Mike Vanderjagt sure gave it a shot.
With T.O. long gone by OT, Vanderjagt missed wide right on field
goals of 32 and 33 yards in the extra period, forcing the Cowboys
to settle for a 10-10 tie with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday
Dallas also was involved the last time there was a tie in a
preseason game -- a 13-13 finish against Detroit in London on Aug.
8, 1993. That's the only other preseason tie in Cowboys history.
This one made Dallas 3-0-1, which still makes for the team's first
undefeated preseason since 1985.
Owens' return means the Cowboys can worry less about his wounded
hamstring. Instead, they can worry about Vanderjagt's groin
Vanderjagt sat out the last two preseason games because of it.
After making a 22-yarder at halftime, he kicked off to start the
second half and made an extra point with 17 seconds left in
Then came the yips.
"I have no idea what happened," he said. "They were obviously
horrible. Not enough work, I guess. But I don't make excuses for
missing two 32-yard field goals in the middle of the field."
Dallas coach Bill Parcells wasn't as forgiving. He was hoping
not to keep two kickers -- one for kickoffs -- but may have to now.
"We will have to think it over," he said. "You know, I have
not seen very much. So we will see."
Minnesota (2-1-1) outplayed Dallas in the first-half battle
between starters, taking a 7-3 lead into halftime.
"I think we had a good preseason," said Brad Johnson, who went
11-of-13 for 135 yards with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus
Robinson. "I think we are prepared. ... I'm looking forward to the
Johnson's touchdown pass gave Minnesota a 7-0 lead. The Vikings
upped the lead to 10-3 on a 24-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell.
Dallas starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe left after getting hit
in the head during the third series, his first with Owens. Backup
Tony Romo, who before the game got a contract extension through
2007 and a $2 million signing bonus, was 30-of-45 for 349 yards and
two interceptions -- both in the end zone.
He also threw a 2-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left in
regulation. Parcells could've forced a conclusion one way or
another by going for two. Instead, he sent Vanderjagt for the extra
point, which he hit.
Why not go for it?
"Because I didn't want to," Parcells said. "We didn't really
have a good play. What we wanted to throw for two we had already
thrown once down there."
Johnson drove Minnesota 98 yards in nine plays for the only
first-half touchdown. He completed all four passes during the
drive, hitting Troy Williamson for 40 yards on the play before
connecting with Robinson in stride in the back of the end zone.
Owens made his Dallas debut on the ensuing drive and played
another series after that. He was on the field for 19 plays and
caught the only ball thrown his way, a 6-yard sideline route from
"It felt good to run around and be with the guys," Owens said.
"Nice to get my hands on the ball. We had some opportunities and
we didn't connect."
Bledsoe was recovering a botched snap when he got hit in the
head. He wasn't the same after that, getting pressured out of
throwing deep to Owens, then tossing an interception to E.J.
Henderson on a botched play. He watched the second half in street
clothes, going to the locker room with about five minutes left in
"He's OK," Parcells said. "I think he could have kept playing
if he would have wanted to."
Owens said Bledsoe told him he would've kept playing if it was a
Even before Bledsoe got dinged, he struggled for the first time
this preseason. He was 2-of-3 for 14 yards.
Minnesota cornerback Dovonte Edwards, who started in place of
injured Fred Smoot, broke his right arm early in the game when hit
by a teammate's helmet.
"This was going to be my year," Edwards said.
Also Thursday, the Vikings acquired quarterback Brooks Bollinger
from the New York Jets for defensive tackle C.J. Mosley and an
undisclosed draft choice. Bollinger likely will back up Johnson.
Backup hopeful Tarvaris Jackson was 4-of-6 for 29 yards, and J.T.
O'Sullivan was 4-of-11 for 53 yards.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said the team is
considering signing Todd Pinkston, who was released by
Philadelphia. Childress was the Eagles' offensive coordinator last
year. ... Childress also worked with Owens in Philadelphia, but
they didn't talk before, during or after this game. ... Sam Hurd
led Dallas with 110 yards on six receptions. Jamaica Rector had
eight catches for 93 yards.
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