Chris Johnson scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, both were set up by a big play from a rookie, as the Tennessee Titans defeated the Dallas Cowboys 34-27 on Sunday.
Johnson scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 3:28 to play, which was 62 seconds after the Cowboys had tied the score. Rookie Marc Mariani’s 73-yard kickoff return and a facemask penalty gave Tennessee possession at the Dallas 5, and Johnson scored three plays later.
A 1-yard touchdown run by Johnson gave the Titans a 27-20 advantage with 7:26 to play. That one came one play after rookie cornerback Alterraun Verner intercepted a pass and returned it to the Dallas 1.
Johnson finished with 131 yards rushing on 19 carries, his third 100-yard game of the season.
Verner’s was the third interception of the contest by the Tennessee defense, which also sacked Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo six times. Defensive end Jason Babin and defensive tackle Jason Jones had two sacks apiece, and linebacker Stephen Tulloch and safety Michael Griffin had the other two interceptions.
Romo threw for a career-high 406 yards, and running back Felix Jones became the first opposing back this season to rush for more than 100 yards against the Titans (109 on 15 carries) as Dallas outgained Tennessee 511-321.
The Titans did not commit a turnover, though, and quarterback Vince Young (12-25, 173 yards, two touchdowns) was sacked only three times.
Tennessee (3-2) led 17-3 after Kenny Britt’s 12-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter.
Dallas (1-3) tied it on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Romo to Miles Austin on the third play of the second half. The Cowboys answered two ensuing Titans’ scores and pulled even each time before Johnson finally delivered the difference-making touchdown run.