Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 11/18/12
ARLINGTON, Texas Dan Bailey drilled a 38-yard field goal in overtime and the Cowboys escaped with a 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns after trailing 13-0 at halftime. Here are my thoughts on the Cowboys pulling to 5-5 on Sunday at Cowboys Stadium. 1.) No play better symbolized the Cowboys' day than a fourth-and-1 pass early in the fourth quarter. Tony Romo threw short to fullback Lawrence Vickers out of the backfield but it wasn't as easy as it should've been. Vickers jumped and fully extended, catching the ball at its highest point before falling backwards. You could hear the collective gasp from the 81,936 inside Cowboys Stadium. Dallas moved the chains and later in the drive grabbed their first lead on a go-ahead touchdown. Nothing ever comes easy for this Cowboys team, not even against a 2-7 Cleveland squad. Enjoy the remainder of the season, folks. It'll certainly be interesting. 2.) Robert Griffin III shouldn't be nervous to face the Cowboys defense when the Washington Redskins come to Cowboys Stadium on Thursday. It's not because Rob Ryan's group isn't good, it's because they haven't done much this year against rookie QBs. Seattle's Russell Wilson and Cleveland's Brandon Weeden looked like seasoned veterans against a pass rush that was non-existent for the majority of those games. Wilson was 15-of-20 passing and posted a 112.7 quarterback rating. Weeden was 20-of-35 with two touchdowns and a 93.7 QB rating. RGIII is better than both, so the defense will have to play much better to get a Thanksgiving Day win. 3.) The Cowboys wouldn't have battled back to take the lead without Dez Bryant. Say what you want about him backpedaling out of bounds a yard short of a first down but he goes hard on nearly every play. Even when the team was struggling, the 24-year-old's determination never faded. Bryant's career day was a spark for the Cowboys Sunday. He finished with 12 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. Browns top corner Joe Haden was held out because of injury and that certainly made things easier on Bryant. Either way, a very good day for one of the Cowboys' biggest playmakers. 4.) The Cowboys offensive line might have played its worst game of the season. It was projected to be a weakness entering the year, and that's with Phil Costa and Tyron Smith in the starting lineup. Against the Browns, Costa was out with an ankle injury and Smith was sidelined after injuring his left ankle in the opening quarter. The group of Doug Free, Derrick Dockery, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings and Jeremy Parnell didn't give Romo many opportunities to survey the field Sunday as he was sacked seven times. That was also a significant factor in the offense managing only 68 yards in the first half with 17 coming on the ground. The Cowboys kept their playoff hopes alive by surviving an ugly game but they need Smith and Costa back to have a realistic shot of playing in the postseason. 5.) Despite the victory, I still don't know how good this Cowboys team is. Sunday's game went from being a complete disaster to a nail-biting victory. They deserve some credit for that. But this is the group Jerry Jones constantly compares to the 2011 New York Giants, a team that got healthy and made a run to the Super Bowl. I still don't see that and I'm not sure how Jones can, either. Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
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