Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks to pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky
November 23, 2015

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Now that Tony Romo has shaken off the rust, he's ready to take on unbeaten Carolina.

The Dallas Cowboys might be ready, too.

They looked like a different team Sunday thanks to a Romo revival. He returned from a broken collarbone to throw two touchdown passes and help beat the Miami Dolphins 24-14.

''We looked like our old selves in a lot of ways,'' Dallas tight end Jason Witten said.

Romo sat out for two months, and now he'll play twice in five days, with Carolina visiting Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Here are things to know about Romo's latest comeback:

BROKEN STREAK: The Cowboys (3-7) won for the first time since Romo was hurt and snapped a seven-game losing streak, their longest in a single season since 1989.

''Winning,'' Romo said, ''is going to put a little more pep in everyone's step.''

The Cowboys are still in the mix in the NFC East, where no team is above .500. But they need to beat the Panthers, who improved to 10-0 by beating Washington 44-16.

''We know how good they are,'' Romo said. ''They're going to provide a great challenge.''

AMBIDEXTROUS: Romo scrambled in the back of the end zone before improvising to throw his first pass in two months - left-handed. It went for a short gain.

''I didn't envision after my two-month layoff coming back with a left-hander,'' he said. ''I did practice that about seven or eight years ago, so I was ready for it.''

''It gave me a shiver,'' Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, ''and I know it inspired the team.''

DEZ DANCE: Dallas receivers Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for doing the dab, a dance becoming trendy in the NFL.

The penalty came during a touchdown celebration and forced the Cowboys to kick off from their 20 late in the half. Miami went on to score with 16 seconds left.

''That was bad by us,'' Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. ''Celebration penalties ... we can't allow that to happen.''

Bryant defended the celebration.

''We don't want a flag,'' he said, ''but that strikes confidence. Everybody on the sideline sees it, and the guys on the field. It just gives you an extra boost.''

CLAMPDOWN: Dallas' defense dominated, beginning when linebacker Rolando McClain scored the game's first points and his first career touchdown on a 12-yard interception return. He stepped in front of a pass by Ryan Tannehill intended for Greg Jennings.

The Dolphins had the ball for only 21 minutes and went 1 for 10 on third-down conversions.

''We shot ourselves in the foot all day,'' Tannehill said.

FADING FAST: Tannehill said if the Dolphins want interim coach Dan Campbell back next year, they need to play better.

The Dolphins (4-6) are likely to miss the playoffs for the seventh year in a row. They're 3-3 since coach Joe Philbin was fired and replaced by Campbell.

''I want to keep Dan around,'' Tannehill said. ''He does a great job. He's exciting. Everyone in our locker room believes in him. But as players we've got to go out and do a better job.''

The Dolphins might need to sweep their final six games to make the playoffs. They play at the Jets on Sunday.

''We need a win badly. Badly,'' Campbell said. ''As far as I'm concerned we still hold the cards. It's all about winning. Let's just go win. Let's get back on track.''

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Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve-Wine . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/steven-wine

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