles converted a 3rd-and-8 with a 19-yard strike to Jason Avant on the ensuing drive to keep Philadelphia's hopes of a go-ahead score alive.
But two plays later, Brown, who lost two fumbles in his first career start last Monday, had the ball punched loose during a short run and Dallas' Morris Claiborne took the recovery 50 yards for a touchdown to add some cushion.
"He's got to keep it high and tight. When you're in that fourth quarter and you've been grinding and you're tired, you have got to focus on that," Eagles coach Andy Reid said about Brown's fumbling. "Until you answer it, the other team is going to be going for the football."
It would be needed as Damaris Johnson fielded a punt at his 2-yard line and returned it 98 yards for a score to bring Philadelphia within 38-33 with 31 seconds left after Foles could not connect with Avant during a two-point conversion attempt.
Witten, though, spoiled the comeback attempt when he recovered an onside kick to seal the victory for Dallas.
Early on, Philadelphia took over on offense at its own 34-yard line after the teams traded punts over the first two possessions of the contest, and Brown ripped off a 24-yard rush on the first play of the drive.
Foles then hit Brent Celek and Johnson for double-digit gains before Brown capped the 5-play march with a 10-yard touchdown run off the left end with 5:38 left in the first quarter.
Dallas answered with a 15-play, 59-yard trek that ate up over seven minutes of clock and included a pair of third-down conversions, but the Cowboys could not push the ball into the end zone and were forced to settle for Dan Bailey's 39- yard field goal less than two minutes into the second quarter.
After the teams exchanged punts, the Eagles regained the ball at their own 27 and Brown again carried the load, recording a 39-yard run on the second play of the drive before Jeremy Maclin's 21-yard reception set up Brown's 5-yard touchdown up the middle for a 14-3 lead with 6:07 remaining in the half.
The Cowboys again responded with a lengthy drive to cut into their deficit as Romo found Witten for gains of 15, 13 and 28 yards before Murray finished off the 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard rumble across the goal line within the final minute of the second quarter.
Brown's 20-yard run and a 29-yard grab by Avant then set up Henery's 43-yard field goal as time expired in the half to give the Eagles a 17-10 advantage at the break.Game Notes
The Cowboys improved to 8-0 when Murray has at least 18 rushing attempts ...
Bryant has caught a touchdown pass in four straight games ... Dallas leads the
all-time series between the teams, 58-46 ... Philadelphia outgained Dallas,
423-417 ... Avant led all Eagles receivers with 79 yards on four receptions.