The Seahawks (6-6) appeared poised to assume the top spot in the NFC West Division, taking a 39-29 lead following a 32-yard touchdown run by Shaun Alexander with 2:53 remaining. But as it did in an October 10 loss to the St. Louis Rams that seemed to derail its season, Seattle fell apart when it mattered most.
Vinny Testaverde found Keyshawn Johnson with a 34-yard touchdown
toss with 1:54 to go, Dallas' Jason Witten recovered the onside
kick and Jones made his final carry of the night a special one
- breaking up the middle and through traffic for the winning
"I thought I wouldn't have to go through the Rams game again and
this wasn't quite as bad but it hurts just as much," Seattle
coach Mike Holmgren said. "The team did a good job of getting
back in the game and going ahead, but then we couldn't make a
play in the end."
"I've had this feeling once before this season," Seattle
quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "There are a lot of positives
in this game, but the bottom line is that we didn't win."
Jones finished with a career-high 198 yards and three
touchdowns. Among Dallas rookies, only Tony Dorsett, who ran
for 206 yards in a game in 1977, ever has had a bigger game on
"Once again I proved that I can carry the load," Jones said. "I
go out every game with a chip on my shoulder, trying to prove
something, and tonight we did it as a team."
"He's a good back, but I was disappointed on how we defended the
run, that is for sure," Holmgren said. "You have to give him
his due, he had a lot of yards. I know that."
Testaverde completed 18-of-34 passes for 225 yards and two
scores as Dallas improved to 5-7 and remained alive in the
muddled NFC playoff picture.
"This was huge," Jones said. "We have a shot at the playoffs.
We needed this game and from here on out we've got to keep it
"We are better off now as a team than at any point this year,"
Dallas coach Bill Parcells said. "Not just because we won this
game, but because we have more balance in our attack."
Alexander had 83 yards and two scores - both in the fourth
quarter when Seattle erased a 29-17 deficit with 22 straight
"I really thought we had put the game away at that point,"
Hasselbeck said. "We felt like we had them in a tough position.
They were going to have to do something spectacular and make
some real big plays to come back and they did."
Seattle looked ready to turn the game into a rout early, as
Hasselbeck threw first-quarter touchdown passes to Jerry Rice
and Darrell Jackson. But the Cowboys scored 26 straight points
to take a 29-14 lead.
Testaverde had a nine-yard scoring strike before Jones broke
free for TD runs of eight and 10 yards. Billy Cundiff's 47-yard
field goal capped the run and left Dallas with a 15-point lead
with 10:10 left in the third quarter.
Seattle's Josh Brown stemmed the tide with a field goal with
3:01 to go in the quarter and Alexander took over in the fourth.
He had a one-yard TD run and 32-yard scoring burst sandwiched
around a 19-yard touchdown toss from Hasselbeck to Jerheme Urban.
After Alexander's second scoring run put Seattle on top, 39-29,
Testaverde engineered a four-play, 64-yard drive that culminated
in a heave that Johnson pulled down deep in the end zone.
"Typical, I'm expected to make those plays and go up and take
the ball out of the air," Johnson said. "I get many of what you
would call one-on-one opportunities. When I get those
opportunities, I have to deliver."
The acrobatic catch quieted the crowd at Qwest Field and things
got deathly silent when Witten came down untouched with the
onside kick. Taking over with 1:44 left, Dallas was all but in
position to play for the tying field goal.
Testaverde found Quincy Morgan for 13 yards on a 3rd-and-1 and
Jones broke free for 16 yards on a 3rd-and-8. On 2nd-and-10
with 37 seconds to go, Jones broke off left guard for the
On Seattle's ensuing possession, Hasselbeck found Rice for 28
yards but saw his heave into the end zone bounce off a sea of
defenders and just out of the reach of Jackson.
Hasselbeck finished 28-of-40 for 414 yards and three scores.
Rice hauled in eight of those passes for 145 yards, while
Jackson had nine catches for 113 yards.
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