ARLINGTON, Texas — Quarterbacks ruled Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium, as Peyton Manning and Tony Romo were locked in an epic duel.
To the surprise of pretty much no one, Manning won.
The future Hall of Famer led another fourth-quarter comeback in a wild back-and-fourth affair that ended with the undefeated Denver Broncos escaping with a 51-48 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Broncos, down 48-41, scored the game’s last 10 points to improve to 5-0. Danny Trevathan set up the Matt Prater’s game-winning chip-shot field goal, intercepting Romo with less than two minutes left.
Manning passed for 414 yards and four scores. He also ran for another, his first in five years. Six different receivers had at least four catches. Knowshon Moreno ran for 93 yards.
Romo threw for five touchdowns and 506 yards, breaking the franchise single-game record.
He commandeered a second-half rally that overcame an 11-point deficit with four scoring passes.
Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten each had at least 121 yards receiving and one touchdown for Dallas.
The Cowboys (2-3) rallied after falling behind 38-27, taking advantage of Manning’s first interception of the season late in the third quarter. Romo touchdown passes to Bryant and Williams gave Dallas its first lead since the first half at 41-38.
The start couldn’t have gone any better for the Cowboys. Dallas took a 14-0 lead with two touchdown drives sandwiched around a Denver turnover.
Manning and the Broncos weren’t fazed. Denver found its bearings and was up 28-20 going into halftime. Manning accounted for all four touchdowns.
The Cowboys went 79 yards with ease on their first possession, chewing up nearly seven minutes. Romo was perfect on the drive, with long completions to Williams and Witten, setting up a 2-yard touchdown toss to Bryant in the back of the end zone.
The Broncos turned it over the first time they touched the ball, with Eric Decker fumbling the ball away on the Denver 45.
Dallas doubled its lead seven plays later on DeMarco Murray’s short scoring run. The 14-point deficit was Denver’s biggest this season.
It didn’t last long, as Manning had seen enough. The Broncos traversed 80 yards in just three plays in less than a minute to get on the scoreboard. Manning’s 57-yard bomb to Decker preceded a shovel pass to Julius Thomas for Denver’s first TD.
After a Dallas field goal, the Broncos were back at it. Manning hooked up with Decker and Thomas on successive drives to take Denver’s first lead, 21-17, with 5:22 left in the half.
Manning wasn’t done. Milking the clock as the second quarter wound down, the Broncos at the Dallas 1 facing third down. Coming out of a timeout in a power formation, Manning faked a handoff, turned and waltzed untouched for his 18th career rushing touchdown and first since 2008.