Dolphins Can't Stop Romo In Return, Lose 24-14
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MIAMI GARDENS (The Sports Xchange) -- Quarterback Tony Romo, back after missing seven games due to a broken left collarbone, helped the Dallas Cowboys snap their seven-game losing streak with a 24-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.
Romo, perhaps a bit rusty, threw two interceptions. But he redeemed himself with his second touchdown pass, a 16-yard game-winner to wide receiver Dez Bryant with 14:55 left in the fourth quarter. Romo finished with 213 yards passing, completing 17 of 27 throws.
The Cowboys (3-7) are 3-0 this season when Romo starts. They are 0-7 without Romo, who was injured on Sept. 20 on a hit by Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Miami (4-6) was led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who threw two touchdown passes. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 188 yards and one interception.
Each quarterback made a poor first-half decision, and both plays resulted in interceptions.
Romo, facing a blitz on a third-and-6 at the Dolphins' 12, lobbed a pass toward the end zone that was easily intercepted by cornerback Brent Grimes. It was Grimes' third interception of the season.
Tannehill's mistake was even worse. On third-and-11 from his own 8, he tried to hit wide receiver Greg Jennings on a slant. But Tannehill didn't see middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who reached up and intercepted the pass, trotting in for a 12-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Dallas lead.
It was the fourth interception of McClain's five-year NFL career, and it was his first touchdown.
Dallas took a 14-0 lead with 1:08 left in the half. The Cowboys capped a 12-play, 93-yard drive with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams, who beat cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Brice McCain toward the back right corner of the end zone.
The drive might not have happened had it not been for a defensive holding call on Taylor, negating what otherwise would have forced a Dallas punt from its own 4.
Williams and Bryant celebrated Dallas' score a bit too much, however, resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That penalty and a short squib kick by Dallas gave Miami a short field to work with, and the Dolphins capitalized with a three-play, 54-yard touchdown drive.
Tannehill capped the drive with a 12-yard TD pass to tight end Jordan Cameron with only 16 seconds left in the half.
Miami tied the score 14-14 on a Tannehill 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Stills with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
After Bryant's touchdown catch, Dallas increased its lead to 24-14 on a 30-yard field goal by Dan Bailey with 9:09 left in the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Cowboys OLB Sean Lee (concussion) started after sitting out last week. ... Despite nagging injuries, Cowboys RB Darren McFadden (groin) SS Barry Church (ankle) and WR Dez Bryant (knee/foot) also started. ... CB Morris Claiborne (hamstring) sat out. Dallas moved FS Byron Jones to corner and started J.J. Wilcox at free safety. ... Miami was without two injured starters: OLB Jelani Jenkins (ankle) and RT Ja'Wuan James. Jenkins was replaced by rookie LB Neville Hewitt, who made his first start and got his first NFL interception. He was an undrafted free agent out of Marshall. ... James was replaced by Jason Fox. ... Dolphins CB Brent Grimes (illness) returned after missing one game. ... Dolphins OLB Koa Misi (abdomen) started despite missing practice Thursday and Friday.
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