Cowboys Topple Lions

QB Vinny Testaverde led the the Cowboys to a 31-21 win over the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon at Texas Stadium. <BR>

When it counted, Vinny Testaverde came up big.

Testaverde passed for three touchdowns and ran for a score as the Dallas Cowboys posted a 31-21 victory over the upstart Detroit Lions.

The 41-year-old signal caller engineered a 15-play, 83-yard drive on the Cowboys' first possession, completing all six of his passes for 58 yards.

On the Cowboys' next score, Testaverde picked up a first down on a 4th-and-3 with a seven-yard sneak to the Detroit 35 before finishing the drive with a 26-yard scoring pass to Keyshawn Johnson, who bounced off a defender at the 12 and went in to tie the game at 14-14.

On the third play of the third quarter, Testaverde ran around right end for a three-yard TD, his first rushing score since 1998.

After Detroit moved within 24-21 with 5:29 remaining on a 50-yard pass by Joey Harrington to David Kircus, Testaverde converted a 3rd-and-8 pass for 30 yards to rookie Patrick Crayton and then hit Johnson on a 38-yard scoring play to end any hopes of a Detroit comeback.

But Testaverde, who completed 19-of-24 passes, also kept the Lions in the game by throwing three interceptions. His first, a throw in the left flat, was returned 55 yards for a touchdown by cornerback Dre' Bly in the second period, giving Detroit a 14-7 lead.

The Dallas defense played inspired after allowing 480 yards to Green Bay last week and yielded scores on the Packers' first seven possessions.

After allowing a 74-yard scoring drive on the game's first possession, the defense allowed just 54 yards the rest of the half and 284 for the game.

With just under 12 minutes left in the game and the Lions facing a 3rd-and-1 at the Dallas 38, safety Roy Williams blitzed and blocked a pass Harrington. Detroit went for it on fourth down but Nate Jones sacked Harrington on a corner blitz. That play led to a 40-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff for a 24-14 lead with 6:59 left.

Tight end Jason Witten, who had eight catches for 112 yards last week against the Packers, caught nine passes for 84 yards and a TD for Dallas, which snapped its first three-game losing streak under coach Bill Parcells.

Eddie George ran for a season-high 100 yards on 31 carries and Johnson caught three passes for 80 yards for Dallas, which rolled up 357 yards, 22 first downs and almost 39 minutes in time of possession.

Harrington, who entered the game with the league's best fourth-quarter passer rating (129.7), couldn't rally the Lions, who were attempting to open the season 4-0 on the road for the first time since 1956. He completed 19-of-32 for 255 yards but was just 4-for-7 in the final period. He had two touchdowns and one interception.

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