Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/9/12
It never seems to be easy for the Dallas Cowboys and it was another improbable finish on Sunday. The Bengals led 19-10 entering the final quarter but the visiting Cowboys rallied for a 20-19 last-second victory, keeping their playoff hopes alive. Here are my thoughts on the Cowboys seventh win of the season. 1.) How valuable is Dan Bailey? The quiet Cowboys kicker is easily forgotten but hes as clutch as anyone on the roster. Bailey buried the game-winner from 40 yards away Sunday and probably no one on the team was surprised. Outside of a missed 51-yarder in Baltimore, the second-year standout has been at his best in pressure situations this season. Bailey is 23-of-25 (92 percent) on field goals and 27-for-27 on extra points. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was extremely conservative after the Cowboys got within 40 yards even though critics were probably screaming for a couple more plays to make the attempt more manageable. Bailey walked on, put his head down and made his coach look good when it mattered most. 2.) Theres obviously no way of determining the impact that Jerry Browns death had Sunday on the Cowboys. But one thing is certain, several Cowboys were emotional throughout. The Fox television cameras caught owner and GM Jerry Jones with watery eyes when he talked about Brown a couple hours before kickoff. The emotion from the team during the game was mostly frustration. Rob Ryan dropped a large number of expletives, Jason Witten scolded Jermey Parnell, Tony Romo yelled at Dwayne Harris and Dez Bryant shouted at several Bengals defenders. Did those reactions have anything to do with the awful news they received before leaving for Cincinnati, or were they frustrated by some poor play in a must-win game? Theres no definitive answer but the emotion was obvious, especially as Jason Hatcher walked onto the field after Baileys kick, holding up Browns No. 53 jersey before sharing a hug with Garrett. 3.) The defense made a critical stop when they needed it most in the final minutes but that doesnt excuse another game filled with too many big plays. The Bengals managed eight plays of 16 or more yards on Sunday. If it werent for some uncharacteristically dropped balls by Cincys standout receiver A.J. Green this one might have been over before the final quarter started. Ryan and Jones say they arent using injuries as excuses, so I wont either. The Bengals also did whatever they wanted on the ground, as running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis needed only 12 carries to amass 89 of his teams 146 rushing yards. Fortunately for the Cowboys, they caught former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton on a bad day. Ryan always says the defense will play better and theyll need to if they plan on reaching the postseason. Kudos to Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys outside linebacker was a monster, finishing with two sacks and a team-high 11 tackles. Spencer improved his career-high to 8.5 sacks this season. 4.) Its a miracle that Tony Romo played the entire game. The Cowboys quarterback probably expected to be running for his life against one of the leagues best defensive lines and thats exactly what happened in Cincinnati. Romo was sacked three times but thats only because of his elusiveness. The Bengals defense recorded another nine hits on Romo, and one shot that left him bent backward and appearing to be made of Silly Putty. Romo would never publicly criticize his line but Id love to hear the conversations he has behind closed doors. Something has to change and the Cowboys know it. That was evident by their decision to rotate Doug Free and Parnell at right tackle. 5.) Garrett constantly preaches about being good in all three phases of the game. Thanks to Baileys clutch kick the special teams unit wasnt a total disappointment. But punter Brian Moorman easily had his worst game of the year. Moorman was one of the Bengals most valuable player, giving them favorable field position with punts of 23, 27, 27 and 39 yards on Sunday. When a punter is doing well, they are usually never mentioned. Moormans name was called during the Fox broadcast a lot on Sunday. Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League


NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

Why are Saints holding out on contract talks with Drew Brees?

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker