for this game

Romo, Cowboys hold off Packers

Nov 30, 2007 - 6:23 AM IRVING, Texas (Ticker) -- Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys survived a test from the Green Bay Packers - and their own costly bobble - to lay claim to the best team in the NFC.

Romo threw four touchdown passes and the Cowboys knocked Brett Favre from the game in a 37-27 victory over the Packers on Thursday night.

Patrick Crayton had a pair of TD receptions and Terrell Owens caught seven passes for 156 yards and a TD as Dallas (11-1) notched its sixth consecutive victory.

Romo finished 19-of-30 for 309 yards and one interception in helping the Cowboys clinch a playoff berth and snap Green Bay's (10-2) six-game winning streak. It was his fourth game with at least four TD passes this season and gave him 33 on the season, eclipsing the team record of 29.

"When I got out on the field tonight, I thought, 'You know, this is pretty neat,'" Romo said. "This is why you want to play sports. This is why you want to play in games like this. It gets your juices flowing. The competitor in you comes out."

It marked only the second matchup of teams with records of 10-1 or better since 1970. The last time a pair of 10-1 teams met came in December 1990, when the New York Giants squared off with the San Francisco 49ers.

Favre was knocked out of this game with 10:11 to play in the first half when he hurt his right elbow following a blitz by cornerback Nate Jones. He also suffered a separated left shoulder.

"I had a similar injury last year where I just hit it (elbow) right on the nerve and got a tingling feeling," Favre said. "I didn't even know about the shoulder until much later. I expect to be back next week. I wanted to go back in tonight."

Aaron Rodgers played superbly in Favre's absence, completing 11 straight passes at one point and leading the Packers back from an early 27-10 deficit.

A first-round pick in 2005, Rodgers finished 18-of-25 for 201 yards and a TD. Ryan Grant rushed for 94 yards and two TDs for the Packers.

Favre, who fell to 0-9 all-time in Dallas, including three playoff defeats, completed 5-of-14 passes for 56 yards and two interceptions.

The game featured some wild momentum swings and a number of big plays - most of which were made by the Cowboys.

Owens had a monster first half, pulling in six receptions for 147 yards and having a hand in all three touchdowns.

But he also had a huge gaffe in the first minute of the fourth quarter, bobbling a sure touchdown pass that Al Harris intercepted with Dallas leading, 27-24.

"I was on a route where I was going in and coming out and Tony just shot it in there before I could get my eye on it," Owens said of the miscue. "We still rebounded from that and the defense did a great job of keeping them out of the end zone. No harm, no foul."

Romo drove Dallas back down the field on its subsequent possession, helped by a huge pass interference call that set up a 1st-and-goal at the 5-yard line.

Three plays later, Romo threw his second scoring pass to Crayton from 4 yards out to build the lead back to double digits at 34-24 with 7:51 left to play.

Taking advantage of two interceptions of Favre, the quick-strike Cowboys offense needed just eight plays to score three touchdowns and grab a 27-10 lead just over five minutes into the second quarter.

Romo's first TD pass to Crayton gave Dallas a 13-3 lead with 1:44 left in the first quarter, but Grant's burst up the middle for 62 yards on the Packers' next possession cut their deficit to 13-10 with one second left in the period.

Undaunted, the Cowboys struck back quickly on the next possession, moving 76 yards in just three plays to restore the 10-point cushion.

Romo found Owens for 48 yards and one play later tossed a 26-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Fasano for a 20-10 lead with 13:20 left in the first half.

Dallas continued to put the pressure on, knocking Favre out of the game when he was hit by a blitzing Jones, leading to an interception by Terence Newman with 10:11 left in the half.

The Cowboys cashed in when Romo threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Owens to build the cushion to 27-10. It was Owens' 14th touchdown of the season, tying a franchise record set by Frank Clarke in 1962.

"Each week, I'm faced with different coverages," Owens said. "Tonight, I was faced with a lot of man-to-man and there were times where they tried to double me, but if it wasn't there, Tony went elsewhere with it. I'm just doing my part and relishing the challenge."

Rodgers relieved Favre and directed a late-scoring drive to cut the deficit to 27-17 at the half.

The former first-round pick went 4-of-4 for 66 yards on the drive, capping it with an 11-yard scoring pass to Greg Jennings with 31 seconds left in the half.

"Aaron played well and gave us an opportunity to get back in the football game," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "We didn't deviate from our plan."

The Packers carried the momentum into the second half, with Rodgers going 6-of-6 in directing a 69-yard drive that was capped by Grant's 1-yard plunge to slice the deficit to 27-24 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

The touchdown came after Green Bay's defense stuffed running back Julius Jones on a 4th-and-1 at the Packers 31-yard line.