Style points are not in the vocabulary for the Cowboys anymore. But neither is a losing record.
And the Cowboys will certainly take the latter after a 23-20 comeback win over the Browns in overtime that ended on Dan Bailey's 38-yard field goal with 6:10 left.
The Cowboys (5-5, 2-1 NFC East) had to rally from a 13-0 halftime deficit and, more important, down 20-17 with 1:07 remaining in regulation.
Romo had his third-straight game without an interception and gave the Cowboys a brief 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, who had a career-high 145 receiving yards on 12 catches.
The Browns (2-8, 1-3 AFC North) drove to the Cowboys' 1 with 1:42 to play but couldn't convert on a Brandon Weeden pass to the end zone. Still, Cleveland used all three timeouts to force a Cowboys punt that was returned 21 yards by Joshua Cribbs. That set up a touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson for Cleveland's 20-17 lead.
Hardluck Cleveland has yet to lose a game by more than 14 points, and seven have been 10 points or fewer.
When the game turned: Although the lead changed hands a few times in the fourth quarter and overtime, it was a play early in the fourth that got the Cowboys back in this game. Once trailing 13-0, the Cowboys turned it around on a 2-yard touchdown run by Felix Jones to cut Cleveland's lead to 13-10. Although it wasn't the most spectacular highlight, it was big for a Cowboys team that has struggled mightily to run the ball in short-yardage situations. It also got the momentum back to the Cowboys, who made a defensive stop and scored on the next offensive possession.
Highlight moments: The teams traded sacks and forced fumbles late in the fourth quarter. Anthony Spencer seemingly put the game away for the Cowboys with a sack, jarring the ball loose from Weeden for the big turnover. But Cleveland responded, and Frostee Rucker knocked the ball from Romo, whose lost fumble led to Cleveland driving the field and eventually scoring a go-ahead touchdown. ... Cleveland TE Watson had two touchdown catches, including a 17-yarder over the middle with 1:07 to play that gave his team a 20-17 lead. ... Cowboys PR Dwayne Harris, who had a crucial touchdown return last week against the Eagles, had another big play Sunday with a 20-yard runback in overtime that led to the game-winning field goal.
Cowboys WR Bryant -- 12 catches, 145 yards, TD
Cowboys QB Romo -- 35 of 50, 313 yards, TD, 93.2 QB rating
Browns TE Watson -- 4 catches, 47 yards, 2 TDs
Cowboys OLB Spencer -- 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
What they said about Cleveland's 12 penalties, including 10 resulting in first downs:
- Browns CB Sheldon Brown -- “I thought a lot of calls were kind of crazy today. I understand we had some calls against us in the secondary, but I don't think (the Cowboys') secondary had any calls. You're telling me that their secondary is playing clean. I think you have to call it both ways.”
- Browns DB T.J. Ward -- “What are you supposed to do when they're pushing you? They are not going to call that. I feel like we were playing one-handed.”
- Cowboys QB Romo -- “I thought our receivers did a nice job of getting open and putting pressure on them. They were called with a few and that was big in the game for us. We did a good job of getting open.”
Numbers you should know: The Cowboys had 30 first downs, but a third were the result of Cleveland penalties. ... The Browns were flagged 12 times, including two for 50 yards in the final drive that led to a game-tying field goal.
Injury update: Cowboys -- Suffered a big blow on the offensive line when LT Tyron Smith left the game with a high-ankle sprain. He didn't return and will likely miss a few games. S
Going forward: Dallas -- The Cowboys have a quick turnaround this week, playing the Redskins Thursday on Thanksgiving. Although there are some young players on this team, most have experienced the quick turnaround. Sunday's game with the Browns was the first of three home games at Cowboys Stadium. Cleveland -- The Browns have a tough home game with Pittsburgh next week but then get three winnable games against the Raiders, Chiefs and Redskins.