IRVING, Tex. — Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman set an NFL record Sunday for the most passing yards by a rookie in a game Dallas lost in the final minute to the Phoenix Cardinals, the Dallas club said today.
Aikman was knocked cold for nearly five minutes after releasing a 75-yard touchdown pass to James Dixon in a 24-20 loss to the Cardinals.
The rookie quarterback, making his first start since suffering a broken index finger on his non-passing hand Oct. 1, had to be told his pass went for a touchdown. Coach Jimmy Johnson gave the news after Aikman regained consciousness.
Aikman's 379 yards passing against Phoenix surpassed by 10 yards the record set by Tampa Bay's Vinny Testaverde in a Dec. 6, 1987, game at New Orleans. It was the fifth-best total in Cowboys' history.
"I was knocked out and didn't know what happened on the pass," said Aikman, who caught a blow to the chin from the helmet of Phoenix linebacker Anthony Bell.
The record was set on the pass to Dixon, which came with less than two minutes remaining and gave Dallas a 20-17 lead.
Phoenix rallied in the final minute to hand the Cowboys' their ninth loss in 10 games. (Story, C10.)
Dixon set a club rookie record with 203 receiving yards.
Aikman had a sore jaw and a headache today after Bell's ringing hit, but Johnson said he believes the quarterback will be ready for Sunday's game against Miami.
Aikman said the last thing he remembered seeing was Dixon breaking across the middle.
Neither Roger Staubach nor Danny White ever had such a prolific passing game as Aikman, who was 21 of 40 and victimized by at least eight drops and a senseless penalty that wiped out most of a 51-yard pass to Paul Palmer in the fourth quarter.
"Troy was tremendous," Johnson said. "It was a bitter defeat. We had them beat."