ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Tony Romo is nothing if not resilient. And because he didn't let four interceptions in the first half, two returned for touchdowns, destroy his night, the Dallas Cowboys pulled off a stunning comeback victory.
The Cowboys scored nine points in the final 20 seconds Monday night, with Nick Folk's 53-yard field goal as time expired giving them an improbable 25-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.
"Oh, it's great," Folk said. "It shows you how good we can be and what we can do if we don't make mistakes. And even if we do make mistakes and we stick together as a team, we still stay in the game."
Romo, after being intercepted five times and also losing a fumble, drove Dallas (5-0) 80 yards and hit Patrick Crayton with a 4-yard TD pass with 20 seconds remaining. The 2-point conversion try failed when Jabari Greer stripped Terrell Owens of the ball in the end zone.
But Tony Curtis recovered the onside kick and after two completions, Folk nailed his fourth field goal, shocking the sellout crowd that came to celebrate the first Monday night home game for Buffalo (1-4) in 13 years.
"I think our team, outside of me, played an outstanding football game," Romo said. They dug me out of it. It was tough to grow through that, especially on Monday night.
"No one is going to care when it's all said and done how you won the game."
And his recollection of all the picks?
"Too many to remember," he said with a smile.
It was the second last-second loss on a field goal this season for the Bills; Denver did almost the same thing in the opener.
"It was embarrassing, embarrassing," Bills receiver Lee Evans, on the verge of tears, kept repeating in the somber locker room. "We had opportunities to put the game away, put some points on the board, give us a little more cushion. Couldn't do it. It's embarrassing."
The win kept the Cowboys as the NFC's only unbeaten team heading into a megamatchup with 5-0 New England next week in Texas Stadium.
This latest victory was one of the most incredible in the Cowboys' illustrious history. Buffalo made nearly all the big plays, including interceptions for TDs by George Wilson and Chris Kelsay and a 103-yard kickoff runback by Terence McGee.
In position to clinch it, Trent Edwards' pass from the Dallas 11 was tipped by DeMarcus Ware and returned 70 yards by Terence Newman. Romo looked for tight end Jason Witten, his favorite receiver. Instead, he found linebacker John DiGiorgio at the goal line and DiGiorgio returned his first career pickoff 38 yards.
It was the third time a pass intended for Witten was stolen by Buffalo.
Yet the Cowboys didn't go away. And after their long drive to Crayton's touchdown, Sam Hurd deflected the onside kick ahead to Curtis.
Immediately, Romo hit Owens, but he couldn't hold onto a 20-yard pass to the Buffalo 25; officials needed a replay review to overturn the original call.
Romo completed two more passes and Folk, after having his first try from 53 yards negated by a Bills timeout, won it.
Folk also made field goals of 47, 29 and 37 yards.
Buffalo built its lead on huge plays.
Wilson spent most of last season on the practice squad before being converted to safety this year. He started in the injury-depleted secondary and his first NFL touch came when Romo badly overthrew Witten from the end zone. Wilson scooted in untouched for a 25-yard score.
And when Romo went for Witten on his next pass attempt, Angelo Crowell intercepted.
But Dallas held, stopping Marshawn Lynch's fourth-and-1 run. Then Romo recovered nicely, throwing three straight completions to Witten and a 14-yarder to Owens before completing a 70-yard drive with a floater to the tight end for a 22-yard score early in the second period.
It was a temporary reprieve. After Buffalo staged a superb 15-play, 73-yard drive to Rian Lindell's 24-yard field goal, Kelsay made his spectacular solo effort to give Buffalo a 17-7 lead. The defensive end deflected Romo's pass high into the air at the Dallas 2, then caught it in the end zone.
Moments later, Romo threw a weak sidearm pass that Greer picked off at the Dallas 43. The four first-half picks were one more than the total that Romo had thrown in the previous four games.
The Bills didn't capitalize, with Lindell missing a 54-yard field goal with 36 seconds to go in the half. That was enough time for the good Romo to emerge, and a 22-yard pass to Hurd set up Folk's 47-yarder to close the half at 17-10.
Folk made a 29-yarder on the first drive of the third quarter, but McGee got his fifth career kickoff return TD, bursting untouched down the middle of the field.
But just like in the early 1990s, when the great Bills teams that made four straight Super Bowls twice lost to Dallas in the title game, this one also would go the Cowboys' way.