NFL: Ravens hold off Cowboys 31-29

Dallas puts up big yardage on depleted Baltimore defense but comes up short.
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Baltimore • Eight yards deep in the end zone when he caught the kickoff, Jacoby Jones had an instant to decide: take a knee or run.

He ran — all the way into the record book.

"You know when you get that itch? I wanted to scratch it," Jones said. "So I took it."

Jones tied an NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff return, and the Baltimore Ravens held off the Dallas Cowboys 31-29 Sunday for their 14th straight regular-season home win.

The Cowboys amassed 481 yards against a crippled Baltimore defense and held the ball for more than 40 minutes. Dallas totaled 227 yards rushing, the most against the Ravens since the franchise arrived in Baltimore in 1996.

It wasn't enough. Jones' return put the Ravens (5-1) ahead 24-13 in the third quarter, and Dallas (2-3) never got even against a defense that lost cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (right knee) and Jimmy Smith (lower leg strain), along with middle linebacker Ray Lewis (triceps).

"They threw a lot of haymakers at us," Harbaugh said. "Our guys stepped up at the end and found a way to win the game."

After Dez Bryant scored on a 4-yard pass from Tony Romo with 32 seconds left to make it 31-29, the 2-point conversion pass zipped through the arms of the diving Bryant in the front left corner of the end zone.

Dallas recovered the onside kick, but Dan Bailey was wide left on a 51-yard field goal try with :06 remaining.

"I felt we fought really hard and well through a lot of different adversities in all three phases," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "We gave them everything they could handle."

Ray Rice scored two touchdowns and Joe Flacco threw for a score to help the Ravens secure their fourth consecutive victory and enhance their grip on first place in the AFC North. Ravens 31,Cowboys 29

Dallas 7 3 10 9 — 29

Baltimore 3 14 7 7 — 31

First Quarter

Bal • FG Tucker 38, 7:50.

Dal • F.Jones 22 run (Bailey kick), 3:18.

Second Quarter

Dal • FG Bailey 42, 11:29.

Bal • Rice 1 run (Tucker kick), 7:29.

Bal • T.Smith 19 pass from Flacco (Tucker kick), :41.

Third Quarter

Dal • FG Bailey 43, 11:37.

Bal • J.Jones 108 kickoff return (Tucker kick), 11:24.

Dal • Bryant 7 pass from Romo (Bailey kick), 3:19.

Fourth Quarter

Dal • FG Bailey 34, 8:22.

Bal • Rice 1 run (Tucker kick), 4:41.

Dal • Bryant 4 pass from Romo (pass failed), :32.

Attendance • 71,384.

Dal Bal

First downs 30 19

Total Net Yards 481 316

Rushes-yards 42-227 22-86

Passing 254 230

Punt Returns 2-10 0-0

Kickoff Returns 1-14 3-159

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-0

Comp-Att-Int 25-36-1 17-26-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 1-7 1-4

Punts 1-32.0 3-45.0

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 13-82 10-76

Time of Possession 40:03 19:57

Individual Statistics

Rushing • Dallas, Murray 14-93, F.Jones 18-92, Tanner 9-31, Dunbar 1-11. Baltimore, Rice 16-63, Pierce 4-21, Flacco 2-2.

Passing • Dallas, Romo 25-36-1-261. Baltimore, Flacco 17-26-0-234.

Receiving • Dallas, Bryant 13-95, Witten 6-88, Austin 2-31, Phillips 1-19, F.Jones 1-13, Vickers 1-11, Murray 1-4. Baltimore, Boldin 5-98, Pitta 4-33, T.Smith 2-24, J.Jones 2-15, Rice 1-43, Dickson 1-8, Leach 1-7, Pierce 1-6.

Missed Field Goals • Dallas, Bailey 51 (WL).