The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 22, 2012

Cowboys barely skin Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Romo knows how to win a close game, something Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers still haven’t figured out.

Romo led the Cowboys into field-goal range and Dan Bailey converted a 28-yarder with 3:25 remaining to lift the Dallas Cowboys to a 19-14 win on Sunday.

Bailey had four field goals and Romo threw for 227 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys defeated the Panthers for the ninth straight time in the regular season. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Cowboys (3-3) and helped ease some pressure from their highly criticized 31-29 loss to Baltimore last week in a game marred by poor clock management.

“When you think about some of the adversity we’ve encountered this season, our focus remains on just getting better,” said Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware. “We have been doing that, and this week being able to go out and close a game let us know that hey, we can do it.”

Romo said the Cowboys never bought into the idea that the sky was falling after last week’s loss.

“You know that every week you’re either great or terrible — or at least semi-terrible or semi-great,” Romo said. “What you find in this league is all you need to do is figure out how to get better and play your best football when it counts.”

Just in case everyone wasn’t buying in, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett invited former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs — yes, their old rival — to speak to players at the team’s chapel service Saturday night.

Gibbs’ message was that everyone makes mistakes, but what’s important is how you handle adversity.

The Cowboys seemed to listen.

“We did a good job of bouncing back and finding a way to win a game today,” Garrett said.

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