Cowboys Stun Panthers 14-13

Quincy Carter led the Dallas Cowboys to a dramatic victory for the second time in three weeks, turning a 13-0 deficit to the Carolina Panthers into a 14-13 victory by throwing an 80-yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway with 3:55 left, then a 24-yarder to rookie Antonio Bryant with just 56 seconds to go.

"This is one of the craziest wins I've ever been associated with," Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith said. "It was amazing, truly amazing."

Carter, who led a last-minute scoring drive against the St. Louis Rams just two weeks ago, directed an incredible comeback after one of the poorest peformances of the year through the first three quarters Sunday afternoon.

Carter, who was celebrating his 25th birthday today, got the Cowboys in a hole by committing two turnovers and staying relatively inaccurate. Fans were booing, and nearly half of Texas Stadium emptied as Dallas appeared headed to their first home shutout in 11 years.

Then the former Georgia star decided to take things into his own hands.

After going 9-of-22 for 77 yards over the first 55 minutes, he was 6-of-10 for 148 yards on the final two drives. The Galloway TD was the longest pass of Carter's career, and it stretched his streak of consecutive 200-yard passing games to five straight.

On Galloway's touchdown, Carter scrambled out of a sack and steadied himself with his free hand. The pass was nearly intercepted by Deon Grant, but instead he deflected it - straight to Galloway.

"The ball just elevated more than I thought," Grant said. "I didn't jump high enough."

On the game-winning drive, Carolina thought it had recovered a Carter fumble, but replay officials called it an incompletion, citing the same "tuck rule" that saved Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the playoffs.

Given new life, Dallas improvised. A 10-yard completion to Darnay Scott on fourth-and-6 came on a play that wasn't in the game plan, as was the TD pass to Bryant, which also was on fourth down.

On the game-winning catch, Bryant juggled it, then rolled over, causing a few seconds of hesitation. Once it was clear he still had it, fans screamed and players piled on top of each other.

Carolina almost answered as Chris Weinke - who played the second half after Rodney Peete sustained a concussion - completed passes of 24 and 22 yards to reach the Dallas 41 with 11 seconds left and no timeouts.

The Panthers still weren't in kicker Shayne Graham's range, so Weinke hit Muhsin Muhammad for 9 yards. He was tackled in bounds and time expired before the Panthers could spike the ball.

"It's a shame that we played so hard and so well, only to come up short in the end," said Carolina coach John Fox, whose team won its first three but has lost three straight by a combined seven points, all in the closing minutes. "To be in such control of the game and have a couple of fluke plays happen is a shame."

The win continued Dallas' lose-win, lose-win cycle and again keeps Carter's critics at bay for a week. It also was a nice birthday present for the boss, Jerry Jones, who turned 60.

The Panthers built their lead on a 25-yard TD pass from Peete to Brad Hoover after Carter practically handed an interception to Julius Peppers. Graham kicked field goals of 50 and 44 yards. He also missed a 44-yarder.

Emmitt Smith ended the afternoon with 59 yards, leaving him 175 yards from passing Walter Payton to become the NFL's career rushing leader.

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