Tony Romo returns, Cowboys end losing streak

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Dallas Cowboys improved to 3-0 with Tony Romo as their starting quarterback with a 24-14 win against the Miami Dolphins.

The seven-game losing streak in between games started by Romo might prove too much to overcome by the time the season ends, but the Cowboys can finally remember what a win feels like.

Romo wasn’t perfect -- he was intercepted twice -- but he was able to throw touchdown passes to Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant to give the Cowboys their first win since Sept. 20.

At 3-7, the Cowboys still have an upward climb to get back into the playoff chase, but a loss Sunday would have been devastating. Romo finished with 227 yards on 18-of-28 passing. He also had some vintage Romo moments, like his first completion, which he threw left-handed, and his spinning, tumbling 19-yard completion to Devin Street.

On the touchdown pass to Williams, the Cowboys had to overcome a second-and-27 situation, but Romo floated a perfect pass down the sideline for a 31-yard score.

As the Cowboys took to the field for pregame warm-ups, a South Florida deluge broke out. By the end of the game, the sun was shining and blue skies were overhead.

Can Romo even control the weather?

Throw up the X: It took some time for the Romo-to-Bryant connection to get going, but they came up with the decisive points on the first play of the fourth quarter. Lined up in the slot with a linebacker in coverage, Bryant was able to run free down the field for a 16-yard touchdown to give the Cowboys the lead for good. It was the 50th time in 68 games Romo and Bryant have hooked up for a touchdown, the most in franchise history. Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, who had 49 touchdowns in 128 games together, are now No. 2 on the list.

What were they thinking? The NFL rules are pretty clear: Two players can’t celebrate a touchdown together on the field. After Williams’ touchdown catch, he and Bryant did a quick celebration and were flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Dan Bailey's ensuing kickoff was poor and gave the Dolphins a short field. A 47-yard completion to Jarvis Landry set up Jordan Cameron's touchdown with 16 seconds left in the first half.

One reason to get excited: If a win of any kind doesn’t get you excited after a seven-game losing streak, then nothing will. But if you want something specific: The running game bounced back after a poor outing vs. Tampa Bay. It finished with 166 yards on 38 carries with Darren McFadden picking up 129 yards on 29 carries and newcomer Robert Turbin picking up 35 yards on seven carries.

One reason to panic: The Cowboys have just three days of prep work before playing the undefeated Carolina Panthers. It would be nice to have a full week to get ready for Cam Newton and a Panthers defense that entered today ranked No. 10 in the league. The Cowboys did not fare so well on Thanksgiving last year, losing 33-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Romo, who did not take a pain-killing injection before that game, did not have a touchdown pass and was picked off twice. After a two-month absence it will be interesting to see how Romo bounces back with two games in five days.

What/who are those? In Romo’s absence, Williams didn’t have more than four catches or more than 70 receiving yards in a game. With Romo back, Williams re-emerged in the offense with four receptions for 79 yards and the 31-yard touchdown pass. Gavin Escobar caught one pass in Romo’s absence. He had two in the first half for 20 yards.