Originally created 09/13/99

Cowboys defeat Redskins in OT



LANDOVER, Md. -- Add another amazing chapter to the Dallas-Washington rivalry.

The Cowboys pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in their history Sunday, overcoming a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter and beating the Redskins 41-35 on Rocket Ismail's 76-yard touchdown catch in overtime.

Ismail split the safeties and was wide open for Troy Aikman's fifth touchdown pass 4:09 into the extra period.

The Cowboys trailed 35-14 going into the fourth quarter, but sent the game into overtime on Michael Irvin's 12-yard reception with 1:46 left. The crucial extra point by Richie Cunningham hit the left upright before going through.

Washington had a chance to win the game on the last play of regulation, but holder Matt Turk fumbled the snap on what would have been a 41-yard field-goal attempt by Brett Conway.

Aikman completed 28 of 49 passes for 362 yards, with three interceptions.

With Deion Sanders, Kevin Smith, Leon Lett and Quentin Coryatt missing from the Cowboys defense, the Redskins had no problems moving the ball.

The Redkins moved into Dallas territory on 10 of their 11 offensive possessions, failing to score only when they stopped themselves. Stephen Davis and Brad Johnson both lost fumbles inside the Dallas 15 in the first half.

Picking on reserve cornerbacks Kevin Mathis and Charlie Williams, Johnson marked his Redskins debut by completing 22 of 30 passes for 382 yards with touchdown throws of 41 yards to Michael Westbrook and 50 yards to Albert Connell. Davis had his first 100-yard game, rushing for 109 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns.

Dan Snyder, who bought the Redskins this year for $800 million, was clapping and cheering -- along with a record crowd of 79,237 -- after the home team recovered from a 14-3 first-half deficit.

On their first two possessions, the Cowboys marched 80 and 82 yards for 14 points against a first-string defense that didn't allow a touchdown in preseason. Aikman was as precise as ever, completing 6-of-9 with two drops, including scoring passes of 15 and 14 yards to tight end David LaFleur.

But Aikman spent the next two quarters hurried by the Redskins' pass rush. The Cowboys were down 35-14 before they finally scored again on Emmitt Smith's 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Dallas then recovered an onside kick, but had to punt. On their next possession, however, the Cowboys drove 66 yards to score on a 37-yard touchdown pass to Irvin with 3:51 remaining to close to 35-28.

Irvin's two TD catches in the game were one more than he had all last season.

The Cowboys outgained the Redskins 541-504.

Sanders, who had major toe surgery in April, did some running on the field before the game but was not able to play. The Cowboys defense was also missing Smith (back), linebacker Coryatt (Achilles' tendon) and suspended defensive tackle Lett.