Overcoming some miscues and a big day from Adrian Peterson, the Cowboys came back to defeat the visiting Vikings 27-23 on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
Quarterback Tony Romo connected with receiver Dwayne Harris on a seven-yard touchdown in the final minute to ultimately secure victory for Dallas (5-4), which has the only winning record in the NFC East.
Four plays before Harris’ touchdown, Romo hit Dez Bryant for a 34-yard completion, which put Dallas just outside Minnesota’s red zone. In an up-and-down day for Bryant, this was the highlight, the reminder of his game-changing ability.
Romo completed 34-of-51 throws for 337 yards for the Cowboys, who leaned heavily on the passing game and had some issues with dropped passes and other mistakes. The Cowboys attempted just nine rushes.
By contrast, the Vikings were propelled by Peterson, their star running back. Peterson was magnificent in defeat, rushing for 140 yards on 25 carries.
The Vikings surged to a 23-20 lead on an 11-yard fourth-quarter TD run by Peterson, who burst through the line and powered his way into the endzone on a 4th-and-1 play. Peterson was met at the Dallas five-yard-line, but he kept his legs going, and with some helpful pushing from teammate Chase Ford, he broke the plane.
Blair Walsh would miss the extra point after the touchdown, keeping Minnesota’s lead at three. The Vikings’ defense would pick him up on the next series, intercepting Romo. However, the Vikings’ next drive stalled, and they elected to punt from the Dallas 41.
The Cowboys would start their next drive on their 10-yard-line with less than three minutes left to play. And from there, Romo went to work, completing 7-of-9 passes for 90 yards, with the touchdown to Harris sealing the game for the Cowboys.
Christian Ponder, Romo’s Minnesota counterpart, completed 25-of-37 passes for 236 yards with one touchdown, but he was picked once, and he lost a fumble in the endzone that Dallas recovered for a touchdown.
The loss drops the Vikings to 1-7. The Vikings host Washington on Thursday night. The Cowboys, in their last game before their bye, play at New Orleans next Sunday.