The Cowboys defense stepped up when it had to late, and their offense got four field goals from Dan Bailey, as the Cowboys topped the Carolina Panthers Sunday 19-14 to improve to 3-3 on the year.
The win puts to bed a two-game losing streak for the Cowboys as well.
Bailey buried two field goals in the final 3 and a half minutes of regulation. His 28-yard kick gave Dallas a 16-14 lead with 3:24 left to play.
The Cowboys D then held on 4th-and-1 in Carolina territory, forcing an incompletion, and took over at the Panthers’ 39 with 2:08 to go. Six plays later, and after forcing the hosts to burn their final two timeouts in the process, Bailey converted a 38-yarder with 53 seconds on the clock for a 19-14 contest.
Panthers QB Cam Newton hit Steve Smith for 26 yards and a first down on the final possession, then spiked the ball and threw an incompletion before taking a sack on third down.
Newton connected with Greg Olson on the final play, but the quarterback lost the football during an extended lateral sequence as time expired.
Tony Romo finished 24-of-34 for 227 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys trailed 7-3 at halftime, but took control after Miles Austin beat rookie cornerback Josh Norman for a 36-yard touchdown pass from Romo and Bailey connected on a 49-yard field goal.
Down six points, the Panthers went to a no-huddle offense in the fourth quarter after going three-and-out on their first three possessions of the second half and it seemed to tame Dallas’ pass rush. Carolina quickly moved 75 yards on nine plays and Mike Tolbert gave the Panthers a 14-13 lead with a 2-yard plunge.
The Panthers got some help along the way as cornerback Brandon Carr was called for defensive holding on Steve Smith in the end zone on a third down play, giving the Panthers a fresh set of downs.
But unlike last week’s loss to the Ravens on the road, the Cowboys managed the clock well late in the game.
Next week the Cowboys have a huge game at home vs the Giants.