363 is the most yards Bledsoe has thrown for since putting up 417 for Buffalo on Oct. 6, 2002 in a 41-39 loss to Oakland. This is his first 300-yard game since Game 2 of 2003. And get this, his 363 yards is the most yards passing for a Cowboys quarterback since Aikman put up the same amount in . . . 1996?
Get out of here.
And I thought this guy was too old at 33, too over-the-hill in his 13th season; that he was Mr. Holds-On-To-The-Ball too long, turning himself into a sack-maker.
"I don't know where else I can go," Jones continued about his reasons for the Cowboys outscoring its defense for the second time in three games, "but I know I can go there."
You go right there, Jerry, and I'm coming right with ya. The immobile Bledsoe scrambled up six yards on third-and-five at the six for the Cowboys' first touchdown and his first rushing touchdown since 2003. Did you see him spike the ball? There was some meaning there.
Did you see how he drilled that six-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten? Did you see that 58-yard pass to Terry Glenn and how he sizzled that 14-yarder in to Keyshawn Johnson to the one, setting up Julius Jones' one-yard score to pull the Cowboys within five, 31-26?
And even after two three-and-out, and getting that earful from Keyshawn, Bledsoe's backbone still was strong.
"Keyshawn is always in my ear," Bledsoe said. "He's a receiver; he's always open. But these guys give you honest answers, so I know when they give me information, it's worth it."
Now, was Bledsoe perfect? Nope. One of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown by San Francisco safety Larry Parrish. He said the Niners fooled him, but never mentioned Patrick Crayton sort of stalled on his hot slant route, allowing Parrish to cross his face. The other, tipped first, set up the Niners for their final touchdown and a 31-19 lead when he was trying to be a tad too fine.
But when it was money time, when it was first-and-10 at the Dallas 25, with only 6:05 left in the game and the Cowboys still trailing 31-26, Bledsoe was just who you wanted under center. On third-and-three at the 31, he hits Glenn for six. On second-and-four at the 41, Bledsoe waits, waits, steps, steps and finds a streaking Glenn for 44. And then, on third-and-eight at the San Francisco 13 with 1:56 remaining, Bledsoe goes to who else? Mr. Always Open, Keyshawn Johnson, who lined up wide right, went in short motion left, then broke out back to the right for the key touchdown pass with 1:51 remaining.
And as if that were not enough, Bledsoe, the "old" one, comes out on the two-point conversion rolling to his right, and putting another fastball into the gut of Johnson for the 34-31 lead.
Second come-from-behinder in three tries.
"To be honest with you," tight end and offensive captain Dan Campbell said of his quarterback, "I expect that out of him. Everybody expects that out of him.
"Honestly, he didn't shock me at all."
|How badly did the Cowboys start this game? Let me count the ways: Rob Petitti missed Bryant Young - sack. They couldn't down a punt Mat McBriar killed inside the five - touchback. La'Roi Glover another personal foul hitting the quarterback late - 15 yards. Offsides on a Niners extra point - five yards on kickoff. Julius Jones loses a fumble. Bad deep snap - missed extra point. Poor route and decision - interception for touchdown. All this in 23 minutes, 18 seconds. Yeesh.|
| Cowboys continually tried to play the 49ers' three-receiver sets in their standard 3-4 defense, using an outside linebacker to reroute the slot receiver and then trying to cover him with a safety, who was then being taken out of deep help. That's why you saw guys running free without any safety help. "That's the chance you had to take," veteran nickel corner Aaron Glenn said. "If you watch their film, they like to run the ball (in
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