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Cowboys Grind Out 20-13 Win In Carolina

barber-v-carolina.jpgIt wasn’t pretty, but it was efficient as the T.O.’less Cowboys relied on Barber and the running game to close out the Panthers for a 20-13 win at Carolina.  Barber and Jones combined for over 135-yards rushing and Romo threw for a one touchdown and had an interception to lead Dallas to the victory. 

Terrell Owens left for the locker room just before halftime after spraining his left ankle on a 3rd down catch deep in Carolina’s end of the field to convert for a first down that led to a 6-yard Barber TD run.   He also caught a 10-yard TD pass from Romo in the first quarter to start the scoring.  He finished the game before half with 5 catches for 48-yards and the TD.

Steve Smith, who had a good game as well, then caught his own 10-yard TD pass to narrow the lead to 14-7.  Smith had 9 catches for 137-yards and a TD to lead Carolina in their attempt to upset the Cowboys.   But an interception of Moore by Anthony Henry on their next series led to a 44-yard Folk FG to get to a half time score of 17-7.

But the big star of the evening was Marion Barber who’s 63 total yards on the way to a 75-yard drive capped by his 7-yard TD run put Dallas in the lead for good.  He also closed out the game in the 4th quarter with two big first down runs.  He finished the night with 110-yards on 22 carries and the one TD. 

Terrence Newman was also slightly injured during the game and left for several plays in the second quarter, but returned and played most of the second half.  He didn’t appear completely healthy and Smith took advantage of him on several plays, but the defense came up with some key sacks on Moore.  The back-to-back sacks at the start of the third quarter after Carolina had reached the Dallas 1 with a first-and-goal were huge, forcing the Panthers to take a 37-yard FG from Kasay.   

DeMarcus Ware had two 2 sacks with help from Ratliff and Canty had one on his own and Ellis also came up with another sack. Tank Johnson got a sack but was called for roughing the passer as he had helmet-to-helmet contact on the play, giving Carolina a first and goal from the Dallas 10-yard line.  They would hold the Panthers to just a FG on the drive though, which basically preserved the win.  The D came up with five sacks total on the evening with Ware getting his team leading 13th and Ellis close behind at 12 1/2 sacks.

There will be alot of discussion about some of the penalty calls and no-calls, but as far as I could tell, the rules were followed with the exception of the no-call on Jacques Reeves’ play on a crucial 3rd and nine for Carolina that could have given them a first down inside Dallas territory late in the fourth.  He might have made contact a little early, but it was very hard to tell, especially real-time and the no-catch call on a big pass play to Steve Smith was close also, but the rule was followed correctly, in my opinion. 

Matt Moore, the rookie ex-Cowboy QB who was picked up on waivers after Dallas reluctantly cut him in the preseason, played well with most of his success coming on passes to Smith.  He will be a good QB in the NFL and it’s a shame the Cowboys couldn’t have kept him on their roster.

This win makes it imperative for Dallas to win next week at Washington or for Green Bay to lose to rival Chicago tomorrow to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  It also set a club record for road wins at 10-straight since last season to tonight and the second 13-win regular season in francise history!   Way to go Cowboys!  I think they are going to make it all the way to the big game this year for the first time since 1995.   

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One Response to “Cowboys Grind Out 20-13 Win In Carolina”

  1. […] by the many faces of Jessica in the crowd. He had one touchdown and one interception in the Cowboys 20-13 victory over the Panthers last night. It was a bittersweet game though with good news and bad news for Cowboys […]

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