8:49 P.M. CDT: Time for the third quarter. A new half — and a delay-of-game penalty on Dallas on the kickoff, of all things — brings fresh hope.
8:51 P.M. CDT: Brian Clark doesn’t dance around; he goes straight ahead for 26 yards on the kickoff return. Cecil Sapp lines up in the backfield behind Patrick Ramsey.
8:54 P.M. CDT: A Ramsey pass to Brian Clark gets the Broncos their first third-down conversion of the game … and the next third-down play falls two yards short. Ramsey then finds Clark on fourth-and-2 for the first down.
8:57 P.M. CDT: Back-to-back holding penalties force Denver into first-and-30 from its 44-yard-line, summarily torpedoing the offensive progress of the series to that point.
9:02 P.M. CDT: A punt follows, and we see Denver’s second-team defense for the first time. Dallas goes to Brad Johnson at quarterback.
9:04 P.M. CDT: So much for forcing the first Dallas punt of the game … an illegal-contact penalty nullifies a third-down incompletion and gives the Cowboys a first down at their 43.
9:09 P.M. CDT: After another Dallas third-down conversion, Johnson overthrows Miles Austin near the left sideline, forcing former Broncos preseason punter Mat McBriar onto the field for the first time tonight. He proceeds to launch a 35-yard lob wedge of a punt that Austin catches and downs at the Dallas 5.
9:13 P.M. CDT: Three-and-out for Denver, and Todd Sauerbrun uncorks a 54-yard punt that goes unreturned.
9:16 P.M. CDT: A three-and-out for Dallas, and the Broncos end up gaining seven yards on the exchange of punts as the ball is downed at the Denver 10.
9:18 P.M. CDT: Injuries continue to mount … Safety Curome Cox has a strained right shoulder and running back Mike Bell has a strained left hip. Neither will return tonight.
9:21 P.M. CDT: Well, that woke ‘em up. Brian Clark got separation from Nathan Jones as the two pushed off, and found just enough room to make the grab of Ramsey’s downfield pass. But what turned the play into a 90-yard touchdown was Clark finding his fifth gear and sprinting away from everyone. Just like that, the Broncos are back in the game, trailing 24-13 with 1:05 left in the quarter.
9:26 P.M. CDT: Cowboys face third-and-1 as the quarter ends.
Tags: Dallas Cowboys