Winston's late TD lifts Bucs by Cowboys
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper with 54 seconds remaining, giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 10-6 victory that extended the Dallas Cowboys’ longest losing streak since 1989 to seven games.
Jameis Winston shrugged off two interceptions – the first he’d thrown in a month – and benefited from a defensive holding call that wiped out his goal-line fumble on the play before he faked a handoff to Doug Martin before circling around right end all alone.
The Cowboys (2-7) reached the Tampa Bay 44 following the ensuing kickoff, but Matt Cassel throw to the end zone intended for Dez Bryant was intercepted by Bradley McDougald after the Tampa Bay safety appeared to give the receiver a slight shove in the back.
Bryant argued for a pass interference call to no avail.
The Bucs (4-5) drove 56 yards in nine plays for the winning score.
Winston completed 22 of 39 passes for 264 yards, including a 17-yard throw to Brandon Myers to help get the Bucs into position to win the game. On third-and-goal from 5, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback scrambled up the middle and dived for the end zone, losing the ball before crossing the goal line.
But safety Jeff Heath, who had two interceptions to stop Tampa Bay threats, was flagged for holding receiver Mike Evans in the end zone. Winston scored his fourth rushing TD of the season on the next play.
Cassel was 19 of 31 for 186 yards and one interception in what may be his final start for the Cowboys before Tony Romo returns from a broken left collarbone that’s sidelined him throughout the longest Cowboys slide since they also lost seven straight on the way to a 1-15 finish.
After throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble during a 14-point loss to Carolina on Oct. 4, Winston went four straight games without a turnover. Heath’s interception in the second quarter, stopping a drive that reached the Dallas 26, ended the quarterback’s streak of 134 consecutive passes without a pick.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones strongly suggested this week that Romo will start as soon as he is eligible to return next week at Miami. Cassel is 0-4 and Brandon Weeden 0-3 in Romo’s absence.
With Vincent Jackson out for the third consecutive game with a knee injury, Evans had eight receptions for 126 yards for Tampa Bay.
Bryant had five catches for 45 yards for Dallas, which was limited to field goals of 42 and 53 yards in the first half. Bailey also missed a 48-yarder in the second quarter.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL