Cowboys win, but lose T.O.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With Terrell Owens watching the second half from the locker room, the Dallas Cowboys had to depend on their running game and their defense to avoid a second straight upset loss.

Tony Romo threw for 257 yards and a touchdown and the Cowboys overcame the loss of Owens to a left ankle injury in a 20-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night.

While Dallas (13-2) moved a step closer to clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Cowboys were dealing with another injury to a key offensive player.

Last week it was Romo, who bruised his right thumb and was ineffective in a loss to Philadelphia. Now it's Owens, who left in the second quarter after his left leg got caught underneath him after a catch.

The Cowboys made it 14-0 a play after Owens left, but failed to score another touchdown.

After the Panthers (6-9) cut it to 20-13 on John Kasay's 25-yard field goal with 3:01 left, the Cowboys put it away on Barber's 11-yard run with 1:45 left.

Barber rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries to help Dallas match the 1992 team for the most victories in franchise history.


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