"I think if you pull back and you really look at Tony Romo's career, people want to talk about some of these plays where things didn't work out," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "But if you really look at his body of work and you look at it objectively, he's done this kind of stuff a lot."
Five things to consider after the Cowboys (5-4) bounced back from a devastating loss at Detroit and avoided what probably would have been a more damaging defeat:
UNHAPPY HOMECOMING: Peterson, the East Texas kid raised on the Cowboys, was playing in their $1.2 billion stadium for the first time and rushed for 140 yards. He got the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter going with a 52-yard run, then went the final 11 on fourth-and-1. He easily got the first down and carried safety Jeff Heath the last few yards, with Heath trying to strip the ball as Peterson crossed the goal line.
Ponder threw for a touchdown and ran for another score against his hometown team. "It was a good experience to be here and close to home, play at this stadium and have family come watch," said Ponder, who played high school football in the Dallas suburb of Colleyville. "But it's a tough experience when we lose."
SUDDEN SWING: The Cowboys scored touchdowns 10 seconds apart early in the third quarter to take a 20-10 lead. Romo had consecutive 26-yard completions to Witten, the second for a touchdown and a 13-10 lead. A week after Cordarrelle Patterson set an NFL record with a 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, he fumbled a short kickoff out of bounds at the Minnesota 5. On the next play, George Selvie knocked the ball out of Ponder's hand in the end zone, and Nick Hayden recovered.