Bridgewater, Romo both look sharp

Published 12:28 am Sunday, August 30, 2015

ARLINGTON (AP) — Tony Romo got his first and likely only extended action of the preseason for the Dallas Cowboys, and found one of his reliable options even with Dez Bryant sitting out again.

On the other side, Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed all seven of his passes and made a connection with his new receiver Mike Wallace as the Vikings won their fourth consecutive game this preseason, 28-14 on Saturday night.

The first of Romo’s two touchdown passes was a 60-yard catch-and-run by Terrance Williams, who made the grab near the 40 coming across the center of the field.

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One of the people who enthusiastically celebrated with Williams on the sideline was Bryant, who hasn’t played in any of three preseason games for Dallas since signing his $70 million, five-year contract in mid-July. He has dealt with a strained hamstring throughout camp.

Right after that long touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, Cordarrelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 107 yards. Patterson took off straight up the center of the field before running to his right, then breaking into the open after easily getting by kicker Dan Bailey near midfield.

Patterson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns as a Vikings rookie in 2013, including a longest-possible 109-yarder, but didn’t have any last year.

The Cowboys, 0-3 in the preseason, led 14-10 after Romo scrambled out of trouble and threw an 8-yard TD to Lucky Whitehead on his final play with 9 minutes left in the first half.

Romo had played in just one series while Dallas lost its first two preseason games, and his only pass had been a completion that resulted in a 1-yard loss. He finished 5 of 8 for 88 yards in five series against Minnesota.

After failing to win a game last preseason, the Cowboys went 12-4 in the regular season and won the NFC East title.

Wallace had one catch for 2 yards in the Vikings’ first three games, but came out quick against the Cowboys. He finished with three catches for 50 yards, all in the first quarter.

That included a 39-yard grab on a play when Bridgewater had to hurry to beat the play clock and hit Wallace in stride along the right sideline after he got behind Brandon Carr.

Romo’s second TD ended a two-play, 23-yard drive set up by Cole Beasley’s 40-yard punt return after Minnesota was forced to kick again after a penalty.

Punter Jeff Locke was on the ground holding his ankle after the initial punt, and flag was down near him.

But the penalty was holding against the Vikings and not a roughing the punter call against J.J. Wilcox, who had rolled into the punter after being blocked.

Blair Walsh, who made field goals of 26 and 45 yards but missed a 43-yarder, then punted though Locke later returned to the game. Darren McFadden weaved through defenders for a 15-yard run before Romo scrambled out of trouble and found Whitehead in the end zone.

Joe Banyard had a 7-yard TD run and Dominique Williams had a 3-yard TD run for the only scores in the second half.