1-2
10 -
Team 1 2 3 4
TB 7 0 0 3
DAL 7 3 0 6
16
2-1

Cowboys get short fields in 16-10 win over Bucs

AP - Sports
Cowboys get short fields in 16-10 win over Bucs
.

View gallery

Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Bruce Carter (54) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Dallas Clark …

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Tony Romo was satisfied even after being sacked four times and turning the ball over three times in the Dallas Cowboys' home opener.

With a suffocating defense and finally having some short scoring drives, the Cowboys won 16-10 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday despite again being far from perfect and still unsure of their real identity.

''To win this game, with the way our defense played, and grind it out,'' Romo said. ''This is a very, very satisfying win, even though it will kind of get lost in the shuffle as you move into the season. ... These are the kind of wins you have to have.''

The Cowboys (2-1) will take them any way they can get them, especially after winning at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants before a 20-point loss at Seattle.

''Ugly is good if we win,'' said Sean Lee, whose interception set up the Cowboys at the Tampa Bay 23 in the first quarter for their only touchdown drive.

Dallas scored twice before halftime when starting in Tampa Bay territory and overcame the miscues by Romo, two on reversed calls that became fumbles. The Cowboys allowed the Bucs (1-2) only 166 total yards - 70 of those coming on their last drive before a failed onside kick attempt in the final 40 seconds.

Romo and the Cowboys didn't even mind going into victory formation and having to take a couple of extra kneel-downs against the Bucs, who a week earlier made a big push against the New York Giants in a similar situation that raised the ire of coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning.

On Sunday, players from both sides were shaking hands both times new Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano called timeouts. The sidelines were emptying with 4 seconds left when there was an offside penalty called, though that ended the game.

''We need to stop being known for the kneel-down play,'' Schiano said. ''We need to be known for winning football games.''

Romo was unscathed on the extra snaps after the timeouts. The Cowboys were obviously prepared for the kind of game-ending plays that Schiano said would remain in his playbook, and had worked when he coached at Rutgers.

Schiano and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett cordially spoke at midfield after the game.

DeMarco Murray had an 11-yard TD run and Dan Bailey kicked field goals of 32, 26 and 22 yards for the Cowboys.

But Dallas had 13 penalties for 105 yards, including four against right tackle Doug Free (three false starts and a holding call). There were also more dropped passes, including a likely touchdown off the fingers of Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten running alone on the final play of the third quarter.

''The big thing is we won one, even though there were a lot of things that could cause you to lose one,'' owner Jerry Jones said. ''Romo told me that was a Pittsburgh game out there, not looking pretty but finding a way to get a win. The defense bailed us out.''

Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman fumbled both times he was sacked, though the Bucs managed to recover both. One was on third down at their own 1, setting up Dez Bryant's 45-punt return to the 6 before Bailey's final field goal with 2:43 left.

The Bucs got 70 of their yards after that for Connor Barth's 28-yard field goal.

Dallas hadn't started a drive in the opponents' territory this season until Lee's two-handed interception off a deflected pass. That led to the tying touchdown by Murray, the first rushing score by a Cowboys running back in 10 games.

A muffed punt recovered by Orie Lemon at the Bucs 39, with a 15-yard personal foul penalty tacked on, set up Bailey's first field goal in the second quarter.

Schiano won two challenges on plays in the third quarter, though his team failed to take advantage after both resulted in fumbles by Romo, who completed 25 of 39 passes for 283 yards. They punted both times.

Romo was in the grasp of Gerald McCoy with his right arm extended, when he flicked the ball forward in what was initially ruled an incomplete pass. Officials watched the replay and determined the ball was loose when Romo tried to push it out, and called it a fumble recovered by Gary Gibson at the 19.

The Bucs got to the Cowboys 42 before punting, but quickly got another chance after another challenge.

Michael Bennett, the younger brother of former Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett, pushed around Witten and sacked Romo, knocking the ball loose. Officials blew the whistle and indicated Romo was down, even as Eric Wright ran with the ball toward the end zone.

Schiano threw his red challenge beanie again, and the play was then ruled a fumble recovered at the Dallas 31. An intentional grounding penalty and two incompletions led to another punt.

''Every week we're coming together, but there is one thing holding us back every week,'' Bennett said. ''We just have to figure out how to play a complete game. That's going to come sooner than later. ''

The Bucs had a quick 7-0 lead after Romo - who had 11 TDs with no interceptions his previous three games against them - was picked off by Aqib Talib on the fourth play of the game at the Cowboys 29.

That led to Luke Stocker's 1-yard TD catch from Freeman, who hit only 10 of 28 passes for 110 yards.

Notes: Buccaneers DE Adrian Clayborn left with a knee injury. Schiano said he would have tests Monday. .. Cowboys S Barry Church ruptured his Achilles tendon and will have season-ending surgery Monday.

---

Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

View Comments
  • Johnson, Palat, MacKinnon up for rookie award

    Johnson, Palat, MacKinnon up for rookie award

    Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat are finalists for the NHL's top rookie award. They're joined by Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche in the running for the Calder Trophy. Johnson had a rookie team-record 24 goals … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • NFL-Seahawks and Packers to kick off new season

    The Seattle Seahawks open the defence of their Super Bowl crown and kick off the 2014-15 season at home against the Green Bay Packers, the National Football League (NFL) announced on Wednesday. The Sept. 4 league opener will mark the Packers' first … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • Blues C Backes scratched for Game 4

    Blues C Backes scratched for Game 4

    St. Louis center David Backes was scratched Wednesday night for Game 4 of the Blues' first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks due to an upper-body injury. Backes did not participate in St. Louis' morning skate, but coach Ken … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago
  • 'Grandfather' Phelps plays down Rio prospects

    'Grandfather' Phelps plays down Rio prospects

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps is playing down expectations about his return to competitive swimming but the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a mind-boggling 18 gold medals, is finding it tough to sell himself as an … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Swimming-'Grandfather' Phelps plays down Rio prospects

    * Phelps plays down expectations * Drops one of three races for comeback meet * Hints that he wants to compete at Rio in 2016 (Recasts with quotes) By Julian Linden PHOENIX, April 23 (Reuters) - Michael Phelps is playing down expectations about … More »

    Reuters - 11 minutes ago
  • Sanchez's slam in 11th lifts Giants

    Sanchez's slam in 11th lifts Giants

    Backup catcher Hector Sanchez played a starring role in a wild win. Sanchez hit two of San Francisco's six homers, including a grand slam in the 11th inning Wednesday that gave the Giants a thrilling 12-10 victory over the Colorado Rockies. With … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • 2014 NFL schedule: NFL's partnership with CBS leads to better Thursday night games

    2014 NFL schedule: NFL's partnership with CBS leads to better Thursday night games

    Green Bay will start the regular season on the road against Seattle on September 4 on a Thursday night in Week 1. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 17 minutes ago
  • Pau Gasol: 'There'd have to be significant changes' for me to return to Lakers in free agency

    Pau Gasol: 'There'd have to be significant changes' for me to return to Lakers in free agency

    In a post on his personal website, the Spaniard discusses the chances that his time with the Los Angeles Lakers has reached its end. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 17 minutes ago
  • Henderson Denies Haslem

    Henderson Denies Haslem

    Gerald Henderson comes from across the lane for the big block on Udonis Haslem at the rim. … More »

    NBA.com - 29 minutes ago
  • McRoberts to Henderson

    McRoberts to Henderson

    Josh McRoberts skips the three-pointer and hits Gerald Henderson with a lob for the alley-oop jam. … More »

    NBA.com - 34 minutes ago
  • Pineda ejected for substance on neck

    Pineda ejected for substance on neck

    New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from a game against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning Wednesday night after umpires found a foreign substance on his neck. Pineda's ejection occurred 13 days after the right-hander had brown … More »

    AP - Sports - 39 minutes ago
  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected from Red Sox game after umpire finds substance on neck

    Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected from Red Sox game after umpire finds substance on neck

    BOSTON - New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from a game against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning Wednesday night after umpires found a foreign substance on his neck. Pineda's ejection occurred 13 days after the right-hander … More »

    The Canadian Press - 40 minutes ago
  • After 500th HR, Pujols hears from Big Papi, Jeter

    After 500th HR, Pujols hears from Big Papi, Jeter

    In the hours after Albert Pujols hit his 500th career homer, his cellphone kept buzzing early into Wednesday morning. There were texts and calls from the likes of fellow players David Ortiz and Derek Jeter. And there was a conversation with his … More »

    AP - Sports - 41 minutes ago
  • Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers

    Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers

    As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL's regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4. It's the third straight season the Packers have traveled to face the defending Super Bowl champions. ''It's a … More »

    AP - Sports - 42 minutes ago
  • Stephen Curry: Warriors aren't 'going to lie down' against Clippers

    Stephen Curry: Warriors aren't 'going to lie down' against Clippers

    After losing by 40 points in Game 2, Stephen Curry vows the Warriors will be more physical with the Clippers in Game 3. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 43 minutes ago
  • Tracy McGrady makes Sugar Land Skeeters opening day roster

    Tracy McGrady makes Sugar Land Skeeters opening day roster

    Tracy McGrady's baseball dream lives on. … More »

    Big League Stew - 44 minutes ago
  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected after foreign substance discovered on his neck

    Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected after foreign substance discovered on his neck

    The Yankees pitcher was involved in a similar controversy against the Red Sox earlier this month. … More »

    Big League Stew - 49 minutes ago
  • M's end skid at 8 on Seager's walkoff HR

    M's end skid at 8 on Seager's walkoff HR

    With one swing, Kyle Seager hopes he ended his personal skid at the plate and the Seattle Mariners' slide. ''Any time you see the ball hit the ground, it's obviously a big confidence booster,'' Seager said. Thankfully.'' Seager hit a three-run … More »

    AP - Sports - 57 minutes ago
  • James All the Way

    James All the Way

    LeBron James picks up the loose ball and throws down a one-handed slam in transition. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 2 minutes ago
  • Phelps ditches one of his planned comeback events

    Phelps ditches one of his planned comeback events

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps has withdrawn from one of the three events he planned to compete in at his eagerly-anticipated return to competitive swimming. Phelps had entered the heats for the 50 metres freestyle, 100m … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 3 minutes ago
  • 2014 NFL schedule: Thanksgiving will be an NFC party, with some great games

    2014 NFL schedule: Thanksgiving will be an NFC party, with some great games

    It's been a while since every Thanksgiving NFL game was a great matchup. There's always a dud. Not this year. By making a tweak with the networks, the NFL guaranteed three tremendous matchups. The day starts with Chicago at Detroit, followed by … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
  • Benzema strike gives Real edge over holders Bayern

    Benzema strike gives Real edge over holders Bayern

    By Iain Rogers MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid struck early through Karim Benzema and comfortably held Bayern Munich at bay to beat the holders 1-0 on Wednesday and move a step closer to a first Champions League final in 12 years. Chasing a … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
  • Injured players eager to get to work with Colts

    Dwayne Allen spent months envisioning the day he could get back to work for the Colts on the practice field. Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne says he's feeling good about his recovery from a torn ACL in his right knee, though doctors have instructed … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
  • 2014 NFL schedule: Packers-Seahawks 'Fail Mary' reunion kicks off season

    2014 NFL schedule: Packers-Seahawks 'Fail Mary' reunion kicks off season

    The NFL isn't messing around with its 2014 schedule, starting off with Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, a rematch of the Fail Mary game. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
  • Ancelotti happy as Real thrive without much from Ronaldo, Bale

    Ancelotti happy as Real thrive without much from Ronaldo, Bale

    By Iain Rogers MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his team for beating holders Bayern Munich in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final, first leg without their two biggest names taking a leading role. Cristiano Ronaldo, … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 8 minutes ago
  • Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    With the Texas rotation ravaged by injuries early in the season, Martin Perez has more than filled the void. Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and the Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Kidd-Gilchrist's And-one

    Kidd-Gilchrist's And-one

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist draws the foul and gets the tough bucket to fall … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • 2014 NFL regular-season schedule - Week by week

    2014 NFL regular-season schedule - Week by week

    The 2014 NFL season schedule was released Wednesday. See who your favorite team faces and when. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has announced that he and his wife Ashton are divorcing. Wilson made the announcement in a statement released by the Seahawks on Wednesday. He says decisions like this are not easy and respectfully asks … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 13 minutes ago
  • Should the CFL go to a harder salary cap?

    Should the CFL go to a harder salary cap?

    Wednesday's news that the Saskatchewan Roughriders were the only team to exceed the CFL's salary cap in 2013 (they spent $4,417,975 in salaries, $17,975 over the cap) is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, this breaks one pattern; the … … More »

    55 Yard Line - 1 hour 18 minutes ago
  • A's reject 10-year stadium lease offer

    A's reject 10-year stadium lease offer

    The Oakland Athletics say they are stopping negotiations to extend their lease at the Coliseum. A's President Michael Crowley issued the statement Wednesday after the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority said the team owes more than $5 million … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 22 minutes ago
  • Ducks without Getzlaf, Selanne vs. Stars

    Ducks without Getzlaf, Selanne vs. Stars

    DALLAS (AP) -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is out of Game 4 against the Dallas Stars because of an upper-body injury. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
  • Heat extend deal in Miami through 2040

    Saying they reaffirm the team's commitment to the city, the Miami Heat announced Wednesday night that they have agreed to extend their partnership with Miami-Dade County another 10 years through 2040. Heat managing partner Micky Arison, whose team … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 30 minutes ago
  • Formula One boss Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany

    Formula One boss Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany

    By Keith Weir MUNICH (Reuters) - Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone goes on trial for bribery in Germany on Thursday in a case that could see the Briton's long dominance of the motor sport ended by a jail sentence. Prosecutors in Munich … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 35 minutes ago
  • Ryan Getzlaf to miss Game 4 versus Stars with upper-body injury

    Ryan Getzlaf to miss Game 4 versus Stars with upper-body injury

    The Anaheim Ducks will be without captain and first-line centre Ryan Getzlaf for Wednesday night's pivotal Game 4 versus the Dallas Stars. According to the team, Getzlaf will miss the game with an upper-body injury. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 1 hour 35 minutes ago
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

    Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

    Michael Phelps is making a comeback after nearly two years out of the pool for the simplest of reasons: He missed the sport that has been his entire life. ''Looking at a black line for hours on end, I don't know what made me do it,'' he said … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 36 minutes ago
  • Red Sox demote struggling OF Nava

    The Red Sox demoted struggling switch-hitting outfielder Daniel Nava and recalled right-hander Alex Wilson on Wednesday. Nava, 31, was a big part of Boston's run to the 2013 World Series title, but was hitting just .149 with two homers and three … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
  • James Spins and Hits

    James Spins and Hits

    LeBron James spins off his defender and lays it in. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
  • Maddon: Escobar 4-2 strikeout should be walk

    Maddon: Escobar 4-2 strikeout should be walk

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has an interesting suggestion after Yunel Escobar's stuck out a pitch with a 4-2 count: give him credit for a walk. Escobar struck out in the fifth inning Tuesday night after the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 42 minutes ago
  • Horschel aiming to defend Zurich title

    Horschel aiming to defend Zurich title

    There's something about the rhythm of life in the Big Easy that appeals to Billy Horschel, who acknowledges that he can be a little ''hyper'' for even his own liking on the PGA Tour. Horschel earned his first PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 43 minutes ago