Vikings
Cowboys
14 - 24 Final
  for this game

Blocked field goal return sparks Cowboys in win over Vikings

Oct 22, 2007 - 2:15 AM By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

IRVING, Texas (Ticker) - The Dallas Cowboys seem to be fully recovered from their only loss of the season last week against the New England Patriots.

Chris Canty blocked a 49-yard field goal attempt and safety Pat Watkins returned it 68 yards for the decisive score as the Cowboys held off the Minnesota Vikings, 24-14, on Sunday.

The Cowboys now head into their bye week on a high note after Canty and Watkins came up with the game-changing play.

With the game tied at 14-14, the Vikings' Ryan Longwell launched the 48-yard field goal attempt, but Canty broke through the line and swatted the ball to the turf. It bounced up into Watkins' arms and he raced down the left side line for a 68-yard score with 2:51 left in the third.

"Bob Carpenter helped me split a double-team and I was able to get through there and make the block," Canty said. "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 in 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."

Tony Romo completed a career-high 31-of-39 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys won for just the first time in their last six games against Minnesota.

Terrell Owens hauled in seven passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Jason Witten had 10 receptions for 86 yards.

Meanwhile, the defense held Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson in check and forced him to cough up the ball late, which led to a game-clinching field goal.

One week after gaining 224 yards against the Chicago Bears, Peterson returned to his home state of Texas and rushed for 63 yards and one touchdown on just 11 carries.

"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."

The Vikings were unable to establish any rhythm because quarterback Tarvaris Jackson completed just 6-of-19 passes for 72 yards and was sacked three times.

"You're not going to win many games throwing 70 yards," Minnesota coach Brad Childress said. "He just needs to hit the open guys coming off the goal line. I am disappointed in that, but we will just have to get better at that."

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 trailing, 14-7.

"Our special teams played outstanding, along with the blocked field goal that went for the touchdown," Dallas coach Wade 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."

With the game tied at 7-7 and the Cowboys marching downfield again, Romo connected with Patrick Crayton for a seven-yard gain to midfield. However, Crayton was hit and fumbled the ball.

Vikings linebacker Ben Leber picked up the loose ball and lateraled to cornerback Cedric Griffin. Griffin had control of the ball, fumbled it again, then corralled it and raced down the sideline 27 yards for his first career touchdown with 1:39 left in half.

Romo also appeared to injure his right hamstring on the play, but he did return and continued to make plays.

"It's fine, I'll be all right," Romo said.

"Tony's going to gut it out and do what he needs to do to fight through it and get back," Owens said. "So it made him a pocket passer a little bit, as he looked a little gimpy out of the pocket, but I'm sure he'll take care of himself over the break and get ready."

Despite outgaining Minnesota, 250-76, Dallas still trailed by seven at halftime after rookie kicker Nick Folk missed his first field goal of the season, a 50-yard attempt, with two seconds left in the second quarter.

"In a game like this one, we're going to be able to move the ball a little bit," Romo said. "But it's also going to take a little bit of time with the way they drop back a lot of people a lot of the time. With that said, you can't turn the ball over, and we did that a couple of times."

Dallas tied it at 14-14 midway through the third on Marion Barber's 1-yard plunge, a play that survived a Minnesota challenge. But the call stood, giving Dallas the first rushing touchdown against Minnesota this season.

Dallas extended the lead by three when Dallas linebacker Bradie James recovered Peterson's fumble, giving the Cowboys the ball on the Viking 22-yard line. Three plays later, Folk connected on a 45-yard field goal that essentially sealed the game.

Dallas, which improved to 6-1 for the first time since 1996, was 7-of-15 on third down conversions and outgained Minnesota (2-4), 381-196.

"Our record could be better but we're not frustrated, believe me," Griffin said. "We've been in every game we've played so far. We'll just have to make our plays when our chances come up. We missed our opportunities. I don't think we came out to play."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 7 7 0 0 14
    DALLAS 7 0 14 3 24 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, TERRELL OWENS 5 YD PASS FROM TONY
    ROMO (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK), 8:24.
    Drive: 14 plays, 80 yards in 8:24.
    Key plays: Romo 12-yard pass to
    Crayton on 3rd-and-4 to Dallas 38;
    Romo 4-yar

    Oct 21 7:19 PM


  • NFL
    FG DAL
    NICHOLAS FOLK 45 YD
    MINNESOTA 14
    DALLAS 24 10:34 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 6:48 PM
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    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 6:37 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 7 7 0 14
    DALLAS 7 0 14 21 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, TERRELL OWENS 5 YD PASS FROM TONY
    ROMO (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK), 8:24.
    Drive: 14 plays, 80 yards in 8:24.
    Key plays: Romo 12-yard pass to
    Crayton on 3rd-and-4 to Dallas 38;
    Rom

    Oct 21 6:33 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    PAT WATKINS 68 YD RETURN OF BLOCKED FIELD GOAL
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    MINNESOTA 14
    DALLAS 21 2:52 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 6:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    MARION BARBER III 1 YD RUN
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    MINNESOTA 14
    DALLAS 14 6:55 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 6:17 PM
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    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 5:42 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 7 7 14
    DALLAS 7 0 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, TERRELL OWENS 5 YD PASS FROM TONY
    ROMO (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK), 8:24.
    Drive: 14 plays, 80 yards in 8:24.
    Key plays: Romo 12-yard pass to
    Crayton on 3rd-and-4 to Dallas 38;
    Romo 4-

    Oct 21 5:39 PM
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    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 5:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    CEDRIC GRIFFIN 27 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    MINNESOTA 14
    DALLAS 7 1:39 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 5:31 PM
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  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 7 7
    DALLAS 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: DAL - TD, TERRELL OWENS 5 YD PASS FROM TONY
    ROMO (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK), 8:24.
    Drive: 14 plays, 80 yards in 8:24.
    Key plays: Romo 12-yard pass to
    Crayton on 3rd-and-4 to Dallas 38;
    Rom

    Oct 21 4:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD MIN
    ADRIAN PETERSON 20 YD RUN
    (RYAN LONGWELL KICK)
    MINNESOTA 7
    DALLAS 7 0:43 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 4:40 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    TERRELL OWENS 5 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    MINNESOTA 0
    DALLAS 7 6:36 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 4:27 PM
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    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 2:51 PM
  • GDawg The Cowboys should no problem "heading the Vikings off at the pass". Should be as simple as shooting ducks (vikings) at the OK Corrall.

    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 21 12:56 PM
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    Vikings vs. CowboysOct 19 3:06 PM
  • jacook11 DaBoys will make a strong comeback from last week's loss

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