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Bengals defense bails out offense after Dalton pick

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The Bengals defense is bending slightly, but they're doing their part by allowing no points off Bengals turnovers.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes you just wish that you could have back a play or two.

With the game tied at seven and 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter, Andy Dalton capitalized with a linebacker covering Mohamed Sanu, who turned in 12 yards on a skinny post to the Bengals 35-yard line. Beautiful. A match-up that you want everytime. It was twins to the left -- not a three-wide formation.

But that was it. That was all she wrote for the possession.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis was dropped for a no-gain. Dalton slightly threw behind Jermaine Gresham for Brandon Carr to break up. Then Marvin Jones twitched before the snap, leading to a false start.

Now the Bengals have third and 15 and without A.J. Green on the field -- asking for one big play isn't necessarily a recommendation for Andy Dalton. He threw it deep, but B.W. Webb intercepted the football over the middle on a deep post. The Cowboys take over at their own 37-yard line.

The Bengals defense nearly bailed out Cincinnati's offense, nullifying a turnover and forcing the Cowboys to punt. Only they came two yards short of that accomplishment. This time it was Cincinnati's run defense, stuffing Phillip Tanner on second-and-two, third-and-one, leading to a fourth and one from the Bengals 35-yard line. A slight crease allowed Tanner to pick up two yards through the left side to pick up the first down.

On the next play with 6:45 remaining in the second quarter, Geno Atkins fought through the line of scrimmage and dropped Tanner for a one-yard loss, putting the Cowboys behind schedule. A beautiful deflection by Rey Maualuga led to a Dontay Moch quarterback sack on third and 11, forcing the Cowboys to punt.