EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rex Ryan wanted this one badly for the New York area — and his Jets delivered.
But it was far from easy.
Nick Folk kicked a 50-yard field goal with 27 seconds left, giving the Jets a 27-24 comeback victory over the Cowboys in the final game of the NFL's first full Sunday, a day commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
With the score tied at 24, the Cowboys had a chance for a winning drive with 59 seconds left, but Tony Romo was intercepted on the first play by Darrelle Revis, who returned it 20 yards to the Dallas 34. Four plays later, Folk kicked the go-ahead field goal against his former team.
The Jets tied it with five minutes left when Isaiah Trufant, promoted from the practice squad Saturday, scored on an 18-yard blocked-punt return. Joe McKnight ran up the middle unblocked and got an outstretched hand on Mat McBriar's kick, which bounced into Trufant's hands.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Jason Witten's 64-yard catch put the ball at the Jets 3. Three plays later, Romo scrambled, then tried to run but was sacked by Mike DeVito and the quarterback lost the ball. Jets nose tackle Sione Pouha recovered.
The Jets turned the ball over a few minutes later when a blitzing Danny McCray sacked Mark Sanchez, forcing a fumble that Dallas recovered. But the Cowboys couldn't take advantage and were forced to punt — the play that swung the momentum in the Jets' favor.
New York got within a touchdown earlier in the fourth when Plaxico Burress caught his first score as a Jet, a 26-yarder from Sanchez.
Burress was playing his first game since completing his prison sentence for gun possession, stemming from a 2008 incident in which he shot himself in the leg.
Last week, Ryan said he felt a responsibility to the New York area to win on opening night, especially with the team honoring the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks before the game and at halftime.
He also wanted to get the better of his twin brother, Dallas defensive coordinator Rob, with their cancer-striken father, Buddy, in the crowd.
The Cowboys had been 241-0-1 in their history when leading by 14 or more in the fourth quarter, according to NBC.