Vikings pick up second win of seasonMinnesota Sports
-- Ryan Longwell's 38-yard field goal with 4:03 to play proved to be the difference, as the Minnesota Vikings took advantage of several Dallas errors in a 24-21 victory over the Cowboys.
MINNEAPOLIS - Ryan Longwell's 38-yard field goal with 4:03 to play proved to be the difference, as the Minnesota Vikings took advantage of several Dallas errors in a 24-21 victory over the Cowboys.
Both of these teams were considered Super Bowl contenders after both made the playoffs last year, but they stumbled out of the gate to identical 1-3 records. The Vikings (2-3), who beat the Cowboys (1-4), 34-3, in a divisional playoff game last year, scored on special teams and two short fields to squeak out the victory.
Brett Favre finished the game with 118 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-19 efficiency for Minnesota, which will have an opportunity to climb back to .500 next week when the Vikings travel to Favre's old stomping grounds in Green Bay. Adrian Peterson added 73 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, while Randy Moss hauled in five passes for 55 yards.
"I never want to turn the ball over like I did last week," said Favre. "You always are touching the ball and it's so important to not give it away. That was one of the biggest differences in the game today is that we didn't make those mistakes."
Percy Harvin returned the second half kickoff 95 yards for a score, and Greg Camarillo caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap a short 16-yard drive.
Dallas' Tony Romo completed 25-of-33 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns, but threw two costly interceptions that led to 10 Minnesota points. Roy Williams had two touchdown catches, while Dez Bryant had the other.
"You can't turn the ball over if you want to win," said Williams. "My hat goes off to their defense, they did a great number on us. You can't turn the ball over and that's what we did today and they turned those into 10 points. And a touchdown on a kickoff, that's 17 points right there. We've got to man up, go out next week and play our best game cause it's a division rival."
The Cowboys, who are among the league leaders in penalties, disappointed once again with 11 more infractions totaling 91 yards. Dallas, which went 11-5 last year in capturing the NFC East title, will try to avoid matching 2009's loss total when it hosts the Giants next Monday.
With the game tied, the Cowboys took over deep in their own territory with nine minutes to play.
On 3rd-and-2 from the 22, Romo attempted a short pass over the middle to Jason Witten, but the ball found the hands of Minnesota's E.J. Henderson -- his second interception of the game -- who gave the Vikings possession at the Dallas 30.
Minnesota wasn't able to find the end zone on the ensuing series, but Longwell drilled a 38-yard field goal for a 24-21 lead.
On the Cowboys' ensuing possession, Romo couldn't gain one first down, and the visitors elected to punt. The Vikings appeared to go three-and-out after an incompletion on third down, but Mike Jenkins was called for defensive pass interference, extending the drive.
Minnesota was able to run the clock down to 30 seconds before punting it away, and Dallas had one last ditch effort from its own seven-yard line with 13 seconds left. It wasn't enough time for the Cowboys to make a serious threat downfield.