- The Washington Times - Monday, November 22, 2004

BALTIMORE — When Jamal Lewis hobbled off the field in the first quarter with a sprained ankle, Baltimore’s Kyle Boller quickly realized the best chance of a Ravens victory rested on his erratic right arm.

The quarterback of the NFL’s lowest-rated passing attack was up to the challenge yesterday. Boller threw second-half touchdown passes to backup tight end Darnell Dinkins and wide receiver Kevin Johnson to lead the Ravens to a 30-10 rout over the Dallas Cowboys before 69,924 at M&T; Bank Stadium.

Boller completed 23 of 34 passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Boller’s 106.5 passer rating was the second-best of his young career. On Oct.4 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Boller finished with a 108.5 rating in Baltimore’s 27-24 loss.

Last week, Boller rallied the Ravens to a 20-17 overtime win at the New York Jets and proved he could lead the Ravens back from a fourth-quarter deficit. Yesterday, Boller showed he could be the team’s offensive star, if necessary.

“I just continue to tell you guys, each week I feel more comfortable out there,” said Boller, who is in his second year out of California. “It’s getting easier and easier for me. The experience I’ve had, the difficult situations, reading defenses, understanding the game plans, just the little things that makes it that much easier for me to go out there and execute.”

With the win, the Ravens (7-3) have their best start through 10 games in franchise history. Baltimore has won three consecutive games and five of its past six, but still trails the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers (9-1) by two games.

Behind Boller, the Ravens rolled off 30 second-half points after trailing the Cowboys 3-0 at halftime.

The Ravens’ offense began to click on their second possession of the third quarter. Boller was six of seven for 74 yards on the drive, which culminated on Dinkins’ first career touchdown (17 yards) to give the Ravens a 7-3 lead. Johnson’s 31-yard touchdown grab gave Baltimore a 14-3 lead with 4:30 left in the quarter.

Dallas (3-7) also felt the bite of the Ravens’ opportunistic defense. Baltimore intercepted Cowboys quarterback Vinny Testaverde twice — one of which was returned for a 44-yard touchdown by Chad Williams — and recovered backup quarterback Drew Henson’s fourth-quarter fumble at the Dallas 1. Two plays later, running back Chester Taylor scored to give the Ravens a 30-3 lead with 9:46 left.

Notes — Ravens running back Musa Smith was lost for the remainder of the season with a compound fracture of his left tibia on a tackle by Cowboys safety Roy Williams in the first quarter. … Ravens wideout Travis Taylor became the franchise’s all-time leading receiver when he caught a 9-yard out in the second quarter, his 192nd career catch. Taylor, who caught six passes for 68 yards, passed Qadry Ismail as the Ravens leading receiver and now has 196 career catches.

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