Blocked FG Return for TD Sparks Cowboys to 24-14 Win
The Cowboys bounced back from their first loss of the year to beat the Vikings 24-14 at Texas Stadium to improve to 6-1 headed into their bye week. It was a fast start to the game but proved to be a battle all the way to the 4th quarter.
"If there’s any kind of doubt about what kind of heart or character they have, we saw it again," Dallas coach Wade Phillips said. "For some reason, we’ve been behind every game. We seem to keep our poise."
Dallas got on the board early. After receiving the ball to begin the game, Tony Romo marched the Cowboys right down the field, completeing 9/10 passes on the 14-play drive, ending with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens for a 7-0 Cowboys lead.
If would be short-lived though. On Minnesota’s first drive, Adrian Peterson, the hometown kid from Palestine, Texas, sliced right through the Dallas defense for a 20-yars TD to tie the game at 7 all.
With 5:30 left in the 2nd quarter, and the Cowboys threatening to score again, Tony Romo was sacked at the Vikings 17 and fumbled the ball. Kevin Williams picked it up and returned to the end zone for a touchdown, but a holding penalty brought it back and Minnesota didn’t score on the drive.
They would make up for it though. After Tony Romo completed a short pass to Patrick Crayton, Crayton fumbled the ball and Ben Leber picked it up and took it to midfield. Just as he was being tackled, he flipped a lateral to Cedric Griffin, who returned the rest of the way for the touchdown, even after fumbling at the Dallas 27 to give the Vikings a 14-7 lead at halftime. Nick Folk missed a 50-yard field goal at the end of the half that would’ve cut the lead to 14-10.
Tony Romo was 28/32 for 231 yards at halftime. He injured his hamstring on a play trying to stop the Vikings from returning the Patrick Crayton fumble for the TD, but stayed in for the rest of the game, so that’s a relief.
Marion Barber III would tie the game at 14 halfway through the 3rd quarter when he punched in a 1-yard run just across the goal line. The Vikings challenged, but it was upheld.
Things would then really begin to favor the Cowboys after some bad breaks in the 1st half. With Brian Longwell attempting a 48-yard FG that would’ve given the Vikings a 17-14 lead, Chris Canty dove in and blocked the kick. The ball popped high into the air, and Patrick Watkins returned the ball 62 yards for a touchdown that gave Dallas a 21-14 lead that they would not relinquish. It was the Cowboys 1st blocked FG returned for a TD since the 1983 season. That is unbelievable.
The Cowboys would then force an Adrian Peterson fumble and convert it into a field goal to make the final score 24-14 Cowboys.
Tony Romo completed 31/39 passes for 277 yards and a TD. Only 3 of those completions came in the 2nd half. He still looks very good and I don’t think that it will be too much longer before a deal gets done, but we’ll see.
Marion Barber III carried the ball 19 times for 96 yards and a touchdown while Julius Jones rushed for 28 yards on 9 attempts.
Terrell Owens caught 7 passes for 103 yards and a TD and Jason Witten grabbed 10 balls for 86 yards. Julius Jones had 4 receptions for 30 yards and Patrick Crayton had 2 catches for 19 yards.
The defense looked stellar yet again this week, only giving up a touchdown on Minnesota’s opening drive of the game. Greg Ellis had 2 sacks while Bradie James contributed had one. Jason hatcher forced a fumble from Peterson that allowed the Cowboys to gain a 2 possession lead too. The special teams also came up big with Chris Canty’s amazing block on the field goal attempt and Patrick Watkins return for the touchdown.
Nick Folk made 1/2 field goals today, connecting from 45 yards out but missing on a 50-yard attempt at the end of the half. He has still made 13/15 FG’s on the season.
This was a great way to head into the bye week. Maybe not the prettiest win, but we’ll take it.
"The bottom line is we executed," Romo said.
The next 3 games will be critical, as they could decide who will win the NFC East. Our next game isn’t until Sunday night, so hopefully this will give the players that need the rest a chance to get their feet back under them.
HOW ‘BOUT DEM COWBOYS!!!