Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys (5-1) have had to pick themselves up off the ground, both literally and figuratively.
In Sunday’s match against the Super Bowl champion Seahawks (3-2), Romo took a shot to the ribs from Bobby Wagner that left him on the turf of CenturyLink Field in Seattle for a minute.
Then, with 7 minutes still left in the 1st quarter, Doug Baldwin blocked a punt, and Mike Morgan ran it in for a touchdown to make the score 10-0 Seattle.
Looked like the upstart Cowboys – who finished last season 8-8 and whose defensive woes were the subject of endless preseason punchlines but who had taken advantage of a soft schedule to open the season 4-1 – were going to get exposed at last.
Instead, they summoned still more late-game heroics and went home with an impressive 30-23 road victory in one of the least hospitable environments in the league.
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"I think our team now understands that we do a lot of things pretty well, and I think we have the ability to kind of impose yourself on other teams," Romo told reporters after the game.
The quarterback turned in an impressive performance, going 21-for-32 for 250 yards and two touchdown passes with no interceptions.
Both TD throws were for short yardage to tight ends, the first one, to Gavin Escobar for 2 yards, capped an 80-yard drive that made the score 10-7.
The second, a 3 yard strike to Jason Witten, gave the Cowboys their first lead of the game with 16 seconds left, 17-10.
DeMarco Murray continued his brilliant start to the season, rushing for 115 yards against a defense that hadn’t let a running back gain more than 38 yards this year.
"I really think he has shown his maturity as a back, sticking with us and sticking with it," Dallas tight end Jason Witten said of Murray.
The Cowboys replicated the Seahawks' formula, but performed with more efficiency and had better execution than the home team. Dallas leaned on Murray and controlled the time of possession. They got timely throws from Romo, and the defense confused and flustered Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.
In other action:
BRONCOS 31, JETS 17
Things looked good early for the New York Jets, when quarterback Geno Smith found tight end Gavin Escobar for a score that made the score 7-3.
But as the game progressed, the Broncos (4-1) wore the Jets down, doing their best work running the ball and stopping the Jets' ground game.
Yes, Peyton Manning connected with Julius Thomas twice and Demaryius Thomas once, leaving the Denver quarterback two shy of Brett Favre's record for career touchdown passes. But Ronnie Hillman ran for 100 yards and Denver allowed only 31 yards rushing.
Manning has 506 touchdown passes, and could tie or break Favre's record next Sunday at home against San Francisco.
Demaryius Thomas had 10 catches for 124 yards for Denver, whose last game at MetLife Stadium was a 43-8 loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl.
The Jets (1-5) have lost five in a row.
PANTHERS 37, BENGALS 37, OT
No one came away satisfied in Cincinnati. Especially Mike Nugent.
The Bengals kicker missed a 36-yard field goal attempt on the final play of overtime. It was the Bengals' second tie at home in six years: They finished 13-13 with Philadelphia in their last overtime game at Paul Brown Stadium in 2008.
Nugent made a 42-yard field goal that put Cincinnati (3-1-1) up after the opening drive of overtime. Carolina (3-2-1) tied it on Graham Gano's 36-yarder with 2:19 left.
Andy Dalton was nearly perfect in overtime, going 8 for 9 for 87 yards with one throwaway. He led the Bengals into range to win it, but Nugent sliced the kick wide right.
RAVENS 48, BUCCANEERS 17
At Tampa, Joe Flacco threw for four touchdowns in the first quarter and five altogether — all in the first half. Baltimore (4-2) scored on six straight possessions to begin the game, with Flacco throwing touchdown passes on the first five. Torrey Smith caught the first two, and Kamar Aiken, Michael Campanaro and Steve Smith had the others as the Ravens rebounded from a road loss to Indianapolis.
"It was very enjoyable. You don't get those too often in this league ... It was pretty crazy," Flacco said. "It happened so quickly. It was such an awkward situation, but it was definitely fun for us."
Not for the Buccaneers (1-5), who were embarrassed for the second time in six games under first-year coach Lovie Smith. The Bucs fell 56-14 at Atlanta on Sept. 18.
PATRIOTS 37, BILLS 22
Even with new owners, the Bills can't handle the Patriots.
Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes and had his 60th 300-yard game to improve to 23-2 against the Bills (3-3). Brandon LaFell had two touchdown catches, including a 56-yarder, and the Patriots (4-2) forced three turnovers.
Brady finished 27 of 37 for 361 yards to spoil the Bills' first game under new owners Terry and Kim Pegula and before a loud crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"I'm not sure really, historically," Brady said. "It's good to be on the winning end."
CARDINALS 30, REDSKINS 20
Carson Palmer returned from a five-week absence to throw two touchdown passes, and host Arizona took the NFC West lead.
Larry Fitzgerald caught six passes for a season-high 98 yards and his first touchdown of the season to help the Cardinals (4-1) bounce back from a 41-20 drubbing at Denver.
Kirk Cousins was 24 for 38 for 354 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson for the Redskins (1-5), but threw three fourth-quarter interceptions. Washington has lost four straight and 13 of 14.
Palmer had not played since damaging a nerve in his throwing shoulder in the season-opening win over San Diego.
BROWNS 31, STEELERS 10
A rarity in Cleveland: the Browns over the Steelers.
Brian Hoyer passed for 217 yards, with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Cameron. Hoyer improved to 6-2 as the starter as the surprising Browns (3-2) beat the Steelers for the third time in 23 games. Cleveland hadn't beaten Pittsburgh so badly since a 51-0 victory in 1989.
Ben Tate had two TDs rushing and rookie Isaiah Crowell added another. Pittsburgh fell to 3-3, which is the worst record in the AFC North.
CHARGERS 31, RAIDERS 28
At Oakland, rookie Branden Oliver scored on a 1-yard run with 1:56 to play to spoil interim coach Tony Sparano's Raiders debut. Oliver rushed for 101 yards.
Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes to give San Diego (5-1) its fifth straight win and send Oakland (0-5) to its 11th straight loss.
Rookie Derek Carr threw four touchdown passes for the Raiders.
PACKERS 27, DOLPHINS 24
The visiting Packers (4-2) staged a late rally in the South Florida heat. Aaron Rodgers threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless with 3 seconds left.
Green Bay trailed 24-17 before Rodgers directed a 68-yard drive for a field goal with 4:09 to go. Miami couldn't move the ball, and Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson on fourth-and-10 for 18 yards to keep the winning drive alive.
Rodgers finished with three touchdown passes and 264 yards while committing no turnovers against the Dolphins (2-3), who lost despite the return of six starters who had missed playing time.
BEARS 27, FALCONS 13
At Atlanta, Jay Cutler threw for 381 yards and a touchdown, while Matt Forte ran for two second-half scores. Chicago (3-3) has won three of four away from Soldier Field, though there were so many Bears fans at the Georgia Dome that it seemed almost like a neutral site.
The Falcons (2-4) lost their third in a row and for the first time at home. They had rallied from a 13-3 halftime deficit to tie it before Forte put it away.
LIONS 17, VIKINGS 3
At Minneapolis, Tahir Whitehead intercepted two passes, and Joique Bell put the game away with a fourth-quarter touchdown run. Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush were sidelined, so Detroit's defense stepped up, getting eight sacks, 2 1/2 by Ziggy Ansah. The Lions (4-2) are tied with Green Bay atop the NFC North.
Rookie Teddy Bridgewater threw three interceptions in his second career start for the Vikings (2-4).
TITANS 16, JAGUARS 14
At Nashville, the Titans snapped their four-game slide and kept Jacksonville winless.
Sammie Hill blocked a field goal attempt in the final seconds and Ryan Succop kicked three field goals to help the Titans (2-4) bounce back after blowing the biggest lead ever by a home team in the regular season against Cleveland.
Jurrell Casey had two of Tennessee's six sacks as the Titans won their first game at home this season — only their second here in nine games.
The Jaguars (0-6) scored with 37 seconds left, recovered an onside kick, but Hill got his right fingers on Josh Scobee's 55-yard field-goal try.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.