Falcons 21

(3-0, 1-0 away)

Cowboys 19

(2-1, 1-1 home)

8:00 PM ET, August 24, 2002


1 2 3 4 T
ATL 0 7 0 1421
DAL 0 6 7 619

Falcons' Vick, Cowboys' Carter shaken up

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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