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Cowboys Doomed By Turnovers And Penalties, Lose 34-27

(Sports Network) – Chris Johnson rushed for 131 yards and two scores on 19 carries as Tennessee clipped Dallas, 34-27, at Cowboys Stadium.

Despite completing just 12-of-25 passes, Vince Young threw for 173 yards and a pair of scores for the Titans (3-2), who have won three of their last four overall and 11 straight against NFC opponents.

Kenny Britt posted 86 yards and a TD reception on four catches, Nate Washington registered a 24-yard catch for a score and Rob Bironas hit both his field goal tries in the victory.

“This shows how much fight we have,” Young said. “We’ve been playing good and we didn’t get forced into turnovers. Special teams, offense and defense, we brought it all together.”

Tony Romo was 31-of-46 for 406 yards and three touchdowns, but was picked off three times for the Cowboys (1-3), who were coming off a win at Houston two weeks ago.

“I don’t know how many times I can say it, it’s just frustrating,” Romo said. “One and three doesn’t sit very well with me. It’s very difficult. We need to find a way to play our best football.”

Miles Austin led all receivers with nine catches for 166 yards and a score, while Roy Williams and Jason Witten also hauled in TD passes. Felix Jones rushed 15 times for 109 yards in the setback.

With under eight minutes to play in regulation and his team at its own 16, Romo was intercepted by Alterraun Verner, who returned the ball to the one- yard line. On the next play, Johnson hit the end zone to give the Titans a 27-20 lead with 7:26 to go.

After Bironas’ kick rolled out of bounds, Dallas responded with a 60-yard drive and tied the game on an 18-yard connection from Romo to Witten with 4 1/2 minutes to play.

Marc Mariani then posted a 73-yard kick return to the Cowboys’ 11, and when a facemask penalty on kicker David Buehler was assessed, the visitors got the ball on the five. Johnson put the Titans ahead with a one-yard plunge on third down.

The Cowboys picked up one first down on the next series, but Romo threw incomplete on a 4th-and-9 from his own 43-yard line on the first play after the two-minute warning, and Tennessee took over.

The visitors went three-and-out but Romo was picked off again, this time by Stephen Tulloch, who brought it back to the Dallas 22. Young kneeled to melt away the remaining time.

Tennessee jumped on top on its first possession, a 24-yard touchdown catch by Washington. Bironas capped the Titans’ next drive with a 52-yard make, but Dallas responded on a 51-yarder from Buehler.

The Titans kept rolling, taking a 17-3 edge early in the second period after a 67-yard sprint in seven plays ended with Britt’s 12-yard TD catch. Johnson’s 29-yard dash into the red zone aided the drive.

Williams’ six-yard catch in the end zone got Dallas within 17-10 with 1:06 to play in the half, then Austin broke free for a 69-yard catch-and-run score on the Cowboys’ first drive of the second half.

Dallas moved to the Titans’ 26 on its next drive, but Buehler missed a 44- yarder wide right.

Romo was then picked off in the end zone by Michael Griffin, and Young found Britt for what might have been an 80-yard touchdown. However, the ruling was reversed upon replay to a down-by-contact, making it a 52-yard catch to the Cowboys’ 28. The drive stalled, but Bironas hit from 40 yards out for a 20-17 Tennessee edge.

Buehler was good from 26 yards away early in the fourth for a 20-20 tie, after Dallas’ ensuing drive fizzled inside the 10.

Game Notes

Tennessee has won two of its last three games in Dallas, dating back to 1997, and improved to 4-3 in north Texas since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger…The Titans also improved to 8-5 all time against the Cowboys…Bironas has made his last seven field-goal tries from 50-or-more yards…Dallas racked up 511 yards of total offense in the loss.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.