East Rutherford, NJ – Darrelle Revis' late interception led winning 50-yard field goal with 27 seconds remaining, as 24, in the season opener for both teams.
With the score tied, Tony Romo dropped back with less than a minute to play. Romo tried to throw a pass to a hobbled Dez Bryant, but Revis stepped in front of the pass and returned it 20 yards to the Dallas 34.
"I didn't get a great look at the play, but it looked like they went to what we call a two man, played up underneath it, and I don't know if Tony was fooled by it a little bit but unfortunately we made that turnover and gave them a chance to win the ballgame," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.
A two-yard run by Shonn Greene and two incompletions led to fourth down. Folk had no trouble booting the ball through the uprights to give the Jets an improbable victory.
Dallas came into the game with an all-time record of 241-0-1 when leading by 14-or-more points in the fourth quarter.
Twin brothers Rex and Rob Ryan were on opposite sidelines for the ninth time. The brothers clashed for the first time in 1987 when Rex's Eastern Kentucky Colonels defeated Rob's Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 20-10.
Rex, the head coach of the Jets, got the best of Rob, the defensive coordinator of the Cowboys, again. The duo's previous matchup came in 2010 when Rex's Jets defeated Rob's Cleveland Browns, 26-20 in overtime. Currently, Rex leads the series 6-3.
Mark Sanchez completed 26-of-44 passes for 335 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Jets (1-0), who went 11-5 last year and lost to the Steelers in the AFC title game.
Plaxico Burress' return to the football field was a success, as the wide receiver caught four passes for 72 yards and a score. The former New York Giant sat out the entire 2009 and 2010 seasons while being imprisoned on a well-publicized weapons charge, then signed with the rival Jets shortly after being released in June.
"It says a lot about our team," Burress said. "We get down 14 points in the fourth quarter especially with everything going on today to symbolize 9/11. The 10-year anniversary. We kind of relate to what the city is all about, about sticking together, being resilient, persevering through everything that was going on."
Romo completed 23-of-36 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns for the Cowboys (0-1), who are trying to bounce back from a 6-10 campaign last season. The poor record was mostly due to Romo fracturing his collarbone in a loss to the Giants in October.
Garrett guided the Cowboys to a respectable 5-3 mark down the stretch last year after taking over for Wade Phillips.
Jason Witten, who signed a contract extension earlier Sunday, caught six passes for 110 yards. Bryant managed three catches for 71 yards and a score despite leg cramps during the game.
Felix Jones led the way on the ground for Dallas, rushing for 44 yards and a score on 17 carries.
Trailing by 14, 24-10, early in the fourth, the Jets got going. Faced with a 3rd-and-3 from the Dallas 26, Sanchez found Burress near the left pylon. The 6-foot-5, 232-pounder caught the ball for his first TD since October 9, 2008.
Dallas seemed ready to respond in a big way, as Witten caught passes of 11 and 64 yards to put the ball in the red zone. The momentum went back to the Jets when Romo fumbled the football.
New York took over a its own three-yard line. The home team got to the 46-yard line of the Cowboys before Sanchez lost the ball.
Dallas did little on offense and was forced to punt. Joe McKnight broke through the middle of the line and blocked the punt. Isaiah Trufant picked up the ball and sprinted 18 yards into the end zone to make it 24-24 with five minutes left.
"The kick got blocked, I looked up, it was flying over my head, bounced a couple of times, I got a good bounce my way and I was able to pick it up and run with it," Trufant said.
Each team punted once before Revis picked off Romo.
Romo led the Cowboys on a nine-play, 74-yard scoring drive to start the game. Bryant caught a 42-yard pass to set up Dallas at the 17. Kevin Ogletree made a five-yard catch on third down to keep the drive alive. Bryant fended off cornerback Antonio Cromartie before hauling in a three-yard TD pass from Romo.
The pace slowed down for a bit, but Dan Bailey, an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State, made a 34-yard field goal with less than 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the half for a 10-0 lead.
New York's offense finally got going on the ensuing possession. Dustin Keller made a big 17-yard catch on third down to keep the march going. LaDainian Tomlinson followed with a 32-yard catch. Two plays later, Keller made a four- yard catch in the back of the end zone to cut the gap to 10-7.
The Cowboys scored a touchdown on their first possession of the second half to make it a 17-7 contest. On the eighth play of the drive, Romo tossed a 36-yard pass into the end zone. Miles Austin and Cromartie both went up for the ball at the goal line. The latter seemed to have an interception, but Austin pulled the ball away from the defensive back as two players fell to the ground. The refs decided that Austin gained enough control of the ball to make it a touchdown.
The Jets responded with a 34-yard Folk field goal to cut the gap to 17-10 with 4:01 left in the third.
Dallas made a big defensive play on the last play of the third quarter. Sanchez threw a pass over the middle of the field and Sean Lee was there for the pick. The linebacker ran with the ball down the right sideline for 37 yards, but was pulled down just before the goal line following a replay.
It took Dallas' offense just two plays to score. Jones took the handoff and went untouched into the end zone for a 24-10 margin early in the fourth.
Dallas has still won seven of the 10 all-time meetings between the teams, the most recent of which took place at Cowboys Stadium on Thanksgiving Day of 2007...The Cowboys were without cornerback Terence Newman (groin), and cornerback Orlando Scandrick left Sunday's game with a sprained ankle...Buddy Ryan, the father of Rex and Rob, was in attendance. Ryan, a former NFL coach, has cancer that has spread to his neck. He delayed surgery so he could see his two boys coach against each other...Miles caught five passes for 90 yards...Santonio Holmes hauled in six passes for 70 yards for the Jets.