Michael Ainsworth Dallas Morning News Denver's Julius Thomas (80) was one of many to visit the end zone Sunday as the Broncos and Cowboys combined for the fourth-most points in NFL history.

Manning doesn't run up score

Published: Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C

ARLINGTON, Texas – Peyton Manning spent all afternoon putting the Broncos in the end zone during a wild shootout with Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.

The last time he got the ball, Manning kept Denver out of the end zone – and that was the best way to win the game.

The four-time MVP kept up his record pace for touchdown passes, Matt Prater kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired after Romo's interception spoiled the first 500-yard game in Dallas history, and the Broncos stayed unbeaten with a 51-48 victory Sunday.

"It was pretty amazing that it came down to the defense making a big play at the end," Denver coach John Fox said. "Thank God our offense kept us in the game."

In the waning seconds of one of the highest-scoring thrillers in NFL history, Manning ensured Denver's kicker – not Romo – had the last chance to score.

The Broncos (5-0) moved the ball to the Dallas 2-yard line after Danny Trevathan's diving interception.

Needing a first down but not a touchdown so they could run out the clock, Manning and Knowshon Moreno shouted at each other in the backfield just before the snap.

"He basically was asking me, 'How am I supposed to do that? How can I get a half-yard but not get a yard and a half?' " said Manning, who threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns to give him a record-setting 20 in the first five games.

"I just said, 'You can't! You can't score! You can't do it!' "

Moreno barely got the first down without scoring, and Manning took three snaps to drain the clock to 2 seconds for Prater.

It was quite a debate over a measly yard in a game with 1,039 yards of offense in the fourth-highest scoring game in NFL history.

Romo was 25 of 36 for 506 yards and five touchdowns, breaking Don Meredith's franchise record of 460 yards.

Manning threw for 414 yards and moved past Dan Marino for second on the career passing list with 61,371.

But the biggest play might have been Romo's mistake with a tie score and two minutes remaining.

"So you leave this game, and obviously you are crushed and disappointed," said Jason Witten, who had 121 receiving yards and a touchdown. "Offensively, this needs to be the standard by which we play."

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Read more articles by Schuyler Dixon



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