Romo burns Vikings, Dallas stays atop NFC East

Romo burns Vikings, Dallas stays atop NFC East

Cowboys come from behind to beat Vikings

ARLINGTON, Texas  (AP) --          Tony Romo      got another chance after  throwing a late-game interception at home. This time, he came through.          

      Romo threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead  score to        Dwayne  Harris      with 35 seconds left, and the        Dallas Cowboys      beat the        Minnesota  Vikings      27-23 Sunday.         

      Romo's 7-yard pass to Harris answered an 11-yard touchdown by         Adrian Peterson      that had given Minnesota a 23-20 lead. The East Texas kid raised on the Cowboys  had 140 yards rushing in his first game at      their $1.2 billion stadium.          

The Cowboys (5-4) bounced back from a devastating loss at Detroit by avoiding  what probably would have been a more damaging      defeat.   

" We just have to keep the belief throughout the whole football game,"  said  Romo, who was 34 of 51. " I never doubted that      we would find a way to win  this game, and we did it."    

Christian Ponder      threw for a touchdown and ran for another score against his hometown team, but  it wasn't enough to avoid a fourth straight      loss for the Vikings (1-7).          

Romo's first attempt to answer Peterson's go-ahead score was intercepted on a  great play along the sideline by A.J. Jefferson      - and was a reminder of the  late pick he threw in Dallas' only home loss this year.   

      Dallas didn't get another shot after that play, with        Peyton  Manning      and the        Denver  Broncos      running out the clock and winning 51-48 on a field goal  on the final play.         

But the Vikings couldn't convert this late Romo mistake into points and gave  him the ball back at the Dallas 10 with 2:44      remaining.   

Dez Bryant      had a  34-yard catch that put Dallas in position for at least a tying field goal, which  was possible because        Blair  Walsh      missed wide right on the extra point after Peterson's  touchdown. But Romo kept pushing.         

      He threw 9 yards to        Cole  Beasley      and 5 to        Jason  Witten      , who led Dallas with eight catches for 102 yards. On the  next play, Romo found Harris cutting between defenders in the middle      of the  field, and Harris dived over the goal line.         

      " I think if you pull back and you really look at       Tony Romo       's career, people want to talk about some of these plays where things didn't  work out,"  Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.      " But if you really look at  his body of work and you look at it objectively, he's done this kind of stuff a  lot."          

      Peterson got Minnesota's go-ahead drive earlier in the quarter going  with a 52-yard run, then went the final 11 on fourth-and-1.      He easily got  the first down and carried safety        Jeff  Heath      the last few yards, with Heath trying to strip the ball as  Peterson crossed the goal line.         

" I don't really care about the yards,"  said Peterson, who had 25 carries  and another 37 yards receiving. " I want to get      some Ws. I don't want to  rush for 2,000 yards and be sitting at home watching others play."    

After there was one touchdown between the teams in the first half, there were  three in the first 7 minutes of the third quarter.

Romo had consecutive 26-yard completions to Witten, the second for a  touchdown and a 13-10 lead.

      A week after        Cordarrelle  Patterson      set an NFL record with a 109-yard kickoff return for a  touchdown, he fumbled a short kickoff out of bounds at the Minnesota      5.          

      On the next play,        George  Selvie      knocked the ball out of Ponder's hand in the end zone,  and the Cowboys ended up with touchdowns just 10 seconds apart on the       fumble recovery by        Nick  Hayden      .         

      Ponder, who played high school football in the Dallas suburb of  Colleyville, had an answer, finding Jennings for 27 yards      on third-and-4  before going to        Kyle  Rudolph      , who bounced off        Barry Church      at  the 6 and finished off a 31-yard scoring catch to get the Vikings to 20-17.          

      " I need to be out there playing,"  said Ponder, who was 25 of 37 after  being named starter on Friday, and with       Josh Freeman      inactive because  of a concussion. " For myself and the leaders on this team, we need to get this  turned around and get out      there and win."          

The Cowboys were in position to extend the 20-17 lead when Bryant took his  team out of field goal range with unsportsmanlike      conduct for taking off  his helmet and arguing with officials as a pass interference penalty against him  was about to be announced.   

Bryant, who made headlines last week with a pair of sideline outbursts in a  loss at Detroit, later dropped an easy first-down      catch on second-and-18 on  a drive that ended with a punt.   

" I didn't know anything about the helmet rule,"  said Bryant, who had six  catches for 64 yards. " I knew the play was over      with, and I thought it was  OK. During the timeouts, I always take my helmet off."    

Ponder led a pair of 11-play scoring drives in the first half, the second one  ending on his 6-yard scramble for a 10-6 lead      late in the second quarter.    

NOTES: Peterson played the Cowboys at Texas Stadium his rookie year in 2007.  Before Sunday, that was Dallas' only win in the      past eight games against  the Vikings. ... Witten avoided a four-game streak with fewer than five catches.  It would have been      his first since 2008. ... The Vikings are off to their  worst start since the franchise's debut in 1961.



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