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Cowboys Score 4th Win of 2010; Top Colts in OT 38-35

Jason Garrett continues to look like a guy who wants to take over the Cowboys for good in 2011, and Sunday he took another huge step forward in that route, as his team topped the former AFC powerhouse Indianapolis Colts 38-35 in overtime.

David Buehler hit a 38-yard field goal with under eight minutes left in overtime to give the Cowboys their fourth win of the season, and third under Garrett. On the Colts’ second series of overtime, Sean Lee gathered in a tipped Peyton Manning pass for his second pick of the day, and returned it 13 yards to the Indy 36.

Six plays later, Buehler was lined up for a 38-yarder but was quickly iced with a timeout. He calmly booted the game-winner just inside the right goalpost to give Dallas its third road win of the season.

“He’s made big kicks for us. I have a tremendous amount of trust in him,” said Garrett of his kicker. “We were going to give him every opportunity once we got into field goal range to win the game for us.” Jon Kitna finished 18-of-26 for 167 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys. Tashard Choice posted a season-high 100 yards and a score on 19 carries and Jason Witten caught a key TD pass late in regulation.

Dallas also returned a pair of Manning throws for scores, with Orlando Scandrick going 40 yards for a touchdown before leaving with a concussion, and Lee taking one back 31 yards.

Manning was 36-of-48 for 365 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted four times for the second straight week for the Colts (6-6), who fell a full game behind Jacksonville in the AFC South.

“I know he threw for over 350 yards and obviously we made some turnovers in this situation,” said Colts head coach Jim Caldwell of his quarterback’s struggle on Sunday.

Reggie Wayne led all receivers with 14 catches for a season-best 200 yards and a score, Pierre Garcon ended with 56 yards and a TD reception on eight grabs and Javarris James rushed for a pair of scores in defeat.

Dallas converted its first drive of the contest into seven points as Choice eluded several tacklers and changed direction more than once en route to a 20- yard touchdown run.

Buehler finished off the Cowboys’ next series with a 30-yard field goal, then Manning was picked off by Scandrick who raced virtually untouched to the end zone for a 17-0 score less than a minute into the second quarter.

Indy finally got on track with 5:57 left in the half as Manning connected with Garcon in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard TD to complete an 86- yard, 15-play drive.

Buehler missed a 48-yard try with two seconds left in the half but it was still a 10-point margin for the visitors.

Manning found Wayne for a 34-yard touchdown reception on the opening drive of the second half and the home team got within three, but Dallas responded on a Buehler 46-yard make with 5:47 left in the third for a 20-14 game.

Lee then found a Manning pass in the middle of the field and just made it inside the right pylon to give the Cowboys a 27-14 edge, but the Colts rallied to close within 27-21 on the first play of the fourth on a one-yard TD plunge from James.

Dallas went three-and-out on its next series, and Indianapolis moved ahead 28-27 when Taj Smith blocked Mat McBriar’s punt and managed to fall on it in the end zone.

“Taj did a nice job. He’s shown that through the years and in practice,” Caldwell said of that unexpected special-teams score. “Did a nice job of obviously causing the fumble.”

Unbowed, the Cowboys marched down the field but couldn’t reach the end zone with 1st-and-goal from the one. A delay-of-game penalty pushed Buehler’s 19- yard try to 24 yards, but on the attempt, the Colts were called for an unsportsmanlike conduct/leverage penalty and Dallas had 1st-and-goal again from the three.

Kitna found Witten inside the left pylon on third down and Dallas went up 35-28 with 2:38 to play when Roy Williams hauled in the conversion pass.

“You get challenged every week in the NFL, and really get challenged every play,” Garrett said of his team’s resilience. “When you come to this place, against this football team and that quarterback and those rushers, it was going to be an all-day sucker for us. It was going to be a great challenge.”

Back came the Colts to tie with 29 seconds remaining when James scored from the two. Two plays prior, Wayne made a diving reception for 17 yards to the Dallas seven that was upheld by review.

The Cowboys have another test next Sunday night, sa they take on the Eagles Sunday night at home.

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