With Romo sick, ground game carries Cowboys to win over Oakland

With Romo sick, ground game carries Cowboys to win over Oakland

Credit: Getty Images

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 28: DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during a Thanksgiving Day game at AT&T Stadium on November 28, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Oakland Raiders 31-24. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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by JOE TRAHAN

Bio | Email | Follow: @joetrahan

WFAA Sports

Posted on November 29, 2013 at 12:27 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 29 at 12:27 AM

ARLINGTON -- On a day when starting quarterback Tony Romo was feeling ill, the Dallas Cowboys second-best rushing output of the season came just in time.

DeMarco Murray scored three rushing touchdowns - his first multiple touchdown day - and Lance Dunbar helped to provide a one-two punch gaining a career-high 82 yards on the ground.

“It’s just a testament to the offensive line," Murray said. "Those guys are blocking well and finishing blocks. The tight ends were blocking well, and so were the receivers. I think offensively we had a great day today.”

Dunbar saw the most extensive action of his career with 12 carries on the day. He ripped off a 45-yard run in the third quarter that propelled the Cowboys 10-play, 87-yard touchdown drive that tied the game at 21.

“You know, the running game started off pretty good," Dunbar said. "We gotta stick with it. When it’s clicking our offense works a whole lot better."

"He’s a good back," Romo said of Dunbar. "Having a one-two punch with him and Murray just allows us to do some different things."

Romo was suffering from a virus he picked up the night before the game. The Cowboys running backs picked up the slack, though, running for 144 yards on 30 carries.

The Cowboys ran for three touchdowns for the first time in nearly nine years.

"I thought DeMarco ran the ball very well," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "A number of different times it felt like, from my vantage point, that the play was bottled up but somehow, someway he found some creases and made some positive plays for us."

The ground game success also allowed the Cowboys to achieve that ever-elusive balance that the media monitors week-in and week-out.

Thirty runs and 32 passes, and a much-needed come-from-behind victory.

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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