Sunday, Nov. 12 1:00pm ET
Seder scores 17 points for Dallas

Akili Smith
Bengals QB Akili Smith completed 10 of 25 passes for 68 yards and an interception, lost a fumble and was sacked three times on Sunday.
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- The Dallas Cowboys put the ball in the hands of someone who can make a big play: 5-foot-9, 180-pound Tim Seder, their rookie kicker who spent the last two years as a high school teacher and coach.

Seder scored 17 of Dallas' points in a 23-6 victory Sunday over Cincinnati, kicking three field goals and two extra points -- including the one after his own 1-yard touchdown run.

Seder took a pitch from holder Micah Knorr on a fake field goal and scooted into the end zone without being touched. His burst is believed to be the first by a Cowboys kicker and among a select few by kickers in NFL history.

"Really it was pretty easy because the linemen did all the work," said Seder, who remembered the moves from his days as a high school running back nearly a decade ago. "They made it easy for me, blowing people out of the way. There was just a huge hole."

Move over Emmitt Smith, who failed to pick up that same yard on the previous play and lost a fumble at the Cincinnati 1 in the first quarter. Smith had 16 yards on 17 carries, his worst production without being hurt since 1998.

Question on the Bengals: How embarrassing is it to let the opposing kicker score a TD?
Donahoe: You have to give the Cowboys credit for a great play. It's not a play you see called frequently, and apparently not a play that Cincinnati was prepared for -- so you have to give the Cowboys' special teams credit for pulling it off.

Question on the Cowboys: Will this victory give the Cowboys another false sense of playoff hope?
Donahoe: Dallas is not a playoff football team at this time. They may still have some hope of becoming that team, but they have been decimated by injuries at wide receiver and on the defensive line. Unless they can win the rest of their games, it is unlikely that they can make the playoffs -- and they still have some tough teams left on their schedule. It's a good win for Dallas, but you probably shouldn't read much more into it than that.

Tom Donahoe,'s NFL analyst, was formerly the Steelers' director of football operations.

"I thought it was going to work because of Tim's background," said Joe Avezzano, Dallas' special teams coach. "He was a running back, has been in contact and has a little different mindset."

Seder's big day overshadowed the most yards passing since the 1999 opener for Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who didn't play last week because of a bad back.

On a cold, wet afternoon, Aikman was 24-of-37 for 308 yards, including a nice 35-yard touchdown to James McKnight, as Dallas (4-6) ended a two-game losing streak. McKnight caught eight passes for a 164 yards, both career bests.

"I think I only took one hit," said Aikman, who received pain-relieving injections this week. "That's the kind of protection I need."

Dallas' league-worst run defense limited Corey Dillon to 94 yards and its league-worst pass rush had three sacks after getting 10 in the previous nine games.

The Bengals (2-8) ensured themselves of 10th straight season without a winning record. Second-year quarterback Akili Smith looked as lost as ever, completing 10 of 25 passes for 68 yards and an interception and losing a fumble. This was the fifth straight game without 100 yards passing and his sixth straight without a TD pass.

"We felt that if we could just get a little bit of help from the passing game we could win," offensive lineman Willie Anderson said. "The passing game really hurt us today, but we can't point the finger at one person."

The only good news for Cincinnati was scoring its first points this season outside the state of Ohio -- although it was only two field goals. The Bengals were shut out in three of four previous road games, scoring only in a 12-3 victory in Cleveland.

Dallas led 10-6 in the third quarter when Ebenezer Ekuban forced Smith to fumble and recovered it at the 29. The Cowboys drove to the 1, and when Emmitt Smith was stopped on third down, Seder and Knorr came on for what would have been an 18-yard attempt.

Knorr, the punter, was hurt in the second quarter and was practically immobile, making a fake unlikely. At least, it was to the Bengals -- even though they were tricked on a similar play last season by Cleveland.

"We loaded up on one side and they found the weak spot on the other," said Cincinnati's Tom Carter, who was on the field-goal defense.

Knorr took the snap and lobbed it up. Seder caught it in stride around the 8, cut left and ran to the back of the end zone, where he celebrated with a little fist pump. After all, he still had work to do.

Seder kicked the extra point, then got to really enjoy his touchdown. Several teammates came off the sidelines to shake his hand, including Randall Cunningham, who was still smiling and laughing about it.

Game notes
Although Dallas announced an 85th consecutive sellout with a paid crowd of 62,170, there were hardly more than 30,000 at kickoff. ... Cincinnati linebacker Adrian Ross sprained an ankle and offensive lineman John Jackson hurt a hamstring. ... Dallas offensive coordinator Jack Reilly made a brash choice by making the game-opening play a handoff to fullback Robert Thomas. Thomas' fumble of a handoff in an overtime loss last Sunday drew much criticism.


Cincinnati Clubhouse

Dallas Clubhouse

Week 11 wrap-ups