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Pro Football Week 12 | DALLAS 30, SEATTLE 22

And Now Comes the Real Test

November 23, 1998|From Associated Press

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys keep winning and wondering just how good they are. Minnesota should provide the answer Thursday.

Chris Warren got his revenge and Troy Aikman helped contribute heavily toanother win to bolster his claim the Cowboys are back among the NFL's elite in a 30-22 victory over Seattle on Sunday.

Aikman threw two touchdown passes and Warren scored against his old Seattle teammates as Dallas rolled to its fourth consecutive victory, the most since the Super Bowl season of 1995.

"This was a big win for us and now we get Minnesota and a real challenge to gauge ourselves and see where we are at," Aikman said. "I think we are starting to be considered one of the elite teams in the NFL, which is where this organization deserves to be."

Minnesota has a 10-1 record, best in the NFC.

"The Vikings will be a good benchmark for us to see how far we have progressed," said fullback Daryl Johnston of the Cowboys, who have bounced back from a 6-10 season that got coach Barry Switzer fired.

Aikman, disappointed the Cowboys (8-3) haven't gained much national notice in their first season under coach Chan Gailey, completed 28 of 42 passes for 296 yards. He also scrambled three times despite suffering a broken collarbone earlier in the year.

"Aikman is playing as good as any quarterback in the NFL right now," said Seattle Coach Dennis Erickson. "And the Cowboys offense is the best we've seen all year."

Aikman's 18-yard touchdown pass to Billy Davis and Warren's one-yard run in the fourth quarter were too much for the Seahawks to overcome, although Warren Moon threw his second touchdown pass, a five-yarder to James McKnight.

It was Moon's 290th touchdown pass, third on the career list.

"The Dallas defense surprised me," Moon said. "They had a good pass rush.

"We're in trouble with our season. I never imagined we would be 5-6 with the personnel we have."

Warren, the Seahawks' career leading rusher who signed as a free agent with the Cowboys in the summer, ran seven times for 52 yards on a 61-yard play drive and scored a touchdown to give Dallas a 30-14 lead with 7:04 to go. Warren was let go by the Seahawks so they could sign Ricky Watters.

Warren rushed 11 times for 65 yards and Watters had 16 carries for 66 yards.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter," Warren said. "I wanted to show them I can still play."

In the second half, Dallas was without cornerback Deion Sanders, who reaggravated a toe injury.

Seattle's 300-pound Sam Adams scored his first professional touchdown late in the second half, batting a pass in the air, catching it and lumbering 25 yards.

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