Jets Eye Jaguars After Knocking Dallas in Thriller

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[Black Star Sports]

As the New York Jets prepare for the Jacksonville Jaguars on week two, they can take some comfort from their gritty come-from-behind
27-24 win over The Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys never in their franchise history had lost a game when leading by 14 points so late in a game. Their record had been 240-0-1 that late in the fourth quarter. The Jets, defensively and offensively, catapulted themselves with their first win of the season on opening day.

The first half was a defensive gem for both teams. The Jets held the Cowboys’ rushing game to 28 yards; the Cowboys returned the favor, holding the Jets to 25 yards.

“We knew this was going to be a dog fight, there's no doubt. We told our team before the game - 'Whoever plays the hardest for the longest will win this game.' You've always heard me talk about it,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “You talk about a team effort - that was it!”

The third quarter ended with the Cowboys leading the Jets 17-10, but the tug of war for victory began in the fourth quarter when both teams offensively showed their potential. The Cowboys unleashed themselves from the Jets bondage, temporarily, when Dallas' linebacker Sean Lee intercepted quarterback Mark Sanchez, and then scampered down field to the one yard line.

This was followed by running back Felix Jones' run for a 24-10 lead. Then on the next offensive series, Sanchez connected with Santonio Holmes, George Mason, LaDainlian Tomlinson, and finally Plaxico Burress for a 26 yard touch down catch. The game was now within reach for the Jets with 11:56 left. “I missed him early in the game on a third down,” Sanchez would recall. "They gave us that same coverage - we came back and we hit him for the touchdown, so that was big."

There was magic in the air; but it almost dissolved when Sanchez fumbled with about six minutes left in the game and the Jets trailing, 24-17. Then the Jets defensively had something brewing in their tank; they forced Dallas to punt.

Mat McBriar lined up at Dallas' 41 yard line, and backup running back Joe McKnight crept through an opening and burst through the middle of the line to block the punt. Cornerback Isaiah Trufant, signed from the practice squad Saturday, craddled the ball in his clutches and ran 18 yards for the game-tying touchdown with five minutes left.

“When you get to situations like this, the thing that really starts to surface is the character of the team,” said defensive lineman Sione Pouha. “In situations like this, obviously, there were situations last year that went down to the last minute, and the team prevailed.  The fact that the team can prevail just mirrors the character of individuals out here laying it out for the team.”

The game went down to the wire when the Cowboys had the ball with 59 seconds left and the game tied 24-24 after a Jets punt. The Jets’ defense came through again when Darrelle Revis intercepted Dallas quarterback Tony Romo at the Jets’ 46 and returned it 20 yards to the Cowboys’ 34. Later, Nick Folk, who was cut by the Cowboys two years ago, sealed his former employer's fate by booting a 50 yard game-winner.

“I just trusted myself tonight, made sure it looked just like an extra point and just put it down the middle,” said Folk.

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