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Late play-calling woes doom Giants in collapse vs. Cowboys

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Late play-calling woes doom Giants in collapse vs. Cowboys

By SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Tony Romo to Jason Witten saved the Dallas Cowboys again.

Romo threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to his trusty tight end with 7 seconds left, and the Cowboys overcame three turnovers that led to easy New York points to beat the Giants 27-26 on Sunday night.

The Cowboys drove 72 yards in 1:27 after stopping New York at the 1 and forcing Josh Brown's fourth field goal when a touchdown would have sealed the Giants' first victory in an opener against Dallas.

The defending NFC East champion Cowboys are 8-0 against their division rival in openers, and have beaten them five straight times.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown, and the Giants had to go just a yard for their other TD after Trumaine McBride's interception.

"We didn't play great in a lot of areas and obviously (protecting) the ball was the biggest one," said Romo, who threw for 356 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. "You gotta believe."

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On the winning play, Romo had to pick up the ball after a low snap and found Witten shielding defenders at the goal line. The 13-year veteran made the catch, stayed on his feet and left no doubt about getting the ball in the end zone.

Romo led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter after McBride's interception set up Rashad Jennings' 1-yard scoring that put the Giants up 23-13 with 8 minutes to go.

Running back Lance Dunbar got the winning drive going with two catches for 40 yards. He finished with team highs of eight catches for 70 yards with All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant sidelined by a foot injury after earlier leaving the game because of dehydration.

The Giants converted two Dallas turnovers into 10 points in the final minute of the second quarter.

Rodgers-Cromartie picked up a fumble by receiver Cole Beasley just before he hit the ground at the end of a run and ran 57 yards untouched for a 10-6 lead.

On Dallas' next snap, Romo threw behind Witten, who tipped the ball into the arms of linebacker Uani Unga, starting because Jon Beason missed the game with a sprained left knee. The Giants had to settle for Brown's second field goal, from 40 yards.

Joseph Randle got most of the work in the first game for Dallas without 2014 NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray. He had 16 carries for 65 yards, and Darren McFadden had six for 16.

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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

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USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a ban he will serve while on injured reserve because of lingering issues from offseason surgery for a broken right foot.

The league said Thursday the suspension will be in effect Sunday when the Cowboys visit Washington. After Dallas’ open week and a home game against Tennessee, the final game of the ban will be Nov. 11 at Philadelphia.

But Williams will miss at least three more games after that while on injured reserve. His first possible game is Dec. 9 at home against the Eagles.

Williams was arrested in May on a charge of public intoxication in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, where team headquarters is located. The case was dismissed after Williams completed a state-mandated alcohol awareness education course.

Williams was ineffective before being placed on IR, as he mustered just two catches for 18 total yards over the Cowboys first two games. Dallas will also be without wide receiver Tavon Austin on Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins. Austin is suffering from a groin injury, and expected to be out multiple weeks.

NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux contributed to this story.

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Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

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@AdrianPeterson

Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

Luke Kuechly was just trying to make a tackle.

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the Carolina star dove to wrap up Adrian Peterson and, like many, many, many before him, failed to bring the RB down.

Unfortunately for Kuechly, something else happened on the play that is going to help it live on much longer than your routine defensive mistake.

That something, of course, is that Peterson's cleat came off in the collision and lodged itself in Kuechly's facemask. And the uniqueness of that is why Peterson is now selling T-shirts commemorating it:

"I thought it was pretty cool," Peterson said Thursday in the 'Skins' locker room when asked why he felt moved to create the shirts, of which there are three to choose from on his site. "My kids got a big kick out of it. Obviously, the Internet did as well."

No. 26 has carried the ball 2,651 times in his career but said he's never had an attempt go like that one that involved his footwear and Kuechly's headgear.

However, because he's a legend, Peterson was able to deal with the lost shoe and still go on to pick up a nice chunk of yards as well as a first down.

"As I'm breaking free and I feel my shoe coming off, the only thing on my mind is, 'OK, let me make sure I plant my foot in a way where I don't slip,'" he explained. "That was the only thing I was focusing on on that play."

Will Kuechly get a shirt, though? After all, without him, they wouldn't exist in the first place.

"I might send him one," Peterson said.

What's lower: the odds of Kuechly wearing that shirt should Peterson ever send it along or the odds of another shoe finding its way into the linebacker's facemask? 

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