Rapid Reaction: Ravens 31, Cowboys 29
October, 14, 2012
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
BALTIMORE -- The Dallas Cowboys were in desperation mode Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium, and that's not a good thing against a team that doesn't lose to the NFC at home.
The Cowboys had a chance to pull out a win, but Dan Bailey missed a potential game-winning 51-yard field goal with two seconds to play.
Dez Bryant scored on a pass from Tony Romo with 32 seconds remaining but let the ball go through his hands on the two-point conversion try. His pleas for a flag went unanswered, but the Cowboys got another shot when they recovered Bailey's ensuing onside kick.
The Cowboys, coming off a bye week, played their best game of the season, but it wasn't good enough as the Ravens held on for a 31-29 victory.
What it means?: The Cowboys have lost two consecutive games and lose the game after the bye week for a second straight season. It was a tough loss for a Cowboys team that rushed for 227 yards behind four running backs. Still, it was not enough.
Romo's interception turns the tide: In a tie game, Romo was picked off by cornerback Cary Williams with 2:15 to play in the first half. The Ravens took advantage. Joe Flacco found Torrey Smith for a 9-yard touchdown reception to cap a drive and give Baltimore a 17-10 lead. That was the score at halftime and the Cowboys played from behind the rest of the way. Romo's ninth interception of the season set the tone and gave the Ravens momentum.
DeMarco Murray started but was taken out with a foot injury. Murray didn't start in the second half, getting only one carry after halftime. He finished with 93 yards on 14 carries. Felix Jones took over and responded with a solid performance. Jones also left the contest because of dehydration. Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar also picked up carries in the loss.
Record day for special teams: Well, not for the Cowboys. The Ravens' Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, tying the record for the longest kickoff return in NFL history. It was the first time the Cowboys had allowed a kick return for a touchdown since Percy Harvin's 95-yarder in 2010.
What's next?: The Cowboys continue their road trip when they take on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers next Sunday at noon.