American Football: Jones keeps Dallas play-off hopes alive
Wednesday 08 December 2004
Julius Jones scored on a 17-yard run with 37 seconds left as the Dallas Cowboys scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes to stun the Seattle Seahawks 43-39 in the National Football League late on Monday.
The Dallas quarterback Vinny Testaverde hit Keyshawn Johnson on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 1:54 left and after Jason Witten recovered the on-side kick, the Cowboys marched down field for the winning score.
The Cowboys' comeback came after they relinquished a 29-14 lead as Seattle scored three touchdowns in a seven-minute span to take a 39-29 lead before the Cowboys rallied.
Jones wound up rushing for 198 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns to lead Dallas, who improved to five wins and seven losses (5-7) and stayed alive for a play-off spot in the National Football Conference.
"I have confidence in myself, but this is really unexpected," Jones said. "Once again I proved I can carry the load. I go out every game with a chip on my shoulder and tonight we did it as a team. This is huge. We still have a shot at the playoffs and all we have to do is keep it going... We just have a lot of heart. We did not want to give the game up. We were poised. We felt we had to hang in there because we had plenty of time."
The frustrating loss for the Seahawks saw them slip to 6-6, leaving them tied for first place with the St Louis Rams in the NFC West.
The teams combined for 36 points in a wild fourth quarter, with Matt Hasselbeck passing for 414 yards in the game for the Seahawks.
Testaverde threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Johnson finished with six catches for 116 yards for the Cowboys, who led 19-14 at the half and handed the Seahawks their second straight upset loss at home, following their 38-9 loss to Buffalo the previous Sunday.
Jerry Rice had eight catches for 145 yards and one touchdown for the Seahawks, while Darrell Jackson had nine catches for 113 yards. Rice's big night made him the all-time NFL combined yardage leader with more than 23,000 total yards.
"I felt pretty good when we were up by 10 with a couple of minutes to go," the Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "Let's just say it: You have to win those. We've lost two of those games this year, and it might prevent us from getting into the playoffs."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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