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Falcons' Vick, Cowboys' Carter shaken up

8/25/2002

IRVING, Texas (AP) --The Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys
didn't get to see as much of their No. 1 quarterbacks as they hoped
Saturday night.

Both Atlanta's Michael Vick and Dallas' Quincy Carter left after
taking jarring hits on which they were sandwiched by defenders in a
preseason game the Falcons won 21-19 after both of their backup
quarterbacks threw fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Cowboys rookie kicker Billy Cundiff, getting an extended tryout
in his attempt to beat out incumbent Tim Seder, missed a 22-yard
field goal with three seconds left when his kick hit off the right
upright.

"I thought our guys did a good job of putting pressure on the
field goal,'' said Falcons coach Dan Reeves, whose team is 3-0
during the preseason. "Anytime you win, it feels good.''

Deep snapper Trey Junkin, the 19-year veteran signed Saturday,
had a low snap, but holder Micah Knorr got the ball up in time for
Cundiff's kick.

"Inside 40 yards, it doesn't matter about the snap,'' Cundiff
said. "It just wasn't a good performance.''

Cundiff made field goals of 46 and 25 yards in the first half,
when he also was wide right on a 44-yard attempt.

After replacing Vick, Doug Johnson threw two TD passes,
including a 41-yarder to Alvis Whitted with 14:11 left that put the
Falcons ahead to stay at 14-13. Rookie Kurt Kittner added a 30-yard
scoring pass to tight end Brian Kozlowski with 8:20 left.

Rookie Woody Dantzler, who was a quarterback at Clemson,
returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. But Anthony
Wright's pass on the two-point conversion was incomplete to Ken-Yon
Rambo.

Carter was hurt with about nine minutes left in the third
quarter, when he was crushed between defensive end Brady Smith and
linebacker Keith Brooking as he threw a pass. Carter's helmet
popped off when he was hit.

"Both of my ears were ringing and I felt really dizzy,'' Carter
said. "I really don't remember the play.''

The Cowboys said Carter, who left the field under his own power,
took a blow to the head and had a jaw contusion. He was going to be
re-evaluated Sunday.

Vick was expected to play the entire first half. But he was
limited to just two series, bruising his right elbow when he got
sandwiched between Ebenezer Ekuban and La'Roi Glover with about 13
minutes left in the second quarter.

The Cowboys were in position for Cundiff's last field-goal
attempt thanks to Wright, the fourth quarterback who was 7-of-9 for
57 yards.

On fourth-and-4 after the two-minute warning, Wright scrambled
away from pressure for a 16-yard completion to Randal Williams. He
then hit Jermaine Copeland for 11 and 19 yards before Tony Taylor's
16-yard run to the 3 on which Johndale Carty made a TD-saving
tackle.

Vick, who was 3-of-6 for 17 yards, was sacked twice, but did run
7 yards on a third-and-5 play after escaping linebacker Kevin Hardy
in the backfield on the first series. He felt numbness in his elbow
after behind hit on the next series.

"A helmet hit my elbow and it was numb for two or three
minutes,'' Vick said. "If it was a regular season game, I would
have come back in. But it's nice to have a backup come in and get
the ball into the end zone.''

Chad Hutchinson, the 25-year-old Cowboys rookie who spent four
years playing pro baseball, started to have a chance to play with
the first-team offense and was 3-of-3 for 25 yards. Carter, who was
supposed to play the second and third quarters, was 6-of-11 for 70
yards.

Johnson's second TD pass ended a six-play, 97-yard drive that
started after the Cowboys downed a 51-yard punt by rookie Filip
Filipovic. It also made up for interceptions on the first two
series after halftime.

On the third play of the second half, Johnson was hit by
blitzing safety Tony Dixon as he tried to throw. Linebacker Markus
Steele pulled the ball out of the air and ran 34 yards for a 13-7
Cowboys lead.

The next Atlanta drive ended with an interception by Lynn Scott,
another backup safety trying to make the Cowboys behind starters
Darren Woodson and Roy Williams.

Dallas, which didn't have an offensive TD and was penalized 14
times for 100 yards, couldn't take advantage of that interception
after Carter was hurt two plays later.

Cundiff's 25-yard field goal was on the final play of the first
half. That came after Carter's 30-yard scramble and 18-yard pass to
rookie Antonio Bryant, taking over in the starting lineup for
Raghib Ismail, the 10-year veteran who had season-ending neck
surgery last week.

Cundiff's 46-yard field goal early in the second quarter gave
Dallas a 3-0 lead.

After Cundiff missed a 44-yarder on the next possession, the
Falcons went 65 yards on seven plays with Johnson throwing an 18-yard pass to Willie Jackson.

Emmitt Smith, who needs 540 yards to break Walter Payton's NFL
career rushing record, had three carries for 25 yards in his only
scheduled action during the preseason. That included a 20-yard run.