With the season on the line the Dallas Cowboys had a series of mistakes that lead to a 24-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. 11 penalties for 91 yards, poor clock management, 2 late interceptions, a Dez Bryant dropped ball and rookie mental mistake sealed the deal for an underachieving Cowboy team.
The Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings entered Sunday’s game with a sense of urgency after starting the season with a 1-3 record. If the Cowboys loss their chances of representing the NFC in the Super Bowl at home would be in jeopardy. And If the Vikings were to drop another game the chances of Brett Favre making a farewell trip to the playoffs would be in danger. To add to the drama both Bryant (ribs and ankle) and Brett Favre (elbow tendinitis) were battling injuries before the game.
The Cowboys lead early on a 15-yard pass from QB Tony Romo to WR Roy Williams for a touchdown with 5:02 to go in the first quarter. The lead was short lived as Favre completed a 10-yard touchdown pass of his own to WR Greg Camarillo to tie the score 7-7 as the first quarter ended. However Favre took a tremendous beating as he was hit on nearly every drop back. Favre would finish the game completing 14 of 19 attempts for only 118-yards. Despite the slow day Favre managed the ball with no interceptions.
Williams would give the Cowboys the lead late in the second quarter on a 2-yard reception from Romo for a touchdown making the score 14-7. Everything looked good at the conclusion on the first half as the Vikings were held to limited yards and the Cowboys were hitting Favre on nearly every offensive play. Romo finished with 24 completions on 32 attempts for 220-yards and 2 interceptions.
The Vikings WR Percy Harvey opened the second half with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and sparking Minnesota in the process. They would score again to conclude the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Adrian Peterson to put them ahead 21-14. Peterson finished the game with only 73-yards on 24 carries and one touchdown.
In the fourth quarter there was a Dez Bryant sighting as he scored a touchdown on a 31-yard pass from Romo to tie the score with 10:08 to go. That was Bryant’s first reception of the game but it was not due to not being open or dropping the ball as that was the first time he was targeted. Romo played a very conservative game and elected to short drop passes to his running backs and averaged only 9.2-yards a pass on 24 completions.
With the score tied mental mistakes from Romo and Bryant would contribute the Cowboy loss. With 9:03 remaining Romo threw an interception to LB E.J. Henderson, his second interception of the game. The interception translated into a 38-yard field goal by the Vikings Ryan Longwell to put them in the lead 24-21.
When the Cowboys got the ball back Romo still refused to throw down field. After three quick incompletions the Cowboys were forced to punt. The last incompletion was a clear drop by Bryant that would have gave them a first down.
With 0:37 to go in the game Minnesota punted to Bryant who instead of running out of bounds to save time started to scramble at the 7-yard line. Bryant’s scramble for no gain ate up 24 seconds on the clock and officially ended all hope the Cowboys would have enough time to orchestrate a last minute drive. This was a clear mental mistake by Bryant for not knowing how much time was on the clock. Romo only had enough time for 2 pass attempts and the game was over.
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Topics: 2010 NFL Rookies, 2011 NFL Draft, 2011 NFL Rookies, Brett Favre, Cowboys Lose, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys Vs Minnesota Vikings, Dez Bryant, EJ Henderson, Greg Camarillio, Minnesota Vikings, NFL, NFL Draft, NFL Game Of The Week, NFL Rookies, Percy Harvin, Roy Williams, Ryan Longwell, Super Bowl, Tony Romo, Top NFL Rookies