Emmitt Smith’s 31-yard touchdown sealed a 23-17 win for the Cowboys in Minnesota last night. The Vikings fall to 1-2 on the year while the Cowboys move to 3-0.
The game-winner was one of two touchdowns for Smith, the other a 2-yard jaunt that gave the Cowboys a 16-10 lead in the 4th quarter. Smith rushed for 150 yards on 20 attempts on the day.
Dallas opened the scoring with six minutes remaining in the first quarter. Defensive tackle Leon Lett recovered a fumble by Vikings quarterback Warren Moon on the Minnesota 14-yard line. The next play was a 19-yard pass from quarterback Troy Aikman to wide receiver Michael Irvin. Irvin recorded eight receptions for 107 yards, his second 100+ yard effort of the year. Chris Boniol’s PAT was no good, leaving the Cowboys with a 6-0 lead.
The Vikings got on the board with the following drive, going 43 yards on eight plays, ending in a 42-yard field goal by Fuad Reveiz. Smith fumbled on the first play following the kickoff, giving Minnesota the ball back on the Dallas 26-yard line. Minnesota took the 10-6 lead six plays later when Moon completed a 3-yard pass to receiver Jake Reed for the touchdown.
Dallas cut the Minnesota lead to one with seven minutes to go in the half on a 39-yard field goal by Boniol. The Vikings tried to answer on the next drive, but Reveiz’s 48-yard field goal was no good. Aikman led the Cowboys down to the Minnesota 6-yard line before the half, but could not find the end zone to take the lead.
The score remained 10-9 Minnesota until the 4th quarter when the Cowboys retook the lead on Smith’s first touchdown of the game. Tight end Jay Novacek found the end zone on the two-point conversion, giving Dallas a 17-10 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining.
A Dallas three-and-out with three minutes remaining resulted in a 33-yard punt by John Jett and gave Minnesota the ball near midfield. Eight plays later, the Vikings tied the game at 17 on an 8-yard touchdown to wide receiver Cris Carter.
The Cowboys received the ball first in overtime.
The drive began at the Dallas 27-yard line. Aikman completed a 22-yard pass to Irvin to give the Cowboys a first down at the Dallas 49-yard line. On 3rd-and-6, Cory Fleming caught a 16-yard pass from Aikman, giving Dallas a first down at the Minnesota 31, setting up Smith’s game-winning 31-yard touchdown.
Aikman was 24-38 for 246 yards and one touchdown while Moon went 22-38 for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
Next week the Cowboys return home again and will take on the divisional foe Arizona Cardinals, who are 1-2 after defeating the Detroit Lions yesterday afternoon in Michigan.