Dan Bailey

Dallas Cowboys survive scare thanks to Dan Bailey's Golden Toe

It took overtime, but the Dallas Cowboys were able to skate by the Cleveland Browns 23-20. Thanks to a pair of clutch Dan Bailey field goals.

The first came with six seconds remaining in the game, only minute after the Browns scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:07 left. Before that point the Cowboys had the momentum after stuffing Cleveland on the goal-line with less than two minutes remaining, but a nice Josh Cribbs return coupled with a horse collar tackle by John Phillps put the Browns on Dallas’ 17-yard line and in position to win the game.

The Browns took advantage of the opportunity.

On the very next play Brandon Weeden made his best throw of the game with a strike over the middle to Benjamin Watson for the go-ahead touchdown. 

The score put the Browns up by three, but a gutsy last-minute drive led by Tony Romo put Bailey in position for his game-tying kick.

In overtime each team failed to score on its first possession, making the game a sudden death contest. But Dallas got the ball back and wasn't about to waste another opportunity to win.

The Cowboys began the drive on Cleveland’s 48, but after a few short slants between Romo and Miles Austin they quickly reached the Browns 20.

From there, Bailey’s automatic leg ended the game on a 38-yard field goal. Bailey went 3-of-3 on field goal attempts and his teammates didn’t doubt for a second that he’d win them the game.

“I call Dan Bailey golden toe,” Cowboys safety Danny McCray said. “To me he’s automatic within his range... It was never a worry, we’re pretty sure Dan’s going to make every kick.”

Cowboy’s Jason Witten (82) runs into the end zone despite Patriot’s cornerback Devin McCourt’s attempt to stop him.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady got the offense going just in time to lead the New England Patriots to the winning touchdown in the final minute of a 20-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Brady threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds left, and the Patriots’ top-ranked offense overcame the Cowboys’ stingy defense.

Dan Bailey’s 26-yard field goal had broken a 13-13 tie with 5:13 left. Each team ran one series before the Patriots got the ball after a punt with 2:30 remaining. Brady then completed eight of nine passes for 78 yards on an 80-play drive capped by his pass to Hernandez in the middle of the end zone.

New England (5-1) won despite its first two lost fumbles of the season and Brady’s two interceptions. He finished the game 27 of 41 for 289 yards with two touchdowns.

Dallas (2-3) ended a five-game road winning streak after a bye despite coming back from a 13-3 deficit midway through the second quarter. Tony Romo was 27 of 41 for 317 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Until the final drive, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was headed for his second straight strong game against the Patriots.

He held that job with Cleveland when the Browns beat the Patriots 34-14 last Nov. 7. Since then, the Patriots had scored at least 30 points in 13 consecutive games. That streak ended Sunday, but New England still won.

The regular-season win was Brady’s 20th straight at home, and the Patriots 31st in a row at Gillette Stadium.

They took a 3-0 lead on their first possession on a 31-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. It began when Kyle Arrington intercepted a pass that Dez Bryant failed to reach for on a medium-range slant pattern.

The Cowboys tied it on Bailey’s 48-yard field goal after Terence Newman intercepted a pass by Brady that was tipped by defensive end Kenyon Coleman.

New England turned the ball over again on the kickoff after the field goal when Gerald Sensabaugh recovered a fumble by Matthew Slater, the first fumble lost by the Patriots this season. But Dallas gave the ball right back five plays later when Tashard Choice fumbled and Gerard Warren recovered.

The Patriots capitalized with a 26-yard field goal by Gostkowski with 12:07 left in the half for a 6-3 lead. They made it 13-3 on their next possession on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Wes Welker. Officials ruled initially that Welker had gone out of bounds as he reached the ball out toward the goal line but that was overturned on video review.

That put Brady into eight place in NFL history with 276 touchdown passes, one more than Vinny Testaverde.

Dallas cut the lead to 13-10 at halftime, marching 93 yards on 11 plays to score on Romo’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Witten, the star tight end’s first catch of the game, with 33 seconds left.

The Cowboys tied it on Bailey’s 22-yard field goal with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter.