IRVING, Texas — Perhaps the biggest difference in the Dallas Cowboys’ last six games is that they’ve been able to average over 15 points in the fourth quarter during that stretch.
After averaging 5.3 points in the fourth quarter during the first eight games of the season, the Cowboys have outscored their opponents 94 (15.6 average) to 39 (6.5) during the fourth quarter over the last six games. The result has been a 5-1 record.
Tony Romo, who has thrown 12 touchdowns and three interceptions during those six games, said Wednesday that as long as the Cowboys keep things close entering the final quarter they have a shot at winning.
“Really, it’s just we’ve gotten to a point where we’re a mentally tough football team,” the Cowboys quarterback said during a conference call with New Orleans reporters. “In saying that, I believe when I step on the field in the fourth quarter, if we’re within 10-14 points, we’re going to find a way to win the ballgame.
“And we’ve been down, I don’t know, five times, six times this year and we’ve consistently come back and put ourselves in position. We’ve had a couple other ones where we could have come back in eight or nine of them, really. That’s just our mentality of what our football team believes late in football games. And that’s helped us.”
Before rallying back from a touchdown deficit to win 38-33 over the Eagles on Dec. 2, the Cowboys had not won a game this season when they trailed entering the fourth quarter. The trend of overcoming a deficit continued the following week as the Cowboys won 20-19 in Cincinnati after trailing 19-10 entering the fourth. The Cowboys were tied with the Steelers on Sunday after three quarters before pulling out a 27-24 victory in overtime.
Here’s how the Cowboys have fared during their last six games: At Eagles: Tied 17-17 after three quarters, won 38-23. Scored 21 in the fourth.
Vs. Browns: Down 13-3 after three quarters, won 23-20 in OT. Scored 17 in the fourth.
Vs. Redskins: Down 28-13 after three quarters, lost 38-31. Scored 18 in the fourth.
Vs. Eagles: Down 24-17 after three quarters, won 38-33. Scored 21 in the fourth.
At Bengals: Down 19-10 after three quarters, won 20-19. Scored 10 in the fourth.
Vs. Steelers: Tied 17-17 after three quarters, won 27-24 in OT. Scored 7 in the fourth.