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Rams Use Defense To Win In "Big D"
POSTED: 9:19 pm PST January 1, 2006
Irving, TX -- Arlen Harris' fourth-quarter touchdown helped the St. Louis Rams overcome the Dallas Cowboys, 20-10, in the season finale for both clubs at Texas Stadium.
Aveion Cason added a touchdown and 65 yards rushing for the Rams (6-10), who ended a four-game slide. Jamie Martin threw for 158 yards on 19-of-32 passing for St. Louis, which won just two of its final eight games.
The Rams' defense held the Cowboys offense in check, intercepting Dallas quarterback Drew Bledsoe twice and forcing two more turnovers. The 10 points allowed were a season-best for St. Louis.
Bledsoe finished 18-of-39 for 242 yards with a TD for Dallas (9-7), which ended the season losing four of six to narrowly miss out on the postseason.
Keyshawn Johnson, who also lost a fumble, had five catches for 97 yards for the Cowboys, who were eliminated from playoff contention when Washington and Carolina collected victories earlier on Sunday.
With the game tied at 10-10, Pisa Tinoisamoa sacked Bledsoe, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Rams' Anthony Hargrove at the Dallas 40-yard line just 1:29 into the fourth quarter.
The turnover was crucial as St. Louis turned it into the game-winning points. Four plays into the drive, Harris burst in from one yard out for a seven- point cushion.
Dallas had trouble moving the ball after that. With just over two minutes left in the game, O.J. Atogwe intercepted a Bledsoe pass and returned it 42 yards to the Dallas three-yard line.
The pick resulted in a 20-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins that sealed the victory with 1:05 left.
The Rams held the Cowboys to just 57 yards rushing.
The Cowboys started the scoring when Jason Witten caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Bledsoe with 2:36 left in the first quarter, capping a six-play, 56- yard drive.
Forty-five seconds into the second, Wilkins cut the deficit to 7-3 when he hit a 49-yard field goal. The eight-play, 40-yard drive bridged the first and second quarters.
The Rams then went ahead 10-7 with 1:52 left in the first half. Cason ran in from eight yards out, ending an eight-play, 54-yard march.
However, St. Louis couldn't keep Dallas down, as the Cowboys' Shaun Suisham hit a 22-yard field goal to tie the game with three seconds remaining in the half.
Dallas ended the season 5-3 at home...St. Louis went 3-5 on the road...St. Louis RB Steven Jackson was inactive for the game because of a hip pointer...Marshall Faulk had 25 yards rushing for the Rams...Julius Jones led Dallas' rushing attack with 35 yards on 15 carries...St. Louis' Torry Holt had 40 yards receiving on four catches.