Dallas 30, Seattle 23: Just a Different Team

Rolando McClain's interception secured the fifth win of the season for the Dallas Cowboys.

Rolando McClain’s interception secured the fifth win of the season for the Dallas Cowboys.

This is your weekly reminder that the Dallas Cowboys are winning games they would have lost during the past four years. Thanks for tuning in.

In 2012, for example, the Cowboys traveled to Seattle after what many thought was a significant win over the New York Giants to open the season.

The Seahawks punched the Cowboys in the mouth, figuratively speaking.  Dallas fumbled the opening kickoff, leading to a Seattle field goal. The Seahawks then returned a blocked punt for a touchdown in the first quarter. Dallas looked defeated before the first quarter ended and eventually lost the game, 27-7.

Two years later, the Cowboys were 4-1 as they headed back to Seattle. The Seahawks seldom lose at home. Most thought Seattle would again punch the Cowboys in the mouth, figuratively speaking, and the Cowboys would limp back to Dallas.

Sure enough, Seattle blocked a punt in the first quarter. Like the 2012 game, Dallas found itself behind 10-0 in the first quarter.

It was ov…

Well, no, it wasn’t over. The Cowboys not only tied the game in the second quarter but also took a 17-10 lead. In fact, Dallas had drives of 10 and 15 plays during the second quarter and held the ball for nearly 75 percent of that quarter.

Even when Dwayne Harris muffed a punt, which Seattle returned for a touchdown, Dallas was not out of it.

Seattle took a three-point lead. Dallas tied it.

Seattle took another three-point lead. With 8:16 remaining, Dallas needed to drive to tie the game.

But then the Cowboys faced a 3rd-and-20 from their own 31. Less than five minutes remained. A punt could allow Seattle to exhaust the clock.

Seattle put pressure on Tony Romo, who limped around much of the game. He somehow managed to escape the rush before releasing a pass in the general direction of both Jason Witten and Terrance Williams.

Williams snagged the ball and dragged his toes inbounds for a 23-yard gain. First down. It was, like many other plays this year, something the Cowboys had not seen in quite some time.

Three plays later, DeMarco Murray gave Dallas a 27-23 lead with a touchdown run. Although the Cowboys were unable to run out the clock on offense, Rolondo McClain’s interception with less than 50 seconds remaining secured the win for Dallas.

Yes, this author predicted a 3-13 finish. That 3-13 team is now 5-1. Who would have thought.

Dallas 20, Houston 17: No More Here We Go Again?

Terrance Williams caught his fifth touchdown pass in Sunday's win over the Houston Texans.

Terrance Williams caught his fifth touchdown pass in Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans.

In 2010, the Dallas Cowboys would have folded in half after blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

They would done the same thing in 2011. And 2012. And 2013.

But this current team is just full of surprises. The Cowboys could not maintain a 17-7 lead in the final three minutes of regulation.

Dallas had a shot to put the game away in regulation, but Dan Bailey missed his first field goal in his last 31 attempts on the final play of the fourth quarter.

In overtime, Houston moved the ball into Dallas territory near midfield but had to punt. The Cowboys got the ball but faced a 3rd-and-8 on their own 32.

From there, Dez Bryant made the highlight-reel pass of the season thus far, hauling in a 37-yard pass to give the Cowboys the ball at the Houston 31.

Two plays later, Bailey redeemed himself, nailing a 49-yarder to give the Cowboys their fourth straight win.

It marks the first time since the Cowboys have had a four-game winning streak.  Dallas has not been 4-1 since 2008.

DeMarco Murray rushed for 136 yards on 31 carries, giving him a total of 670 in only five games. (Have to mention his latest fumble parenthetically, though.) Bryant had nine receptions for 85 yards.

Had Bryant not stolen the show with this overtime reception, the players making the best play would have been Tony Romo and Terrance Williams. Romo dodged J.J. Watt and heaved a pass to Williams in the end zone. The touchdown gave Dallas a 10-7 lead.

Bryant caught a short touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give Dallas a 17-7 lead.

The Cowboys have a tough game next week as they travel to Seattle.

Dallas Cowboys: Ten Pivotal Regular Season Games, Part 3 (1971)

The Dallas Cowboys turned their 1971 season around during week 8 and never looked back.

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Dallas 38, New Orleans 17: A Stunning Blowout

The Dallas Cowboys raced out to a 24-0 lead in the first half and blew out the New Orleans Saints, 38-17.

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Dallas Cowboys: Ten Pivotal Regular Season Games, Part 2 (1970)

The Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins on November 22, 1970, sparking a winning streak that led Dallas to Super Bowl V.

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Answer five trivia questions about comeback wins in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.

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Dallas 34, St. Louis 31: Improbable Life

The Dallas Cowboys erased a 21-0 deficit to beat the St. Louis Rams.

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Answer five questions related to an animation from a game between the Dallas Cowboys and L.A. Rams.

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The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on December 5, 1965, sparking a winning streak that began the team’s first successful run.

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