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Clock willing, fastest TD mark stands

IRVING, Texas -- Randal Williams claims to be fast, but even the Dallas Cowboys receiver knows he's not 37 yards-in-three-seconds fast.

Williams is being credited with the fastest score to start a game since the NFL began using a scoreboard clock. He returned Philadelphia's onside kick for a touchdown three seconds into Sunday's game.

Officially, it took only three seconds. It might have actually taken almost twice as long, which would still be pretty good.

"I watched it a couple of times. I probably took three or four
steps before that first tick came off the clock," Williams said
Monday, a day after the Cowboys' 23-21 win. "Hey, that's not my
fault. It goes down in the record book."

Replays show clearly that the clock didn't start until after
Williams took a few steps, at least two seconds.

"Maybe we've got a slow hand up there (in the booth)," Cowboys
coach Bill Parcells said. "I could see how that could happen
though because you're used to thinking the ball is going in the air
and seeing the ball."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday that the play will not be
reviewed. So Williams will keep the three-second record.

Even if Williams had matched the pace of former Cowboys player
Bob Hayes when he ran 100 meters in a then-world record time of
10.05 seconds, it would have taken about 3.4 seconds to go 37 yards.

And, in Williams' case, he started it by leaping, was wearing
football gear and slowed at the finish, raising his right arm in
celebration.

Williams was on the front line of the Cowboys' return team when
the Eagles tried the onside kick. He plucked the ball out of the
air and wasn't touched as he raced to the end zone, the shortest
return for a touchdown since Henry Jones of Buffalo also went 37
yards in 1999.

The Eagles successfully recovered an onside kick to start their
41-14 season-opening victory over Dallas in 2000.

"We knew they attempted some onside kicks in the past. I can't
tell you I knew it was coming," Parcells said. "It was a lucky
play. That is totally an unpredictable situation and unpredictable
results."