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Bucs' Adam Humphries makes big play in return from concussion

Receiver Adam Humphries catches a tipped pass for a 42-yard touchdown during the third quarter, pulling the Bucs within 17-13 of the Cowboys.
Receiver Adam Humphries catches a tipped pass for a 42-yard touchdown during the third quarter, pulling the Bucs within 17-13 of the Cowboys.
Published Dec. 19, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas — Bucs WR Adam Humphries, returning after missing the previous game with a concussion, came up with the biggest catch of his two-year career, making a juggling catch for a 42-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half Sunday night.

Humphries made the catch after Cowboys S Jeff Heath made a diving attempt at the ball, reeling it in for just his third career touchdown and matching his longest catch. It was also the Bucs' longest offensive play in five games, going back to Freddie Martino's 43-yard touchdown against the Bears.

HISTORY: The announced attendance for Sunday's game at AT&T Stadium was 93,101, the largest crowd ever to see the Bucs play in their 41-year history.

The only other time the Bucs played to more than 90,000 was in 2004, when they played to an announced 90,098 at FedEx Field in a 16-10 loss to Washington.

The Bucs have played to 85,000 fans in only one other game, their 2009 game at FedEx Field.

LEADING THE LEAGUE: Bucs TE Cameron Brate caught a go-ahead touchdown from Jameis Winston late in the third quarter to put the Bucs up 20-17, giving him seven touchdowns this season, most among NFL tight ends. Brate, who led the Bucs with five catches for 73 yards, also pulled within a touchdown of tying Jimmie Giles' Bucs single-season record, set in 1985.

LITTLE HELP: Cowboys K Dan Bailey had missed three field-goal attempts all season before Sunday's game but missed two long ones in the first half, from 56 and 52 yards. He had been 3-for-4 on field goals 50 yards and longer this season.

As a result, the Cowboys led only 17-6 at the half, and the Bucs were able to take the lead with touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half.

Bailey went 4-for-6 on the night, including the Cowboys' last nine points in rallying from a 20-17 deficit early in the fourth quarter.

SEASON HIGH: Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott, the NFL's leading rusher entering the game, got a 42-yard run in the fourth quarter to put him at 126 yards and finished with 159, most against the Bucs this season. The high had been Chicago's Jordan Howard, who had 100 in a loss to the Bucs.

THIS AND THAT: The Bucs stuck with Keith Tandy as their starting safety despite former starter Chris Conte coming back after missing two games with a chest injury. … Dallas' sack and forced fumble to set up a touchdown in the second quarter came from former USF D Terrell McClain. … The Bucs played without RT Demar Dotson for a second straight game due to a concussion, with veteran Gosder Cherilus filling in. A struggling Cherilus was replaced by undrafted rookie Leonard Wester late in the game. … Bucs DE Will Gholston left the game in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury and did not return. His arm was in a sling after the game.

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.