October 14, 2002
IRVING, Texas -- If Quincy Carter could play the first 55 minutes like he plays the last five, the Cowboys might be better than .500.
But their games wouldn't be as interesting.
Carter led Dallas to a dramatic victory for the second time in three weeks, turning a 13-0 deficit into a 14-13 win over Carolina by throwing an 80-yard touchdown to Joey Galloway with 3:55 left, then a 24-yarder to rookie Antonio Bryant with 56 seconds to go.
"This is one of the craziest wins I've ever been involved in," veteran Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith said. "That was amazing, truly amazing."
Carter started showing his comeback skills two games ago, when he overshadowed a mostly poor performance by directing a last-minute drive that led to the winning field goal against St. Louis.
This time, on his 25th birthday, Carter got the Cowboys in a hole with two turnovers and poor throws.
Fans booed, and Texas Stadium was nearly half empty as Dallas appeared headed to its first home shutout in 11 years.
Then Carter started clicking.
After going 9-of-22 for 77 yards over the first 55 minutes, he was 6-of-10 for 148 yards on the final two drives.
On Galloway's touchdown, Carter scrambled out of a sack and steadied himself with his free hand. Deon Grant nearly intercepted the pass, but deflected it straight to Galloway.
"The ball just elevated more than I thought," Grant said. "I didn't jump high enough."
A 10-yard completion to Darnay Scott on fourth and 6 came on a play that wasn't in the game plan, as was the score to Bryant, also on fourth down.
On the winning catch, Bryant juggled it, then rolled over, causing a few seconds of hesitation. Once it was clear he still had it, fans screamed and players piled on top of each other.
Chris Weinke drove the Panthers to the Cowboys 32, but time ran out before the team could attempt a field goal.