POSTED: Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 8:47pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 29, 2011 - 12:45pm
Gerald Sensabaugh had an interception and a hand in a special teams touchdown for Dallas, Tony Romo connected often with Dez Bryant, and the Cowboys beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-17 in a preseason game Saturday night.
Sensabaugh stopped a long drive by diving to catch a pass batted at the line by Jason Hatcher for an interception at the Dallas 19 in the second quarter, the first turnover forced by the Cowboys this preseason.
Just a few minutes earlier, Sensabaugh, the starting free safety, leaped high at the line and appeared to tip Ryan Longwell's 47-yard field-goal attempt. Orlando Scandrick was in the backfield, too, after eluding rookie Kyle Rudolph, and he was officially credited with the block.
Alan Ball, who started at cornerback with Mike Jenkins still recovering from a shoulder injury, picked up the rolling ball and grabbed it again after losing control before running the remaining 20 yards for a score. Ball was hurt, though. He left the field later on a cart and was replaced in the lineup by Bryan McCann.
Romo went 15 for 20 for 141 yards in one half, firing five passes for 67 yards to Bryant, the brash young wide receiver who's on the verge of being the latest featured target in Big D.
Felix Jones rushed five times for 20 yards and a touchdown, bowling over strong safety Tyrell Johnson during his 5-yard rumble in the second quarter. Johnson let an interception slip from his grasp the play before, a rollout right by Romo, when he lost his balance at the goal line.
McNabb finished 12 for 18 for 164 yards and a 49-yard touchdown toss in the first quarter to Bernard Berrian, who was targeted four times and nearly came up with a second score on a ball knocked away at the goal line by Scandrick in the second quarter.
Rookie Dan Bailey, part of a four-way competition to be the Cowboys' kicker, booted a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 40-yarder in the fourth. Shayne Graham was good from 38 yards in the third quarter.
Longwell made a 44-yarder in the second quarter, but his 52-yard attempt fell short in the third.
Rookie Kevin Kowalski started at center for the Cowboys, with veteran Andre Gurode on the inactive list and backup Phil Costa out with a knee injury. Team owner Jerry Jones said before the game that Gurode's status on the roster is being evaluated for salary-cap reasons.