The same result: Another close game, another close loss
The game was built as the “misery bowl” and it lived up to the name. Both teams were not very good, especially for two teams who both needed to win. The Cowboys and Vikings entered the game with identical 1-3 records and both teams have been having their problems with penalties and turnovers through the early part of the season. The loser of this game had to know that the playoffs would be a pipe dream this season.
The Cowboys got off to a good start on their second possession after they recovered an Brett Favre fumble when he missed Peterson on the hand off. Romo took the offense down and hit WR Roy Williams, who is quietly having a great season, on a 15-yard pass that was tipped at the line by Vikings DT Kevin Williams. Williams made a great adjustment and made the catch and scampered into the end zone. The Cowboys frustrated fans immediately after the score when Austin leap frogged Williams in the end zone drawing another 15-yard penalty and the stare from coach Wade Phillips.
The following kickoff from the Cowboys 15-yardline went out of bounds giving the Vikings great field position. The Cowboys defense held, highlighted by DeMarcus Ware’s sixth sack in two games. The Vikings then pressured Romo into a bad pass that went off a helmet at the line of scrimmage and into the waiting hands of Vikings LB E.J. Henderson who returned it to the 15-yard line. A couple of plays after that Favre hit WR Greg Camarillo for a 10-yard TD pass to tie the score at 7.
Dallas took the lead after they drove the ball all the way down the field with a good mixture of run and pass plays led by Tony Romo’s scrambling. The drive took 13 plays and 7:05 off the clock and Romo hit Williams on an identical slant route for a 2-yard touchdown pass. The Cowboys went into halftime with the lead at 14-7.
The Vikings took all of 12 seconds to respond on the first play of the second half when Percy Harvin added to the Cowboys special teams wows, returning the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and knotting the score at 14. Both teams exchanged penalty filled possessions. After the Vikings pinned the Cowboys deep for their second possession Dallas went 3-and-out giving the Vikings great field position which Favre and company went down the short field highlighted by Peterson’s 1-yard touchdown run.
The Cowboys wasted little time answering back when the took the next possession and drove the ball down the field, converting a fourth-and-one with Marion Barber, setting up a Dez Bryant touchdown from 31-yards out. The teams were even again. Dallas looked to get a jump on the Vikings when their defense held, but on a third-and-one Romo threw his second interception to E.J. Henderson which set up the Vikings with the ball at Dallas’ 30-yardline. The play call was questionable because the Cowboys had gone 5 for 5 when they handed Barber the ball on third and short situations. The short drive stalled and the Vikings settled for a 38-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell with only 4:05 left on the clock.
The Cowboys got the ball and went 3-and-out and punted the ball back to the Vikings with 2:42 remaining. The Cowboys never touched the ball again due to a Mike Jenkins pass interference on a Vikings 3rd and six. The Vikings held on to win 24-21.
It’s the same old story for the Cowboys. A lack of discipline and turnovers killed them again. If their season is not over, it is on life support.