Sports

Arizona wastes big lead, still stuns Dallas

Jay Feely's 48-yard field goal barely cleared the crossbar with 5 seconds to go to thwart a big Dallas rally and give the Cardinals a 27-26 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.

Dallas (5-10) rallied from 18 points down to take a 26-24 lead when Stephen McGee, in his first NFL game, threw 45 yards to Miles Austin for a touchdown with 1:46 to play.

Arizona (5-10) was in deep trouble, but rookie John Skelton, on fourth-and-15 from his own 19, threw 26 yards to fellow rookie Max Komar, a graduate of Auburn Riverside High School, and the Cardinals slipped into Feely’s range. Feely, who had a 49-yarder earlier, has missed three kicks all season, including a 49-yard attempt Saturday.

Dallas fell behind 14-0 when Jon Kitna, a Lincoln High grad, had interceptions returned for touchdowns on the Cowboys’ first two possessions.

On a wild Christmas night, under a clear sky, with at least half the capacity crowd cheering for Dallas, the Cardinals took a 21-3 lead. Skelton, in his third NFL start, connected with wide-open rookie Andre Roberts on a 74-yard play.

Kitna, the starter since Tony Romo went down with a broken collarbone in October, left the field after a touchdown pass to Jason Witten. Kitna immediately went to the locker room with a hip injury and didn’t play again, watching from the sideline wearing a baseball cap.

McGee was a fourth-round draft pick out of Texas A&M in 2009.

A 99-YARD EFFORT

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall lost a yard he was credited with against the Jets, costing him a 100-yard game.

The Elias Sports Bureau, the NFL’s statistician, deducted the yard Mendenhall was given on a 9-yard run to the Jets’ 26 in the second quarter. There was confusion when the chain crew accidentally began moving the yard markers, so referee Peter Morelli’s crew placed the ball at the 25 and signaled a first down.

The Steelers’ statisticians then credited Mendenhall with a 10-yard run. Elias changed it to a 9-yard gain and tacked the phantom yard onto a sack of Ben Roethlisberger on the following play.

Mendenhall finished with 99 yards on 17 carries, his second 99-yard game this season.

EXTRA POINTS

Arizona defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson fainted as he drove into the stadium area and had a minor accident before the Cardinals faced the Cowboys. The Indianapolis Colts will be missing three defensive starters against Oakland: cornerback Kelvin Hayden (neck), linebacker Clint Session (right arm), defensive tackle Daniel Muir (chest) and backup running back Mike Hart (ankle) did not make the trip. Quarterback Brett Favre appears unlikely to play at Philadelphia, but Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier seems optimistic that Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson will be able to return after a one-game absence caused by a bruised knee and thigh.

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