for this game

Romo, Ware lead Cowboys to third straight win

Nov 28, 2008 - 2:47 AM IRVING, Texas (Ticker) -- The Dallas Cowboys have officially climbed back into the playoff discussion.

Tony Romo remained undefeated since returning from a broken finger, throwing for 331 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to a 34-9 rout of the hapless Seattle Seahawks on Thursday in Dallas' annual Thanksgiving Day game.

The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback connected with his two favorite receivers - Terrell Owens and Jason Witten - for scores and the Cowboys put consistent pressure on Matt Hasselbeck, sacking him seven times to deal Seattle its fifth consecutive loss.

"I think we're improving," Owens said. "We're getting better week to week. It shows what we can do when we put our minds to it and play to our capabilities."

Dallas had all but fallen out of prominence in the weeks prior to Romo's return. After opening the 2008 campaign 3-0 - with Super Bowl talk being freely bandied about - the Cowboys stumbled under the weight of multiple controversies, a perceived lack of discipline and an injury to their star quarterback.

After being considered the early NFC front-runner, they slipped to last place in the NFC East at one point and were crippled by the absence of Romo, who missed three games with a broken pinkie finger on his throwing hand that he suffered in an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

"You can see how the climate can change pretty quickly in this league," Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said. "Three weeks ago, we're looking at a different team. What you need to do is win and get on a winning streak."

Dallas went 1-2 in those games, but got virtually nothing from backup quarterbacks Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger. But Romo's return has been the catalyst for a revival of sorts. He came back to the lineup on November 16 and helped lead the Cowboys to a hard-fought, 14-10 triumph over the arch-rival Washington Redskins - who had dealt Dallas its first loss nearly two months earlier.

"He's doing a great job," Owens said. "I think he's ready to come out of that splint. When the front line gives him time or when there's a break loose, he'll step up and move around and make plays with his feet."

The Cowboys followed that with a blowout over the lowly San Francisco 49ers on Sunday - and on Thanksgiving, they extended their winning streak to three games by making quick work of the disappointing and injury-plagued Seahawks (2-10).

The team is still caught in a difficult fight for a playoff spot. The division is likely out of the question - with the reigning champion New York Giants sitting pretty at 10-1 - leaving two wild-card spots up for grabs. Along with the Cowboys, three other teams have 3 or 4 losses.

"I think everyone knows the importance of these games down the stretch," Owens said. "I think if someone needs to say something, someone will speak up. But, I think everyone knows how important these games are now."

The Cowboys (8-4) hammered the Seahawks from the start, jumping out in front early and never looking back. Often known to start slow, the Cowboys bucked the trend, marching down the field and hitting paydirt less than three minutes into the contest.

After hitting Witten for a 36-yard completion to set Dallas up in the red zone, Romo capped the five-play, 71-yard drive with a 16-yard scoring strike to Martellus Bennett. Later in the quarter, the Cowboys took advantage of Julius Jones' fumble as Marion Barber extended the lead to 14-0 with a 2-yard touchdown dive.

Romo also connected with Owens in the third quarter to help put the game out of reach. Facing a third-and-6, Romo escaped a collapsing pocket and delivered a laser to his superstar wideout on the right sideline. Owens made an acrobatic, one-handed catch to put the Cowboys in scoring position - and one play later, brought in a 19-yard TD to make it a 31-9 ballgame.

"I thought the offensive line played outstanding tonight," Romo said. "We had a couple of big plays we left out of there. Seattle tried to throw the whole gambit of coverages. They tried taking T.O. out of the game, but we still got him the ball some."

After breaking through last week with a 213-yard performance against the 49ers, Owens followed that with five catches and 98 yards. Witten - showing no ill effects from the broken ribs that have hobbled him in recent weeks - was Romo's favorite target, hauling in nine passes for 115 yards and a score. Witten had just four catches over the last four games.

"I was unleashed," Witten said. "You just stick within a system and you know you're a big part of it. Obviously, Terrell's a big part of it too and that's what happens when we execute. It's a different guy every week and you just stay within it and not get upset and frustrated. All of us want the ball and you just have to stay within the system and make those plays when it comes your way."

Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware took over as the league leader in sacks, bringing Hasselbeck down three times to set a career-high with 15 on the season. However, he limped off the field after suffering a sprained right knee late in the third quarter.

Ware said after the game that he was feeling better. He will be re-evaluated later in the week.

The Cowboys also lost Barber in the third, as the Pro Bowl running back left the field with a toe injury and did not return. X-rays were negative, but his status is uncertain.

Romo completed 22-of-34 passes and registered his sixth 300-yard passing game in nine chances.

"I think Dallas really is a good football team," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "They are tough to play against, very explosive offensively. I don't think the short week and the travel were to fault. They are good and I'll give them that. It's a tough year for us, but we are going to keep it going."

Hasselbeck was 22-for-38 for 287 yards, but failed to get the Seahawks into the end zone despite several chances deep in Dallas territory. He was intercepted once.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SEATTLE 3 3 3 0 9
    DALLAS 14 10 7 3 34 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, MARTELLUS BENNETT 16 YD PASS FROM
    TONY ROMO (NICK FOLK KICK), 2:24.
    Drive: 5 plays, 71 yards in 2:25.
    Key plays: illegal hands to the
    face penalty on Seahawks' Wilson on
    3rd-and-1

    Nov 27 7:42 PM


  • NFL
    FG DAL
    NICK FOLK 42 YD
    SEATTLE 9
    DALLAS 34 8:59 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Seahawks 9, Cowboys 34  4th - 8:59Nov 27 7:16 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SEATTLE 3 3 3 9
    DALLAS 14 10 7 31 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, MARTELLUS BENNETT 16 YD PASS FROM
    TONY ROMO (NICK FOLK KICK), 2:24.
    Drive: 5 plays, 71 yards in 2:25.
    Key plays: illegal hands to the
    face penalty on Seahawks' Wilson on
    3rd

    Nov 27 7:03 PM
  • 25
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Seahawks 9, Cowboys 31  3rd - 2:19Nov 27 6:53 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    TERRELL OWENS 19 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICK FOLK KICK)
    SEATTLE 9
    DALLAS 31 2:19 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Seahawks 9, Cowboys 31  3rd - 2:19Nov 27 6:53 PM


  • NFL
    FG SEA
    OLINDO MARE 25 YD
    SEATTLE 9
    DALLAS 24 9:37 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Seahawks 9, Cowboys 24  3rd - 9:37Nov 27 6:27 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SEATTLE 3 3 6
    DALLAS 14 10 24 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, MARTELLUS BENNETT 16 YD PASS FROM
    TONY ROMO (NICK FOLK KICK), 2:24.
    Drive: 5 plays, 71 yards in 2:25.
    Key plays: illegal hands to the
    face penalty on Seahawks' Wilson on
    3rd-and

    Nov 27 5:56 PM


  • NFL
    FG SEA
    OLINDO MARE 38 YD
    SEATTLE 6
    DALLAS 24 1:31 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Seahawks 6, Cowboys 24  2nd - 1:31Nov 27 5:46 PM


  • NFL
    FG DAL
    NICK FOLK 41 YD
    SEATTLE 3
    DALLAS 24 7:34 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Seahawks 3, Cowboys 24  2nd - 7:34Nov 27 5:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    JASON WITTEN 8 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICK FOLK KICK)
    SEATTLE 3
    DALLAS 21 11:57 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Seahawks 3, Cowboys 21  2nd - 11:57Nov 27 5:13 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SEATTLE 3 3
    DALLAS 14 14 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, MARTELLUS BENNETT 16 YD PASS FROM
    TONY ROMO (NICK FOLK KICK), 2:24.
    Drive: 5 plays, 71 yards in 2:25.
    Key plays: illegal hands to the
    face penalty on Seahawks' Wilson on
    3rd

    Nov 27 5:05 PM


  • NFL
    FG SEA
    OLINDO MARE 44 YD
    SEATTLE 3
    DALLAS 14 0:52 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Seahawks 3, Cowboys 14  1st - 0:52Nov 27 5:02 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    MARION BARBER III 2 YD RUN
    (NICK FOLK KICK)
    SEATTLE 0
    DALLAS 14 4:50 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Seahawks 0, Cowboys 14  1st - 4:50Nov 27 4:52 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    MARTELLUS BENNETT 16 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICK FOLK KICK)
    SEATTLE 0
    DALLAS 7 12:36 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Seahawks 0, Cowboys 7  1st - 12:36Nov 27 4:35 PM
  • 15
    roots
    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Seahawks vs. CowboysNov 27 11:54 AM
  • 10
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Seahawks vs. CowboysNov 27 3:23 AM
  • 5
    roots
    cjenks Added 5 roots

    Seahawks vs. CowboysNov 25 12:41 PM