Cowboys Contribute to Bengals’ Woes, 35-23
The Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals are NFL franchises heading in opposite directions.
The Cowboys’ 35-23 victory over the winless Bengals on Sunday gave Dallas a 5-2 record, its best start since 1986.
“If we had made another play or two in the Washington game, we could be 6-1,” Dallas Coach Jimmy Johnson said. “Realistically, we are better at this stage than I believe many thought we would be.”
The loss dropped the Bengals to 0-6 for the first time since 1979.
“We’re not going to agonize over going 0-6,” Bengal Coach Sam Wyche said. “We know sometime we’re going to win and beat our chests. Don’t ignore us. We’re going to be fun to watch.”
The Bengals didn’t go without a struggle. They took a 10-0 lead, fell behind 21-10, and then got a touchdown and two field goals to regain the lead in the third quarter.
Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman, who completed 14 of 22 passes for 276 yards, connected with Michael Irvin on a 61-yard pass play to set up Emmitt Smith’s two-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 28-23 lead.
Smith gained 60 yards in 19 carries.
“Barring injury, Troy Aikman is on the verge of being one of the great quarterbacks in the game,” Wyche said. “He’ll be selling Pepsi for a long time.
“And Emmitt Smith is going to be mentioned in the same breath with backs like Walter Payton and O.J. Simpson.”
Rookie linebacker Dixon Edwards grabbed a tipped Boomer Esiason pass and ran 36 yards for the touchdown that finished the Bengals.
Esiason completed 17 of 31 passes for 191 yards.
“I just wonder if maybe it’s me,” Esiason said of the Bengals’ winless streak. “There have been some unbelievable interceptions when I’m in there. Passes have been tipped and intercepted I don’t know how many times. Just like today.
“It makes me wonder, and I really don’t know what we’re going to do about it.”
Harold Green rushed for 124 yards in 12 carries and scored on a 75-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that helped give the Bengals a 23-21 lead.
But the NFL’s worst defense couldn’t stop Aikman when it counted.
Dallas scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to erase an early Cincinnati lead.
Rookie Ricky Blake ran 30 yards for a touchdown on his first NFL carry to give Dallas a 14-10 lead.