Cowboys 19

(4-4, 2-3 away)

Redskins 22

(3-5, 2-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 5, 2006

FedEx Field, Landover, MD 

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 0 12 7 019
WSH 5 7 0 1022

Top Performers

Passing: T. Romo (DAL) - 284 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: C. Portis (WSH) - 23 CAR, 84 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: P. Crayton (DAL) - 4 REC, 84 YDS

Novak's second-chance FG caps Redskins' comeback

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- With six seconds on the clock, Bill Parcells thought the game would come down to one final field goal by Dallas Cowboys kicker Mike Vanderjagt.

Five seconds later, he watched Washington Redskins kicker Nick Novak hit a 47-yard field goal to defeat his Cowboys, 22-19 and end a wild final few seconds between these NFC East rivals. The game featured three field goal attempts -- two by the Redskins and one by the Cowboys -- in the final 31 seconds.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
The Redskins offense had a simple game plan, run the football with Clinton Portis (right) and attack the Cowboys' Cover 2 scheme off play-action down the middle of the field for big gains with Chris Cooley and James Thrash. When they got single coverage on the outside lanes, they went after Cowboys corner Anthony Henry with receiver Brandon Lloyd.

Tony Romo continued to look good as the Cowboys starting quarterback and weathered the Redskins blitz package while throwing to six different receivers. The Cowboys had trouble with penalties on both sides of the ball at critical times in the game that led to Redskins scores. But the play that will haunt Parcells was the one he made in the second quarter, deciding to go for a two point conversion try after taking the lead 6-5, a try that failed. That one point would be the difference between winning and losing this game. Penalties, missed assignments, dropped passes and interceptions did in the Cowboys.

"It's a tough pill to swallow," Parcells said. "It's one of those games that could go either way."

Vanderjagt's chance to win it -- a 35-yarder with six seconds left -- was blocked by Troy Vincent. The ball bounced around until Sean Taylor picked it up and made a weaving, tackle-busting return into Dallas territory as time expired. Dallas' Kyle Kosier was called for a facemask penalty on the return, tacking on another 15 yards -- and meaning regulation would continue for one more play.

This allowed Joe Gibbs to watch his team go from blowing a chance for a last-minute victory to preventing a last-minute loss to pulling out a win with no time left on the clock.

"Gosh," the Hall of Fame coach said, "I don't know if I've experienced anything like that."

Novak came through by sneaking the ball inside the right upright. With his arms up, Novak ran about 50 yards back downfield, and several of his teammates piled on top of him, led by Vincent.

A five-time Pro Bowl defensive back in his 15th year in the league, Vincent was signed last month after the Buffalo Bills released him from their injured reserve list. He'd never blocked a kick in his career, he said, and wasn't even told until Saturday night that he'd be on field-goal duty.

"A win is a win," Vincent said, "and it's good to get back in the win column."

"It's a short walk from the outhouse to the penthouse," said Novak, who had missed from 49 yards with 31 seconds left. "This is what a kicker dreams about. There are ups and downs, and this was the up."

Parcells wouldn't assess specific blame, saying he'd have to review the game film first.

"Whatever it was," he said, "it was a bad mistake by somebody on our team. It was a tough one, a very unusual end to a game."

The Redskins (3-5) snapped a three-game losing streak and dropped Dallas (4-4) into a second-place tie in the NFC East with idle Philadelphia.

In many ways, the Cowboys could only blame themselves, with all kinds of miscues and, perhaps, errors in judgment: a safety on their first offensive possession; a failed 2-point conversion early in the second quarter ("I go by the chart," Parcells said); and plenty more errors that wasted another fine performance by quarterback Tony Romo in his second NFL start.

"When you've got that much going for you, and you screw it up like that, it's how you end up 4-4," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

There was, of course, the flubbed field goal by Vanderjagt, who came in 5-for-5 in the fourth quarter this season. And that key flag on Kosier, one of 11 times Dallas was penalized for 153 yards. Without that penalty, the game would have gone to overtime.

"It's a heartbreaker," Parcells said, "and I really don't have too much to say."

Another flag came on Terrell Owens for excessive celebration: He pretended to take a nap by using the football as a pillow after his 4-yard touchdown catch from Romo put the Cowboys ahead 19-12 in the third quarter.

Later in that quarter, a wide-open Owens dropped a long pass when he was behind the defense and seemed certain to give Dallas a two-touchdown lead.

"I owe this one to the team," Owens said. "I let the team down. Honestly, I think it was a lack of concentration."

So when beleaguered Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell connected with Chris Cooley on an 18-yard score on the third play of the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 19.

The Redskins came off their bye week knowing they needed a victory to make the rest of the season meaningful, and Gibbs vowed to revamp the playbook. There was only one significant personnel change, though: inserting Vincent as a starting safety in place of free-agent disappointment Adam Archuleta.

Still, Romo went 24-for-36 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. He repeatedly bought time by scrambling away from pressure and settled down after a rough start: Dallas gained 4 yards on its first two possessions, then totaled 235 with two TDs and two field goals on its next four drives.

But given these teams are coached by men who've won a total of five Super Bowls, there was an awful lot of sloppy or ineffective play.

The Redskins failed to score on their opening possession, despite starting seven plays inside the 5. Dallas' first possession ended with a safety, when Lemar Marshall dragged down Julius Jones in the end zone.

Washington's first possession of the second half began with a holding penalty, 3-yard run, loss of 9 on DeMarcus Ware's sack, and a gain of 8 on third-and-26. That was enough to draw boos.

By game's end, there was nothing but cheers.

As Novak walked off the field, his helmet aloft in his hand, he was smiling, the kick he'd missed moments earlier a distant memory.

Game notes

Parcells is 14-9 against Gibbs. ... Brunell was 14-for-23 for 192 yards and a TD, even though top target Santana Moss (hamstring) missed the game. ... Redskins RB Clinton Portis carried 23 times for 84 yards, including a season-long 38-yard run for a touchdown.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2118
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6756
Total Yards378300
Yards per play5.65.4
Total Drives1014
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-51-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

wshSF6:34Julius Jones rush for a -1 yards Tackled.
Drive info: 1 plays, -1 yds, 0:00
wshFG4:28Nick Novak 28 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 35 yds, 2:06
dalTD13:01Terry Glenn, 10 yd pass from Tony Romo
Drive info: 10 plays, 60 yds, 4:23
dalFG3:32Mike Vanderjagt 33 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 45 yds, 5:42
wshTD2:30Clinton Portis, 38 yd run (Nick Novak kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 64 yds, 1:04
dalFG0:07Mike Vanderjagt 30 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 55 yds, 2:20
dalTD10:22Terrell Owens, 4 yd pass from Tony Romo (Mike Vanderjagt kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yds, 4:43
wshTD14:12Chris Cooley, 18 yd pass from Mark Brunell (Nick Novak kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yds, 2:16
wshFG0:00Nick Novak 47 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00