Bledsoe’s Late-Game Heroics Lift Cowboys Over Chiefs 31-28
Coming off two straight defeats which had dropped them to second-place in the NFC East, the 2005 Dallas Cowboys earned a huge bounce-back victory courtesy of a late drive engineered by veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Trailing Kansas City 28-24 in the final minutes, Bledsoe led the Cowboys on a 14-play 68-yard game-winning march which culminated in his 1-yard scoring toss to tight end Dan Campbell.
The Cowboys started off slowly, and trailed 14-0 before a Bledsoe-to-Terry Glenn flea-flicker changed the momentum. Rookie defensive end Marcus Spears came up with another big play for Dallas in the first half, scooping up a fumble forced by linebacker Scott Fujita and racing 59 yards to the Cowboy 26-yard line. That play set up a Jason Witten scoring play which gave Dallas a 17-14 lead at the intermission.
Glenn got in on the scoring act again later in the fourth quarter when he took an end-around on third-and-1 from the KC 6 all the way to the end zone. But back came the Chiefs, quarterback Trent Green finding a wide open Eddie Kennison for a 47-yard touchdown, giving Kansas City a 28-24 advantage with 3:55 remaining.
That’s when Bledsoe and Co. took to the field for one final drive. Using short, intermediate pass plays, the Cowboys slowly marched down the field, twice converting on third-down, and once on fourth-down. After a clutch catch by Keyshawn Johnson, running back Marion Barber turned what appeared to be a short gain into a 21-yard pickup and a first-and-goal situation.
All hope appeared to have been extinguished when Witten couldn’t handle a fourth-down pass, prompting Bledsoe to walk slowly and disgustedly toward the Dallas bench. Amid the euphoria from the Kansas City sideline came a ruling from the referee that safety Greg Wesley was guilty of holding Witten on the play. “I was thinking it was over,” Wesley said. “Then I see a flag. I thought, ‘Wow, way to give them a second chance’… I made a great play and they were bailed out by the referees.”
Given new life, Bledsoe was able to find Campbell all alone in the end zone with only 22 seconds left.