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With DeMarco Murray achieving something only Hall of Famer Jim Brown had, Tony Romo at his improvisational best, a dominant offensive line and a surprisingly competent defense, the Dallas Cowboys are 5-1 for the first time since 2007 — and worthy of their "America's Team" moniker for the first time in a while.
Murray's 115 yards allowed him to match Brown as the only running backs to gain 100 yards in each of a season's opening six games, and his late touchdown allowed the Cowboys to beat the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks 30-23. It's only the second time in Russell Wilson's 21 home games that Seattle lost.
What made Murray's showing all the more impressive is that Seattle came into Sunday with the NFL's top rushing defense. And Dallas' D held Seattle's offense to 16 points, while limiting Wilson to 126 yards passing and 12 rushing.
"That's not a good day for him," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, in perhaps the understatement of the day.
And maybe Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is finally on his way to a winning record and the playoffs after three consecutive 8-8 seasons.
In case you missed it, here are the other top topics after the NFL season's sixth Sunday:
FAKE SPIKE: Aaron Rodgers pulled off Dan Marino's move against Marino's old team, using a fake spike to help extend what became the go-ahead TD drive in Green Bay's 27-24 victory at Miami. Rodgers — who is right-handed but earlier threw one pass lefty in order to avoid getting sacked — gave every indication he was going to spike the football to stop the clock at second-and-6 from Miami's 16. But snapping the ball with 12 seconds to go, he held onto the ball, and with teammates helping sell the fake — slot receiver Jordy Nelson didn't move; offensive linemen stood up and stayed put — completed a toss to Davante Adams for a gain of 12. "Yeah, that was kind of some freestylin' right there," said Rodgers, who then hit Andrew Quarless for a touchdown.
TIES OK?: Should the NFL look into figuring out a way to make sure a game doesn't end in a tie? The Bengals and Panthers both got a field goal in overtime, but Cincinnati's Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard potential winner at the end of the lone extra quarter, and the score wound up 37-all. Professional football remains unique among major sports — including college football — in letting games conclude without a winner.
LIONS CAN'T KICK: Matt Prater, who made the longest field goal in NFL history when he was with Denver, went 1 for 3 in his debut for Detroit on Sunday, continuing a hard-to-believe pattern: The Lions are 5 for 15 on field-goal tries this season. Prater, Detroit's third kicker in 2014, missed one try wide and put another off an upright.
GENEROUS COUSINS: Only 2 1/2 years after drafting a pair of quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III in the first round (trading a bunch of first- and second-round picks to get him) and Kirk Cousins in the fourth, Washington can't be quite sure what to make of its QB situation. RG3 keeps getting hurt and has yet to prove himself as a pocket passer; Cousins keeps giving the ball away. He threw three fourth-quarter interceptions in a 30-20 loss at Arizona on Sunday, two games after throwing three third-quarter picks in a blowout against the Giants. Cousins is merely one of many, many problems for Washington, which is 1-5 under rookie head coach Jay Gruden.
INJURIES: Among significant players who left games Sunday with leg injuries were Cleveland's Pro Bowl center, Alex Mack, who had never missed a snap — more than 5,000 — in his NFL career until breaking his left leg; the Giants' salsa-dancing receiver, Victor Cruz, who cried as he was driven off the field after tearing a tendon in his right knee while trying to make an end-zone catch; Philadelphia's do-everything Darren Sproles, who hurt his left knee. The AFC East-leading Patriots, meanwhile, lost linebacker Jerod Mayo (right knee), running back Stevan Ridley (right knee) and starting guard Dan Connolly (concussion).
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP_NFL
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