A fourth-quarter comeback. An overtime drive. A winning touchdown pass to Jason Witten.
Yep, just the way Tony used to do it.
For rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, the magic continued Sunday, even on a night when he finally showed signs of being, well, only human.
Backed into a 10-point hole by the feisty Philadelphia Eagles as the fourth quarter began, Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys stormed from behind to win in overtime 29-23.
A 90-yard touchdown drive had tied the game with 3:04 in regulation remaining. And in the extra period, Prescott took the Cowboys 75 yards in 12 plays, finding Witten alone in the end zone for the winning score.
Yep, just the way Tony Romo used to do it.
“It was supposed to be a quick pass, the ball coming out quick,” Prescott explained later. “But I didn’t see anything open, so I decided to circle around and Witten, clear as day, was right there.”
It remains to be seen, of course, what path Owner Jones will take to resolve the issue of Romo’s return and Prescott’s sorcery.
Truth be told, much of Prescott’s first meeting with the Eagles was a struggle. At one point in the fourth quarter, the rookie had completed only 9 of 22 passes.
He was intercepted once — could have been picked off two or three times more, as Prescott and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan tried in earnest to get the football to Dez Bryant.
But the Philadelphia defense blanketed Dez like Velveeta on a cheese steak. Bryant had only two catches entering the fourth quarter.
A good offense, however, doesn’t just take what the defense gives them, as the old coaching bromide says. It takes what it has to, and that meant Prescott feeding the ball to Ezekiel Elliott and throwing to Bryant and dependable Cole Beasley down the stretch.
“All credit to the defense,” Prescott said.”It was not a great first half by me. I’ve got to be better and more consistent.
“We were sloppy at times, but we got it right when we needed to.”
The game-tying, 22-yard touchdown catch was Bryant at his clawing, reaching, athletic best.
It capped a remarkable drive that consumed 5 1/2 minutes and appeared to finally take a toll on the Philadelphia defense. The possession began at the Cowboys’ 10-yard line, and on the second play Elliott burst around left end for 63 yards to the Eagles’ 15.
The play was called back, however, because of a holding penalty, one of 11 times the Cowboys were flagged during the night.
In effect, it served as nearly a 70-yard penalty. But eight plays later, the Cowboys had most of the 70 yards back and Prescott hit Bryant, who had Nolan Carroll draped against him.
The stats sheet effectively told the struggle. Bryant was targeted 14 times during the night and finished with four catches. But the touchdown and a 53-yard pass play figured in two of the Cowboys’ three touchdowns.
For Prescott, the numbers also bore the scars of the night’s labors. He completed 19 of 39 passes for 287 yards and threw his second interception of the season. His quarterback rating was a very human-like 79.8.
But he did things — Dak things — especially when it counted. His run on the read-option for the Cowboys’ first touchdown was a play that Romo likely could not have executed, if in fact Linehan would have called it for Tony at all.
And again on the game-winning touchdown, Prescott’s running ability allowed him to circle around, buy time and find Witten.
The crowd erupted. The Cowboys celebrated.
They and their rookie quarterback are 6-1. And the magic continues.