On his sixth snap of the game, Tony Romo took a direct blow to his ribs and spent nearly a minute trying to get back to his feet.
Seconds later, when Chris Jones’ punt was smothered by Seattle and returned for a touchdown, Romo and the Dallas Cowboys were facing a 10-0 deficit on the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks’ home field.
Romo and his teammates rebounded from the terrible start, validating the strong start to the season with a resounding answer.
”I think our team now understands that we do a lot of things pretty well and I think we have the ability to kind of impose yourself on other teams,” Romo said.
Rallying from the early deficit, the Cowboys relied on running back DeMarco Murray and a defense that confused Russell Wilson in a 30-23 victory Sunday.
Murray, who ran for 115 yards, scored on a 15-yard run with 3:16 left to give Dallas the lead and the Cowboys’ defense held twice in the final 3 minutes to cap a miserable day by Seattle’s offense. Rolando McClain intercepted Wilson’s pass with less than a minute remaining to clinch the victory.
”Guys aren’t going to back down,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. ”We have the right kind of guys on this team,”
The result wasn’t stunning. It was the way Dallas won. The Cowboys outhit, out-ran and bullied the Seahawks, showing no intimidation toward Seattle’s top defense or the noisy environment created by the 12th Man.
”I think that showed the maturity of this team. We expected to win,” Dallas tight end Jason Witten said. ”We knew this was going to be a challenge and we stayed the course.”
It looked very familiar to the way Seattle won last year on its way to the title. And now the Cowboys are 5-1 for the first time since 2007.
”They played really well and they did a lot of cool stuff for their football team in all phases, and we were not right, really, in any phase of our game today,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Around every corner of the Dallas locker room compliments and accolades were being tossed about. Dallas owner Jerry Jones held court for nearly 45 minutes.
”This win is a coaching win. It’s a Jason Garrett win,” Jones said. ”This called on everything you could ever ask a coach to come together with a team. He answered the bell today.”