Cowboys 19, Panthers 14

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Dallas Cowboys produced barely enough offense despite stretches of efficiency from quarterback Tony Romo to pull out a 19-14 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.
Dallas pulled ahead for good on Dan Bailey's 28-yard field goal with 3:25 left.
The Cowboys defense did the rest. The Panthers picked up one first down before failing to convert on fourth-and-2 from their own 39-yard line with 2:08 to play. Bailey tacked on his fourth field with a 38-yarder at the 53-seconds mark.
The Panthers never made it back into Dallas territory.
The Cowboys (3-3) were successful in avoiding their first three-game losing streak since 2010. Dallas has won nine straight in the series, including five in Charlotte.
The Panthers (1-5), coming off an open week on the schedule, couldn't get untracked often enough behind quarterback Cam Newton.
Carolina took the lead early in the fourth quarter. After managing only one first down in the third quarter, the Panthers marched 75 yards in nine plays. Mike Tolbert's 2-yard run after a pair of Dallas penalties -- unnecessary roughness and a third-down defensive holding -- sent Carolina back ahead at 14-13 following the extra-point kick.
Romo and Miles Austin hooked up on consecutive pass plays of 36 and 26 yards, the latter a go-ahead touchdown midway through the third quarter. Austin has a team-high four touchdowns.
Dallas pushed its lead to 13-7 on Bailey's 49-yard field goal with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter.
Carolina forged a 7-3 halftime edge, converting on the second of two trips deep inside Dallas territory.
The Panthers drove to the Dallas 6 in the second quarter, using Newton's 24-yard third-down scramble and the quarterback's 21-yard burst. The threat ended when Newton was hit as he released a pass and Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne made a diving interception in the end zone.
The next time the Panthers had possession, they worked into the red zone and scored when receiver Brandon LaFell reached the ball across the goal line to complete a 5-yard pass play from Newton.
The scoring play, which came with 14 seconds left in the first half and resulted in LaFell's second touchdown catch of the season, gave Carolina's offense its first touchdown in two games. The team's only touchdown in the previous game against Seattle came on an interception return.
The Cowboys settled for a 19-yard field goal from Bailey on the second play of the second quarter to open the scoring, capping an 18-play, 91-yard drive.
Dallas moved into Carolina territory on its next possession, but a fumble by Austin ended that opportunity. The ball was jarred loose by Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, with linebacker Luke Kuechly recovering.
Newton had 64 first-half rushing yards, which was 3 yards less than all other players in the game combined.
Romo completed 12 of 15 first-half passes, but none went for more than 15 yards.
When Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee left in the third quarter with a foot injury, former Carolina linebacker Dan Connor took his place.
Notes: Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray, the team's leading rusher, missed the game with a sprained foot sustained a week earlier against Baltimore. ... Dallas lost C Phil Costa to an ankle injury in the second quarter. ... Panthers OT Jordan Gross tied the team record for career starts with 141. ... Panthers WR Steve Smith has at least one reception in 81 consecutive games. ... Panthers LB Jon Beason missed his second game in a row with a knee injury, with Kuechly filling in by switching from outside linebacker to middle linebacker. ... CB Chris Gamble, a starter, was also inactive for the Panthers.

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