Romo threw for 308 yards -- the most of his young career as a
starter -- and two touchdowns, including a 51-yarder to Terrell
Owens, and the Dallas Cowboys dominated Arizona 27-10 on Sunday.
The Cowboys (5-4) showed no signs of a hangover from their
heartbreaking loss to Washington the previous week and turned two
interceptions by Matt Leinart into second-half touchdowns, sending
the Cardinals (1-8) to their eighth straight loss.
"We weren't perfect," Dallas coach Bill Parcells said, "but I
thought it was a pretty good performance considering the
disappointment we had last week."
Romo was 20-of-29 with no interceptions and wasn't sacked in
Dallas' third consecutive road game. All three of his starts have
come on the road. Next up is his home debut against Peyton Manning
and the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts next Sunday.
"I'm never looking forward to a shootout," Romo said. "I'd
rather have us hold them to about three points, but it will be fun
this week. This is why you play the game."
Crayton caught five passes for a career-best 104 yards,
including a 34-yarder for the Cowboys' first score. He came away
unimpressed with Arizona's pass defense.
"We're used to playing against a lot better secondary in
practice," Crayton said. "When you come against a secondary like
we did today, we had to take advantage of it."
As bad as Arizona has been over the years, its losing streak is
its longest since dropping the final eight under Joe Bugel in 1991.
The Cardinals, in their third season under coach Dennis Green,
haven't started a season 1-8 since 1978, when they were in St.
Louis and coached by Bud Wilkinson.
"I mean, we're 1-8. I'm just running out of things to say in
terms of what we need to do," said Larry Fitzgerald, who returned
from a three-week absence but aggravated a hamstring injury late in
the game. "It's just so frustrating that we're not able to move
the ball down the field with all the talent we have."
Owens, who vowed to make amends after dropping a sure TD against
the Redskins, dropped the first pass thrown to him Sunday, too. But
it was a nice day after that. Owens caught five for 96 yards,
including the 51-yarder down the sidelines -- his longest catch
since coming to Dallas -- to put the Cowboys up 20-3 with 5:15 left
in the third quarter.
"I didn't start typically like I want to, but we ended up like
we wanted to," Owens said. "... I just wanted to try to make the
play. With everybody harping on my drops, I was just trying to do
some things once I got my hands on the ball."
Whatever celebration Owens did went unnoticed.
"You just didn't see it," he said.
Moments later, Leinart's pass bounced off the hands of intended
receiver Anquan Boldin and was picked off by Patrick Watkins, who
returned it 24 yards to the Arizona 39. That led to Marion Barber's
5-yard touchdown run that gave Dallas a 27-3 lead 43 seconds into
the final quarter.
Fitzgerald had catches of 15 and 38 yards as Arizona drove 78
yards in seven plays to cut it to 27-10 on Leinart's 3-yard run
with 11:53 remaining.
Leinart fell to 0-5 as a starter and had his third consecutive
"I'm just so mad at myself," Leinart said. "Two turnovers
that lead to 14 points, you can't have that. That's my fault.
That's a good football team, but we didn't make the plays when we
needed to, and a lot of that falls on me. I'm real disappointed in
the way I'm playing right now."
With Dallas leading 13-3, the Cardinals moved to the Cowboys 49,
but Akin Ayodele intercepted Leinart's pass over the middle. A
facemask penalty against Arizona's Reggie Wells moved the ball to
the Cowboys 49. On the next play, Owens beat defender Eric Green
and was wide open down the sidelines for a touchdown that put
Dallas ahead 20-7.
The Cowboys never trailed, converting two third-and-8 situations
in a late first-quarter drive that ended with Mike Vanderjagt's
28-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
Dallas added its only first-half touchdown on its next
possession. Romo capped a seven-play, 78-yard drive with his TD
pass to Crayton with 8:33 to go.
Leinart's 43-yard pass to Boldin set up Neil Rackers' 28-yard
field goal that cut the lead to 10-3 with 3:31 to play in the half.
After the kickoff, the Cowboys were backed up to second-and-22
from their nine, but Barber ran 12 yards and Romo connected with
Crayton for a 34-yard play and a first down. Vanderjagt's 38-yard
field goal as the half ended put Dallas ahead 13-3.
Dallas lost starting defensive end Greg Ellis to a left
Achilles' tendon injury early in the fourth quarter. ... The
Cardinals are 11-29 since Green took over as coach. ... Arizona has
scored 33 points in three games since Mike Kruczek replaced Keith
Rowen as offensive coordinator. ... The Cowboys play five of their
last seven at home.