MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brooks Bollinger made his case for holding onto the backup quarterback spot in Minnesota, while Matt Moore may have sewn up the No. 3 job in Dallas.
That was about the only drama for the Vikings and Cowboys in a preseason finale most of the stars watched from the sidelines.
Bollinger shrugged off a shaky performance in Seattle by throwing for 109 yards and a touchdown in just under two quarters of Minnesota’s 23-14 victory over the Cowboys Thursday night.
Moore was also impressive after fumbling the exchange on his second snap of the game, completing nine of his first 10 passes and finishing with 94 yards and a touchdown.
Moore lost two fumbles in the game, but showed impressive poise and an accurate arm throughout, completing 14-of-19 passes. He entered the game leading the race for the final quarterback spot against Richard Bartel, who completed his first six passes, but lost a fumble and threw an interception in the final half of the fourth quarter.
Bollinger’s status was, and probably still is, much more tenuous.
Last week against Seattle, he threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and had a quarterback rating of 27.7.
Two days after that 30-13 loss, the Vikings traded a sixth-round pick to Philadelphia for 12th-year pro Kelly Holcomb, looking for another veteran behind starter Tarvaris Jackson.
Rushed into duty just three days after coming to Minnesota, Holcomb went 5-for-8 for 59 yards and one interception in one quarter.
After Jackson played the first series, Bollinger came in and finished the first half. He helped turn two Dallas fumbles into touchdowns, including a 4-yard scoring pass to Sidney Rice that gave the Vikings a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Moore’s second pass of the game was nearly intercepted by safety Patrick Body — it likely would have given the Vikings (2-2) their fifth defensive touchdown of the preseason if Body held on. But Moore settled down and completed his next 12 passes, including a 6-yarder to Tony Curtis that tied the game late in the second quarter.
Ryan Longwell kicked three field goals for the Vikings, who recovered four fumbles by the Cowboys (2-2) and finished with 14 takeaways in the four-game preseason.
Jerheme Urban returned a punt 95 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter for the Cowboys, who played very few starters, especially on offense in the final game before they open against the Giants on Sept. 9.
Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Marion Barber III, Terry Glenn and Julius Jones all sat out for Dallas, which committed five turnovers and looked sloppy for the second week in a row.
The Vikings played their starters sparingly, holding out defensive linemen Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, cornerback Antoine Winfield and linebacker E.J. Henderson. Running back Chester Taylor also sat this one out, while Jackson only played the first series.
Brad Johnson started for the Cowboys, returning to where he spent nine of his 15 seasons in the league. His second stint with the Vikings ended when he struggled last season and didn't see eye to eye with new coach Brad Childress.
Several Vikings fans wore purple No. 14 jerseys to the game, and Johnson was 5-of-7 for 44 yards before yielding to Moore.