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DALLAS 34, HOUSTON 6

Owens Is Star in Easy Victory

October 16, 2006|From the Associated Press

IRVING, Texas — Terrell Owens stood on a star logo at Texas Stadium again. This time, it led to a standing ovation.

Owens capped his turnaround from local scourge to fan favorite by catching three second-half touchdowns, taking the Dallas Cowboys from a tight game against the Houston Texans to an easy 34-6 victory.

"I think this is a good start for me," said Owens, who broke a three-game scoring drought, his longest since 2000, with his first three-touchdown game since the night of his infamous skit with one of the "Desperate Housewives" in 2004.

"This is something to build on," he said. "It was a lot of fun."

All the Cowboys (3-2) probably enjoyed this one, from the offense putting up 31 points after halftime, scoring on five of six possessions, to the defense not giving up a touchdown for the second straight home game.

It was an emphatic recovery from a tough loss to Philadelphia last week and a way of avenging an embarrassing loss to the Texans (1-4) four years ago.

Yet the story was Owens -- and, for the first time since he joined Dallas, it was all good news.

Until Sunday, his Cowboys tenure was marked by problems: The hamstring injury that kept him off the field for most of the exhibition season, a fine for being late to work, a broken hand, an accidental overdose, screams of "Why am I here?" during and after the loss against Philadelphia and a shouting match this week with passing game coordinator Todd Haley.

Tension seemed to be mounting again as Owens went nearly the entire first half without a catch and with passes rarely coming his way. Then Haley and Drew Bledsoe made up for it.

Owens caught a three-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter. He stretched the lead by making a nice adjustment on a 21-yard pass caught in the end zone between two Texans, then capped his big day with a two-yard touchdown.

"It was his day," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "I'm pleased we got him."

Bledsoe was 17 of 28 for 168 yards with no turnovers.

Houston led, 6-3, at halftime, then ruined its comeback chances when quarterback David Carr threw passes for interceptions on consecutive drives and Edell Shepherd fumbled on a kickoff return. Dallas turned all three takeaways into points.

"I didn't make the plays; it's my fault," said Carr, who was 15 of 27 for 128 yards with the two interceptions, matching his total coming in. "Against a team like this, you have to be perfect."

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