CINCINNATI -- Dan Bailey's 40-yard field goal on the final play of the game completed Dallas' rally from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter and gave the Cowboys a 20-19 win against Cincinnati Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
The win improves Dallas to 7-6 and keeps the Cowboys in contention for the NFC East title and a playoff berth.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 6:35 remaining to pull the Cowboys to within two points. Romo completed 11 of 15 passes for 128 yards in the fourth quarter going 14-of-28 for 140 yards in the first three quarters.
Until Romo's touchdown, it appeared as if the four field goals by Josh Brown would be enough to send the Bengals to their fifth consecutive win. Instead, Cincinnati fell to 7-6 and failed to capitalize on a loss by Pittsburgh that would have given the Bengals sole possession of the sixth and final playoff position in the AFC with three games to play.
The Cowboys finished with 288 yards on the game, with 150 of them coming in the fourth quarter.
Dallas was playing one day after the death of a second NFL player in as many weeks.
Backup nose tackle Josh Brent was arrested in Irving on Saturday on a charge of intoxication manslaughter. The car Brent was driving at a high rate of speed clipped a road curb and flipped, killing Dallas practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown. Both players attended University of Illinois.
Bailey's 37-yard field on the opening drive of the game gave Dallas a 3-0 lead.
The Bengals answered with an 8-yard touchdown by Andrew Hawkins on a shovel pass from quarterback Andy Dalton. Hawkins took the pass while in motion, eluded one tackler at the line of scrimmage and zig-zagged his way around the right end and into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the season.
It would be the only touchdown of the day for Cincinnati on four red zone possessions.
Brown's 25-yard field goal on Cincinnati's second possession increased the Bengals' lead to 10-3.
Dallas tied the score, 10-10, on a 1-yard touchdown run by DeMarco Murray with 10:33 left in the second quarter. The touchdown was set up by a 37-yard interception return by Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr to the Cincinnati 27. It was the first touchdown allowed by the Cincinnati defense in six quarters.
Brown's second field goal gave the Bengals 13-10 at halftime.
Brown added field goals of 25 and 52 yards in the third quarter to push Cincinnati's lead to 19-10.
Cincinnati travels to Philadelphia on Thursday before finishing the season with a road game at Pittsburgh and a home game against division-leading Baltimore. Dallas will host Pittsburgh and New Orleans the next two weeks before closing out the regular season at Washington.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held a prior to kickoff in the memory of Jerry Brown... Dallas quarterback Tony Romo completed his first five passes Sunday after going 10-for-10 for 169 yards and three touchdowns in the second half last week against Philadelphia. ... Dallas running back DeMarco Murray finished with 53 yards on 21 carries. The Cowboys are now 9-0 when Murray has at least 18 carries this season. Cincinnati scored a touchdown on its opening drive for the sixth time this season, the best total in the NFL. It was the fourth time in the last five games they have scored a touchdown on their first possession. ... Bengals center Kyle Cook played in his first game of the season. Cook was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury in the preseason but given the team's return designation. Rookie Trevor Robinson started and the two rotated throughout the game.