Defensive end Chris Canty blocked a 49-yard field goal attempt allowing reserve safety Pat Watkins to return it 68 yards for the go-ahead score to help lift the Cowboys past the Vikings, 24-14.
With the game tied at 14-14, the Vikings' Ryan Longwell lined up to attempt a
the 48-yard field goal, but Canty broke through the middle of
line to block the kick. The ball bounced up into
arms of Watkins and he raced down the left side line 68 yards with 2:51 left in the third quarter.
It would be all the momentum the Cowboys needed.
"Bob Carpenter helped me split a double-team and I was able to
get through there and make the block," Canty said afterwards. "Then Bob
made a good block and sprung Pat Watkins for the long touchdown
run. Bob made a big play."
It was the first time the Cowboys (6-1) returned a blocked field
goal for a touchdown since Ron Fellows brought back a blocked
kick by Ed "Too Tall" Jones against the Saints on Sept. 25, 1983.
"I was looking for the ball, either I was going to block whoever
had it or try to find it," Watkins said. "Luckily I was in the
area, and I grabbed it and ran. Right when I got it, that was
my mind-frame, just get as many yards as I can before I got
tackled, and luckily, I got a good block from Bobby and I just
took off. It was a great feeling."
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, who seems to be pushing all the right buttons with this team in his first seven games, said he saw something with his team today that impressed him - heart.
"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."
Tony Romo completed a career-high 31-of-39 passes for 277 yards
and a touchdown to pace the Dallas offense. Terrell Owens caught seven passes for 103 yards and a
touchdown, while tight end Jason Witten added 10 receptions for 86
Meanwhile, the defense held Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson, a Texas native, in check for most of the day.
One week after gaining 224 yards against the Bears,
Peterson returned home to rush for 63
yards and one touchdown.
"I felt like I played all right, except when I put the ball on
the turf," said Peterson, who entered the day as the NFL's
leading rusher. "You definitely can't have that, especially
against a team like this. They were definitely stacking the
box. It felt like we really couldn't get a drive going. We
left some opportunities out there on the field."
While Peterson did have some success on the ground, QB Tarvaris Jackson had little through the air. For the day, he completed just 6-of-19 passes for
72 yards and was sacked three times.
"We all took turns messing up," Jackson said. "There were a couple of plays we left out there. We never got into a rhythm."
Meanwhile, Romo had an outstanding first half, completing
28-of-32 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown, but the Cowboys
managed to put just seven points on the board entered the break
"Our special teams played outstanding, along with the blocked
field goal that went for the touchdown,"
Phillips said. "That was obviously the turning point of the
game. We made some mistakes in the first half that really hurt
us. We moved the ball well.
"We have over 200 yards in the first half and we were behind,
and that can happen, especially with turnovers."
Despite outgaining Minnesota in the first half, 250-76, Dallas still trailed by
seven at halftime after Nick Folk missed his first
field goal of the season, a 50-yard attempt with two seconds
left in the second quarter.
Dallas finally tied it at 14-14 midway through the third on Marion
Barber's 1-yard run. It was the first rushing touchdown given up by the Vikings all season.
The Cowboys extended the lead by three when Dallas linebacker Bradie James recovered Peterson's fumble, giving Dallas the ball
on the Viking 22-yard line. Three plays later, Folk connected
on a 45-yard field goal that put the game out of rach.
With the win, the Cowboys are now 6-1 for the first time since 1996.
'Boys Rebound Nicely
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