September 4, 2009

NFL: Dallas 35, Minnesota 31

Jesse Holley returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown with 2:51 remaining Friday, giving Dallas a wild 35-31 exhibition win over Minnesota.

The Cowboys returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a span of 2:29 in the third period to tie it, after which Minnesota built a 31-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Fourth-string Dallas quarterback Rudy Carpenter then led a 77-yard drive that took up half the final period and hit Scott Chandler with a 4-yard scoring pass that brought the Cowboys within three.

After Dallas held the Vikings, Holley fielded a punt on the bounce and brought it back all the way for the winning score.

Neither regular quarterback -- Tony Romo for Dallas or Brett Favre for Minnesota -- saw action in the game.

Minnesota built a 21-7 halftime lead thanks, in part, to an interception and lost fumble by Dallas quarterback Jon Kitna. The Cowboys tied it less than 3 minutes deep in the second half on interception returns of 23 yards by Pat Wakins and 44 yards by Steve Octavien.

Minnesota, which lost for the first time in four exhibition games, will open its season at Cleveland. Dallas (2-2) will begin at Tampa Bay.