NFL Game Summary - Dallas at Minnesota|
(Sunday, October 17th)
Final Score: Minnesota 24, Dallas 21
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Ryan Longwell's 38-yard field goal with
4:03 to play proved to be the difference, as the Minnesota Vikings took
advantage of several Dallas errors in a 24-21 victory over the Cowboys.
Both of these teams were considered Super Bowl contenders after both made the
playoffs last year, but they stumbled out of the gate to identical 1-3
records. The Vikings (2-3), who beat the Cowboys (1-4), 34-3, in a divisional
playoff game last year, scored on special teams and two short fields to squeak
out the victory.
Brett Favre finished the game with 118 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-19
efficiency for Minnesota, which will have an opportunity to climb back to .500
next week when the Vikings travel to Favre's old stomping grounds in Green
Bay. Adrian Peterson added 73 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, while Randy
Moss hauled in five passes for 55 yards.
"I never want to turn the ball over like I did last week," said Favre. "You
always are touching the ball and it's so important to not give it away. That
was one of the biggest differences in the game today is that we didn't make
Percy Harvin returned the second half kickoff 95 yards for a score, and Greg
Camarillo caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap a short 16-yard drive.
Dallas' Tony Romo completed 25-of-33 passes for 220 yards and three
touchdowns, but threw two costly interceptions that led to 10 Minnesota
points. Roy Williams had two touchdown catches, while Dez Bryant had the
"You can't turn the ball over if you want to win," said Williams. "My hat goes
off to their defense, they did a great number on us. You can't turn the ball
over and that's what we did today and they turned those into 10 points. And a
touchdown on a kickoff, that's 17 points right there. We've got to man up, go
out next week and play our best game cause it's a division rival."
The Cowboys, who are among the league leaders in penalties, disappointed once
again with 11 more infractions totaling 91 yards. Dallas, which went 11-5 last
year in capturing the NFC East title, will try to avoid matching 2009's loss
total when it hosts the Giants next Monday.
With the game tied, the Cowboys took over deep in their own territory with
nine minutes to play.
On 3rd-and-2 from the 22, Romo attempted a short pass over the middle to Jason
Witten, but the ball found the hands of Minnesota's E.J. Henderson -- his
second interception of the game -- who gave the Vikings possession at the
Minnesota wasn't able to find the end zone on the ensuing series, but Longwell
drilled a 38-yard field goal for a 24-21 lead.
On the Cowboys' ensuing possession, Romo couldn't gain one first down, and the
visitors elected to punt. The Vikings appeared to go three-and-out after an
incompletion on third down, but Mike Jenkins was called for defensive pass
interference, extending the drive.
Minnesota was able to run the clock down to 30 seconds before punting it away,
and Dallas had one last ditch effort from its own seven-yard line with 13
seconds left. It wasn't enough time for the Cowboys to make a serious threat
Favre fumbled near midfield on the Vikings' first possession, and Dallas
jumped on the loose ball. An eight-play, 48-yard drive ensued, culminating
with Romo's first touchdown pass to Williams from 15 yards away for a 7-0
The Cowboys got the ball back after Minnesota's offense stumbled, but a Romo
pass deep in Dallas territory was tipped up in the air and intercepted by
Henderson, who returned it to the 16-yard line. Four plays later, Favre found
Camarillo in the end zone from the 10 for a tie score.
Dallas, though, put together an impressive drive just before halftime that
lasted more than seven minutes and amassed 82 yards. Marion Barber converted
an early 3rd-and-1 with a three-yard burst through the middle, and a 30-yard
completion down the left sideline to Witten put the Cowboys in Minnesota
Facing 3rd-and-7 from the Minnesota 29, Romo found plenty of space up the
middle, scrambling without being touched before sliding safely for a 14-yard
gain and a first down. Another Romo rush up the middle converted a third down
inside the 10, and the signal-caller hit Williams on a slant two plays later
for a two-yard score and a 14-7 halftime margin.
The Vikings, who gained only 60 yards in the first half, didn't need their
offense to tie up the score in the second half, as Harvin burst through the
middle of the field for a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown.
A Chris Kluwe punt pinned the Cowboys at their own four-yard line midway
through the third, and Dallas gained no yards on the ensuing drive before
punting the ball away.
Minnesota took over on the opposing 49-yard line and moved the length of the
field in nine plays. The key play of the drive occurred when the Vikings faced
3rd-and-4 at the 32; Favre avoided a heavy blitz and tossed the ball near the
line of scrimmage to Jimmy Kleinsasser, who rumbled 20 yards down the field to
On 3rd-and-1 from the three, Peterson hammered his way for two yards and a
first down, then found the end zone on the following play for a 21-14 lead
with under a minute until the fourth.
The Cowboys, though, answered with a 10-play, 65-yard series that ended on a
perfect 31-yard touch pass from Romo to Bryant to tie the game early in the
fourth quarter. Barber extended the drive on a 4th-and-1 run that went for two
Favre made his 290th consecutive start at quarterback, extending his own
record...The Vikings won despite gaining just 188 yards on offense. Dallas had
314 yards of offense...Minnesota committed five penalties for 45
yards...Peterson surpassed 5,000 career yards and is the fifth fastest to do
it in NFL history...The Vikings have won five of the last six regular season
meetings between the clubs.
10/17 20:14:53 ET