Despite having a mistake prone first half on offense, the Bengals came out of the gate obviously motivated. Perhaps head coach Marvin Lewis had an encore speech that he's remembered for on Hard Knocks in '09.
Either way, the Bengals offense went no-holds-barred. Giovani Bernard gained 24 yards on the opening two plays in the second half, including an 18-yard sprint up the middle, slipping around defenders with quality blocks from the offensive line.
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green added another 26 yards to the Cowboys 16-yard line, but the possession stalled.
Following Giovani's six-yard run to the 10-yard line with 12:59 remaining in the first quarter, Dalton lobbed the football towards the back right pylon but Green was unable to bring in his second foot. Then the Bengals (confusingly) called a play that forced Dalton to hit Jermaine Gresham down the line of scrimmage, ten yards shy of the goalline.
Quinn Sharp converted the 28-yard field goal, reducing Dallas' lead 14-10.