Switzer pays full price for call

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American football

A dubious call by the Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer backfired on Sunday and let in the Philadelphia Eagles. Switzer elected to go for a first down on fourth-and-one at the Cowboys' 29. Emmitt Smith's run was stopped for no gain, but the referees blew the whistle for the two-minute warning prior to the snap.

Switzer left his offense on the field and ran the same play and Smith was halted again. Philadelphia ran three plays that gained four yards, then Gary Anderson kicked a field goal from 42 yards to win the game 20- 17.

Philadelphia (9-5) moved to within one game of leaders Dallas (10-4) in the NFC East. Despite the loss, Dallas clinched a play-off berth when Chicago and St Louis lost.

Steve Young threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Carolina Panthers 31-10. The 49ers have won five consecutive games to tie Dallas for the best record in the NFC.

Atlanta Falcon's Morten Andersen became the first NFL kicker to succeed with three field goals of more than 50 yards in a game. He added another of 25 yards as the Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints 19-14.