Final

Cowboys 14

(4-3, 2-2 away)

Rams 34

(2-4, 1-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 19, 2008

Edward Jones Dome, Saint Louis, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 7 0 0 714
STL 21 3 7 334

Top Performers

Passing: B. Johnson (DAL) - 234 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: S. Jackson (STL) - 25 CAR, 160 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: M. Bennett (DAL) - 2 REC, 67 YDS, 1 TD

Johnson throws three INTs as Rams roll Cowboys; Ware ties NFL sack mark

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Even on the road, the chorus of "Romo!, Romo!" from Dallas Cowboys' fans was easily audible at the start of the second half.

Little D In Big D

Talk about a defensive letdown. In Sunday's loss to St. Louis, Dallas allowed nearly 100 more rushing yards than its season average and as many TDs on the ground as it had through the first six games of the season combined.

Cowboys Rush D In '08
First 6 Games Sunday
Rush PG 23.5 35
Rush yds PG 87.5 108
Yds per rush 3.7 5.1
Rush TD 3 3

Tony Romo told the coaching staff after pregame warmups he wasn't up to playing with a broken right pinkie. He was in uniform, giving fans false hope, but they were stuck with Brad Johnson.

The 40-year-old backup quarterback couldn't keep up with a suddenly potent, opportunistic St. Louis Rams' offense, throwing three interceptions. Steven Jackson ran for 160 yards on 25 carries with three touchdowns and the Rams (2-4) looked like contenders instead of sad sacks for the second straight game under new coach Jim Haslett in a surprisingly easy 34-14 victory on Sunday.

"It was a tough day for all of us," Johnson said. "We had miscues across the board."

Fast Facts

• The Rams improved to 2-0 in the Jim Haslett era as they beat winning teams in consecutive games for the first time since 2004. It's only their second win streak of at least two games over the last two seasons.

• Steven Jackson rushed for 160 yards and three TDs, his second career game with at least that many TDs.

• Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware tied an NFL record with a sack in his 10th straight game and enjoyed his first multiple sack game of the season with three, giving him nine on the season.

• The Cowboys have lost two straight for the first time since the end of the 2006 season and are 1-3 in their last four games following a 3-0 start.

• The Rams' points are a season high, in fact, they had not scored more than 19 points this season.

-- ESPN research

Owner Jerry Jones admitted after the game that he thought the Cowboys had enough to beat the Rams despite Romo's injury and the suspension of cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones. Adding to the woes, Jones said after the game that safety Roy Williams would miss the rest of the season after breaking his right forearm for the second time.

"I just was thinking a little lighter than I should have about this ballgame," Jones said. "I'm not speaking for this team, but I was."

The Rams won 19-17 at Washington last week in their first game since replacing Scott Linehan, ending a run of 17 losses in 20 games and four blowout losses to start the season.

Their response to Haslett, beginning his second stint as a head coach, has exceeded expectations.

"I think it's just the will of the players, more than anything," Haslett said. "I thought they played extremely well today, in all three phases."

St. Louis defense did its part, forcing four turnovers for the second straight game.

Oshiomogho Atogwe, who had two interceptions, scored the lone touchdown against the Redskins last week on a fumble recovery.

Jackson pulled a quadriceps muscle in the fourth quarter just before Haslett said he was going to take him out, and was to undergo an MRI. But Jackson thought he'd be fine for next week's game at New England.

"It's a little tight," Jackson said. "I'm able to walk and I'm able to bend it, so that's a good sign."

Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware tied an NFL record with a sack in his 10th straight game and enjoyed his first multiple sack game of the season with three, giving him nine on the season.

Ware matched the mark set by Denver's Simon Fletcher from Nov. 15, 1992 to Sept. 20, 1993, although he remained one game shy of the franchise mark by Harvey Martin in 1976-77 -- which ended five years before the sack was officially recognized.

Marion Barber had 100 yards on 18 carries and the game's opening touchdown for Dallas.

There were not many more highlights for the Cowboys (4-3), who lost for the third time in four games. Newly acquired wide receiver Roy Williams saw limited action and said he was shut out for the first time in his career.

"This is my fifth year and this is my first time to not catch a ball," Williams said. "It's frustrating because I want to help this team win, and today I didn't do that."

Romo looked fine throwing in pregame warmups with his hand wrapped. The team originally believed the injury would sideline him a month, but held out hope Romo could play until game day.

"He ended up making that decision for us, actually, and that's the way it should have been," Jones said. "He just felt like he couldn't help us."

Johnson was 6-for-18 for 66 yards in the first half while the Cowboys fell behind 24-7. He finished 17-for-34 for 234 yards and throwing his only touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett inside the 2-minute warning.

The Rams' 21-point first quarter dwarfed their season output of just 10 points in the first five games. They asserted themselves after Barber accounted for 45 yards on the Cowboys' opening drive, quickly answering on Marc Bulger's first touchdown pass in two starts with a 42-yarder to wide open rookie Donnie Avery.

Jackson added runs of 8 and 1 yards, the Rams' first two touchdowns all season from inside the 20, for a 21-7 lead. The first score capitalized on a short field after Johnson's fumble on a shotgun snap led to a punt from the end zone, and the second came four plays after Will Witherspoon's interception of a tipped pass at the Dallas 18.

Jackson's 56-yard run down the right sideline made it 31-7 midway through the third quarter and gave him three rushing scores for the first time since the 2006 finale.

Bulger finished 14-for-19 for 173 yards and a touchdown.

Game notes


X-rays were negative on Rams DT Adam Carriker's left ankle, which forced him out in the first half. ... Rams WR Derek Stanley (concussion) was hospitalized for observation after being involved in a special teams collision early in the third quarter. The team had called for a cart but Stanley ended up walking off the field. ... Atogwe has 10 interceptions in his past 14 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DAL
STL
1st Downs1718
Passing 1st downs
87
Rushing 1st downs
710
1st downs from penalties
21
3rd down efficiency
5-136-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays5959
Total Yards341325
Yards per play5.85.5
Total Drives1213
Passing217135
Comp-Att
17-3413-18
Yards per pass
5.95.9
Interceptions thrown
30
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-175-28
Rushing124190
Rushing Attempts
2236
Yards per rush
5.65.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-12-3
Penalties8-565-32
Turnovers40
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
30
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:2332:37

Passing Leaders

DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Johnson17/342346.9133-17
STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bulger13/181639.1105-28

Rushing Leaders

DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Barber181005.6135
Choice2136.5014
STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson251606.4356
Avery2178.5010

Receiving Leaders

DALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bennett26733.5134
Witten6447.3016
STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Avery45513.8142
Holt35117.0020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDALSTL
dalTD9:47Marion Barber, 1 yd run (Nick Folk kick is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 74 yds, 5:18
70
stlTD7:59Donnie Avery, 42 yd pass from Marc Bulger (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 62 yds, 1:51
77
stlTD4:41Steven Jackson, 8 yd run (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 44 yds, 1:58
714
stlTD2:00Steven Jackson, 1 yd run (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 17 yds, 1:51
721
SECOND QUARTERDALSTL
stlFG1:52Josh Brown 52 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 46 yds, 5:52
724
THIRD QUARTERDALSTL
stlTD9:03Steven Jackson, 56 yd run (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 63 yds, 0:38
731
FOURTH QUARTERDALSTL
stlFG10:37Josh Brown 35 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 48 yds, 6:41
734
dalTD2:00Martellus Bennett, 34 yd pass from Brad Johnson (Nick Folk kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 90 yds, 2:43
1434