Cowboys 10, Vikings 10, OT

Friday, September 1st 2006, 5:39 am
By: News On 6

IRVING, Texas (AP) It's hard to imagine anything could overshadow Terrell Owens making his debut for the Dallas Cowboys.

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 night.

Dallas also was involved the last time there was a tie in a preseason game, a 13-13 finish against Detroit in London on August 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 problem.

Vanderjagt sat out the last 2 preseason games because of it. After making a 22 yarder at halftime, he kicked off to start the 2nd half and made an extra point with 17 seconds left in regulation.

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 2, 32 yard field goals in the middle of the field.''

Dallas coach Bill Parcells wasn't as forgiving. He was hoping not to keep 2 kickers, 1 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 season.''

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 3rd 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 2 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 2. 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 9 plays for the only first-half touchdown. He completed all 4 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 Romo.

"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 2nd half in street clothes, going to the locker room with about 5 minutes left in overtime.

"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 regular season game.

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.