Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas — Tony Romo wasn't at his best, and neither was the Dallas defense.
They were still more than the Seattle Seahawks could handle.
Romo shook off a horribly inefficient first half to throw for a pair of touchdowns, leading the Dallas Cowboys to a 23-13 victory Sunday.
Romo had no trouble moving the ball from the start, but the Cowboys (4-4) had to settle for field goals on consecutive drives that stalled at the 2-yard line and inside the 1. On the next series, Dez Bryant was inside the 1 when a hit he never saw coming caused him to fumble the ball away.
Tied at 6 coming out for the second half, Dallas pulled away behind Romo's touchdown passes of 33 yards to Jason Witten and 6 yards to Laurent Robinson.
The Cowboys' defense bounced back from a lousy effort in Philadelphia last Sunday by holding Seattle (2-6) without a touchdown until midway through the fourth quarter. Dallas did so despite missing Sean Lee, its leader in tackles and interceptions, and cornerback Mike Jenkins.
The Seahawks trailed 13-6 and were driving late in the third quarter when Tarvaris Jackson threw interceptions on consecutive passes. The Cowboys turned the first into Robinson's touchdown, then got a field goal off the next turnover to make it 23-6.
Seattle's Marshawn Lynch scored with 6:12 left, but Dallas managed to play it safe and protect the lead the rest of the way.
The Cowboys ended a skid of three losses in four games — and just in time to perhaps start a midseason surge. Three of their next four foes have losing records, and they'll come out of that potentially momentum-building run with two games still to play against the division-leading Giants.
For coach Jason Garrett, this marked his 16th game in charge, the equivalent of a full season. Dallas improved to 9-7 in the span.
Seattle lost its third straight and fourth in five games. The Seahawks were hoping to get a boost from having Jackson and Lynch start together for the first time since beating the Giants in New York, but they played down to their ranking as the second-worst offense in the NFL.
Romo was 19 of 31 for 279 yards. He was booed early when he tried running for the end zone, then slid short of the goal line on a third-and-goal from the 5, and again when the Cowboys failed to get a touchdown after having a first-and-goal from the half-yard-line.
Dallas rookie DeMarco Murray continued to shine, turning 22 carries into 139 yards. He also caught four passes for 47 yards.
Bryant had four catches for 76 yards, and Witten caught four for 71. Miles Austin caught two passes for 53 yards, but aggravated a hamstring injury on his second catch and didn't return.
Jackson was 17 of 30 for 221 yards, with three interceptions. His final pickoff came on Seattle's last snap. Lynch ran for 135 yards on 23 carries.
Dallas rookie Dan Bailey made three field goals, giving him 19 straight, the third-best streak in club history.
Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer shined on special teams, too, hurdling the center to block a field goal while Dallas was up 13-6.
- So far, Dante Exum appears to be bigger and...
- Doug Robinson: When money speaks louder than...
- Dick Harmon: A more confident Robert Anae...
- Ranking the best college running backs...
- You don't know Jack (Cooley)? Learn about...
- Jazz notes: Trey Lyles still not with team...
- Ranking the best fits for the Utah Jazz in...
- Class of 2015: Utah high school athletes with...
- U. cornerback Hatfield arrested for... 103
- Morning links: Reviewing BYU's case to... 102
- Morning links: Fox Sports discusses why... 56
- Morning links: Damian Lillard, Paul... 32
- Mendenhall's coaching tenure at BYU: A... 28
- Brad Rock: Hatfield, Natson incidents... 28
- Utah football player Dominique Hatfield... 25
- BYU Cougars finish year with five... 24