IRVING, Tex. — Bernie Kosar didn't look like a quarterback with diminished skills.
With only four days of practice after his release by the Cleveland Browns, Kosar completed 13 of 21 passes for 199 yards. He also threw for a touchdown while directing the Dallas Cowboys to 20-15 victory Sunday over the Phoenix Cardinals.
"For Bernie to pull this off with limited practice time was commendable," Dallas Coach Jimmy Johnson said. "He was hitting Michael Irvin on cross-over routes and executing the offense. He had everything spinning in his head but did a tremendous job.
Kosar led Dallas (7-2) on three scoring drives, and his only mishap was being sacked for a safety by Chris Oldham.
"I didn't want to let the coaches and the players on this great team down," Kosar said. "I'm just so happy we won. It was a tough week getting ready. I told some Cleveland friends it's amazing what adifference a week can make."
With Dallas leading 3-0, Kosar came in with 4:49 left in the first quarter. He completed his first pass as a Cowboy, covering 14 yards to Irvin.
Kosar completed two more passes on a 65-yard drive which ended with Emmitt Smith's four-yard touchdown run.
Later, Kosar connected with Smith on an 86-yard pass play, the fifth-longest in Cowboys history. Smith broke three tackles and turned a five-yard completion into the second longest pass of Kosar's career.
Phoenix (3-7) rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to make it interesting when Chris Chandler connected with Larry Centers on a 17-yard touchdown pass play. Greg Davis also kicked field goals of 19 and 47 yards.
Jason Garrett started at quarterback for the injured Troy Aikman. But it didn't take long for Johnson to get Kosar in the game.
"I wanted to get Bernie in there and see what he could do," Johnson said.