American Football: Miller's leap and Hutton's fumble see Dallas through

Click to follow
Anthony Miller leaped to catch a 14-yard touchdown pass from Troy Aikman with 51 seconds left on Monday night as the Dallas Cowboys rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to a 21-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Even then, the Eagles could have stolen the game with a 22-yard field goal, but they made a hash of it. Tom Hutton, holding for Chris Boniol, fumbled the snap, tried to run with it, and was tackled by Deion Sanders in a bizarre finish.

Ty Detmer hit Freddie Solomon with a 46-yard pass to the Dallas five- yard line with four seconds to play. The Eagles, who had driven from their own 16 following Miller's touchdown, called their final timeout.

It seemed Boniol, a former Cowboy, could not miss, considering he had made 46 consecutive field goals from the 35-yard line or closer. The snap was perfect; the hold was not.

Aikman, hounded all night by a tough pass rush, took the Cowboys 62 yards in seven plays for the winning touchdown. A fourth-down pass interference call on Charles Dimry set Dallas up at the Philadelphia 45. Replays showed the ball was tipped by the Eagles lineman Mike Mamula and that should have negated the call.

Then Aikman, who had been booed in the first half, connected with the tight end Eric Bjornson on a diving 24-yard completion to the Philadelphia 17. Two plays later, Miller grabbed the ball away from safety Tim Watson in the back of the end zone.

The Eagles cornerback, Bobby Taylor, produced 10 points with blindside blitzes of Aikman that caused fumbles. Detmer threw a touchdown pass and Boniol kicked two field goals as the Eagles scented an upset.

Dallas, who had rallied from a 17-3 deficit in the second quarter, drove to the Philadelphia three-yard line late in the fourth quarter but Emmitt Smith was stopped on a third-and-four play. Dallas had to settle for Richie Cunningham's fifth field goal to cut the Eagles' lead to 20-15 with 5min 28sec left.

Ray Farmer recovered a fumble by Aikman on one of the hits at the Dallas 45, setting up Boniol's 49-yard field goal. Boniol hit a 44-yard field goal early in the fourth period for a 20-9 lead. Taylor struck again in the first quarter, only this time the Eagles cashed Aikman's fumble into a 37-yard touchdown return by William Thomas.

The Eagles led 17-6 at halftime with the only offensive touchdown of the first 30 minutes coming when the rookie tight end Chad Lewis escaped for a 12-yard touchdown pass from Detmer with 9:31 left.

Dallas blew a 15-point lead to Arizona last week and the Eagles upset Green Bay 10-9.

The Dallas offensive lineman Larry Allen pulled a hamstring and the defensive lineman Chad Hennings a groin, with both missing the second half. The cornerback Troy Vincent missed the second half for the Eagles with a shoulder injury.

Comments