After learning of their playoff fate before the game, the Dallas Cowboys played like a team with nothing to play for.
Arlen Harris rushed for the go-ahead, one-yard touchdown early
in the fourth quarter as the St. Louis Rams posted a 20-10
victory over the lifeless Cowboys in the regular-season finale
for both teams.
The Cowboys (9-7) were eliminated from wild-card contention
earlier in the day when Washington won at Philadelphia, 31-20.
In what could have been the final game for coach Bill Parcells,
who reportedly has contemplated retirement, the Cowboys came
out with a complete lack of emotion on both sides of the ball.
Dallas has missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons
under Parcells after making the postseason in his first campaign
Running back Marshall Faulk, the 1999 NFL MVP and future Hall of
Famer, also likely played his final game with the Rams. The
32-year-old, who could be released, rushed for 25 yards on 11
attempts. He also had two catches for nine yards.
Ranked last in the league defensively, the Rams (6-10)
obliterated the Cowboys' offensive line, getting constant
pressure on the immobile Drew Bledsoe and shutting down the
A sack by linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who jarred the ball loose
from Bledsoe, helped set up the go-ahead score. Defensive end
Anthony Hargrove, who had two sacks, recovered the fumble at the
Dallas 40 with 13:31 remaining.
Jamie Martin then found tight end Brandon Manumaleuna down the
middle for a 29-yard gain to the 11. Two plays later, Harris
plowed in for a one-yard TD with 11:57 left to give the Rams a
Having been eliminated from playoff contention for weeks, the
Rams played with much more intensity in what more than likely
was the final game for interim coach Joe Vitt.
Vitt went 4-7 after replacing Mike Martz, who was sidelined
since October with a bacterial infection of a heart valve. Martz
also is expected to have his contract bought out.
Bledsoe, who was sacked five times behind his porous offensive
line, opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 19-yard
touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten. Bledsoe completed
18-of-39 passes for 242 yards with two interceptions.
Rookie defensive back O.J. Atogwe sealed the victory with an
interception and 42-yard return to the Dallas 3 with 2:17
remaining. The pick set up Jeff Wilkins' 20-yard field goal
with 65 seconds left that gave the Rams a 20-10 lead.
The Rams, who forced four second-half turnovers, registered 14
defensive plays for losses.
Wilkins kicked a 49-yard field goal 15 seconds into the
second quarter and Aveion Cason scored on an eight-yard run
with 1:52 left in the half to give St. Louis a 10-7 lead.
Shaun Suisham kicked a 22-yard field goal with three seconds
left in the half to bring the Cowboys even. He also badly
missed a 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Martin completed 19-of-32 passes for 158 yards without a
The Rams failed to commit a turnover for the first time in 27
CowboysHQ Top Stories
Cowboys T. McClain + His Pal - His Big ToeARLINGTON - In preparation for tonight's Bears at Cowboys game, I go 1-in-1 with maybe Dallas' best player on D, Terrell McClain - and his new best friend, his so-far-cooperative…
Cowboys 1st and 10: The Front Four ShuffleEach weekend I provide 10 quick hits on the Cowboys. Marinelli is turning to his tackles to create an edge rush, the debate about Romo’s job security is a little insulting, and…
CowboysHQYesterday at 1:00 PM
Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Picks for Week 3Here are CowboysHQ.com's Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Football picks for Week 3 against the Chicago Bears (plus a Norm Hitzges special!)
CowboysHQFriday at 10:00 AM
Cowboys STARCast: 'Alpha Pup' Vs. The BearsCowboys STARCast: 'Alpha Pup' + 'Butterfly' + Big Changes On D Vs. The Bears - Hear from Tyrone, Jack, Church and Durant!
CowboysHQFriday at 7:05 AM