ARLINGTON, Texas — Peyton Manning spent all afternoon putting the Broncos in the end zone during a wild shootout with Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.
The last time he got the ball, Manning kept Denver out of the end zone — and that was the best way to win the game.
The four-time MVP kept up his record pace for touchdown passes, Matt Prater kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired after an interception by Romo spoiled the first 500-yard game in Dallas history, and the Broncos stayed unbeaten with a 51-48 victory Sunday.
“It was pretty amazing that it came down to the defense making a big play at the end,” Denver coach John Fox said. “Thank God our offense kept us in the game all day long.”
In the waning seconds of one of the highest-scoring thrillers in NFL history, Manning ensured that his kicker — not Romo — had the last chance to score.
And with that, the Broncos ran their total to 230 points this season — the most by an NFL team through the first five games.
The Broncos (5-0) had moved the ball to the Dallas 2 after Danny Trevathan’s diving interception at the 24 in the final 2 minutes.
Needing a first down but not a touchdown so they could run out the clock, Manning and Knowshon Moreno shouted at each other in the backfield just before the snap.
“He basically was asking me, ‘How am I supposed to do that? How can I get a half a yard but not get a yard and a half?”’ said Manning, who threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns to give him a record-setting 20 in the first five games.
“I just said, ‘You can’t! You can’t score! You can’t do it!”’
Moreno managed to pull off the first down without scoring, and Manning took three snaps to drain the clock to 2 seconds for Prater, who also had a 50-yarder among his three field goals.