- Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPNDallas.com
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There were 128 plays in the Cowboys' 20-19 win over Cincinnati, and the Cowboys' best players made most of the game' biggest plays to end the Bengals' four-game winning streak.
It was an emotional victory for the Cowboys, who kept their playoff hopes alive. Here are five plays that shaped the game:
Play Jason Hatcher sack
Situation: Third-and-4 from Dallas 5
Score: Cincinnati, 7-3
Time: 2:19 left in first quarter
Taylor's Take: The Bengals, who had outscored their last four opponents 42-9 in the first quarter, were about to deliver an early knockout punch. But Hatcher drove left guard Clint Boling into the backfield and when Andy Dalton tried to move up in the pocket, Hatcher took him down. The Bengals settled for a field goal.
Play: Brandon Carr interception
Situation: First-and-10 from the 50
Score: Cincinnati, 10-3
Time: 12:16 left in second quarter
Taylor's Take: The Cowboys’ defense had been pushed around until Carr made a fantastic play to intercept Andy Dalton’s pass. Playing zone, Carr read Dalton’s eyes as the quarterback scrambled. When he saw the ball thrown, Carr circled in front of A.J. Green and snatched the ball from the receiver who never saw him coming. Four plays later, the score was tied at 10-10.
Play: Gerald Sensabaugh pass breakup
Situation: Second-and-12 from Dallas 12
Score: Cincinnati, 13-10
Time: 9:34 left in the third quarter
Taylor's Take: Another big play kept the Cowboys within a touchdown. Tight end Jermaine Gresham was about to make a leaping catch over linebacker Ernie Sims in the back of the end zone, when Sensabaugh drilled him in the back to dislodge the ball.
Play: Kevin Ogletree reception
Situation: First-and-20 from Dallas 35
Score: Cincinnati, 19-10
Time: 8:02 left in fourth quarter
Taylor's Take: After Doug Free’s holding penalty put the Cowboys in a big hole, Kevin Ogletree made a huge play. Ogletree, surpassed by Dwayne Harris on the depth chart, was filling for Dez Bryant who had injured his right index finger. Ogletree ran a 10-yard crossing route against a zone, made one defender missed and picked up a key first down.
Play: Anthony Spencer sack
Situation: Third-and-4 from Cincinnati 36
Score: Cincinnati, 19-17
Time: 4:40 left in the fourth quarter
Taylor's Take: The defense needed a stop to ensure Tony Romo had enough time to orchestrate a game-winning drive. Spencer, blitzing from inside, easily beat right guard Kevin Zeitler and sacked Andy Dalton as the tried to leave the pocket.