MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tony Romo played one half and got sacked three times. Ryan Tannehill’s final throw was an interception on a play he forced.
Neither quarterback got everything to his liking Saturday night.
At least Tannehill’s side left with a victory.
Orleans Darkwa ran in from 1 yard with 1:45 left, and the Miami Dolphins rallied from two scores down in the final minutes to beat the Dallas Cowboys 25-20.
All five of the game’s touchdowns came with most of the starters already done for the evening.
Tannehill played into the third quarter, completing 13 of 21 passes for 119 yards. His only big mistake was his final throw, an interception inside the Dallas 10 on Miami’s opening possession of the third quarter.
It was the first interception in 41 preseason throws for Tannehill, who is one of the biggest reasons why Miami thinks this could be a breakthrough season.
”You can see the things that we’re doing,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said on the game broadcast. ”I’m expecting much better things.”
Romo completed 10 of 18 passes for 87 yards for the Cowboys, and his surgically repaired back got tested plenty of times by the Dolphins’ defense – twice on sacks by Cameron Wake.
”It was good to see Tony out there playing,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said at halftime. ”He got knocked around a little bit, and that could be good and bad. . It’s good to have him feel the physical part of the game.”
Romo noted there are some things Dallas has to clean up.
”It felt good to get through a half,” Romo said. ”We want to put more points on the board, but we hurt ourselves with penalties. The game is always going to be hard if you keep putting yourself behind.”
Gator Hoskins caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Matt Moore earlier in the fourth for Miami, which also got a 1-yard touchdown run from Damien Williams.
Tyler Patmon had a 9-yard interception return for a score and LaRon Byrd caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Weeden for Dallas. Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey made field goals of 52 and 50 yards for Dallas.
Patmon picked off a screen pass from Moore with 7:17 left, reading the play perfectly, but Miami – playing with no available placekicker – scored the game’s final 14 points.
Another notable good sign for Miami was the preseason debut of Knowshon Moreno, the team’s offseason acquisition at running back. He got loose for a 19-yard gain on his first touch of the exhibition schedule. He finished with 64 yards on 10 carries.
”He ran the ball well,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. ”We had really good production, good balance.”
There were plenty of mistakes, too, the most obvious seeming to come when Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter blocked a Miami punt near the Dolphins’ goal line. That miscue was nullified by a Cowboys formation penalty.
Miami took an 11-6 lead in the third quarter when Dallas’ defense couldn’t find a way to stop Damian Williams.
Or Damien Williams, for that matter.
The similarly named Dolphins – Damien is a running back, Damian is a wide receiver – paired up to deliver the game’s first touchdown. Damien Williams got loose for a 20-yard run, one play before Damian Williams ran under a play-action offering from Moore and hauled in what became a 54-yard gain.
Two plays later, Damien Williams went in from the 1, then got the 2-point conversion. Placekicker John Potter, the replacement for the still-injured incumbent Caleb Sturgis, left in the first half with a hip injury.