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Hambrick Turns Into Tuna Helper

September 29, 2003|From Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Troy Hambrick went to Dallas Coach Bill Parcells with a request. He wanted to help get the running game going.

Hambrick did that and more Sunday against the New York Jets.

He ran for 127 yards and a touchdown in 24 carries as the Cowboys racked up 202 yards on the ground and won 17-6, sending the Jets to their first 0-4 start since 1996.

Parcells, who coached the Jets from 1997-99, is 2-0 against his former teams this season. The Cowboys (2-1) beat the New York Giants, 35-32, in overtime two weeks ago.

"You work hard to be Tuna's guy," Hambrick said. "I went to him and asked what else I could do to be one of your guys and get this running game going. He just said, 'Keep hitting it in there and three or four yards will turn into 10 or 20. Just keep working hard. You're doing the right things and saying the right things.' "

Hambrick tied his career high for yardage, set against Atlanta on Nov. 11, 2001. Of course, he had a relatively easy time against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league.

The Jets came into the game ranked 31st in rushing defense, and Hambrick took advantage. In the second quarter, he converted a turnover into a 31-yard touchdown run for a 7-3 lead. Defensive tackle Chester McGlockton took full responsibility for the play because he was out of position.

"I made a mistake, and it cost us a touchdown," McGlockton said. "That started them rolling. It falls on my shoulders. It was a bad, bonehead play."

Things got worse for the Jets when Dallas converted another turnover into a touchdown just before halftime.

The Jets were driving with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter and looked as though they would score. Curtis Martin took the handoff at the Jet 20 and saw daylight to the end zone, but Roy Williams caught him from behind and caused a fumble at the 11.

The ball bounced into the end zone, where Darren Woodson recovered, and Dallas used its two-minute offense to perfection. Quincy Carter threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant on third-and-three with 11 seconds remaining.

The Jets were booed off the field at halftime.

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