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 IRVING, Texas (AP) -Derrick Mason pushed through the pain to catch a 13-yard touchdown and Matt Stover kicked three field goals to give the Ravens a 16-7 lead over the Dallas Cowboys after three quarters in the final regular-season game at Texas Stadium.
mp and circumstance of the finale at the landmark stadium Saturday night, the game itself had plenty of importance for a pair of 9-5 teams trying to improve their precarious playoff positions.
Mason, who had already come out of the game several times because of a sore left shoulder, caught the scoring pass from Joe Flacco with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. That was two plays after punter/kick holder Sam Koch ran 9 yards to convert a fake field goal on fourth-and-6.
Stover, who grew up in the Dallas area and sold programs as a kid at Texas Stadium, kicked three field goals in the first half to put Baltimore up 9-7. The third being a 37-yarder on the last play before halftime.
Stover's go-ahead kick was set up by Ed Reed's second interception of the game and seventh of the season to match the NFL lead. Reed intercepted a deep ball intended for Terrell Owens. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu also has seven interceptions.
Flacco was 15-of-22 for 139 yards after three quarters. Romo was 11-of-22 for 72 yards and two interceptions.
DeMarcus Ware's NFL-leading 20th sack and forced fumble set up Dallas for an early short touchdown. Ware sacked and stripped the ball from Flacco on Baltimore's second play, and Greg Ellis recovered at the 4.
that total in the third quarter.
The first sack set up a 2-yard TD run by Tashard Choice, only the fourth rushing touchdown allowed by the Ravens this season. Choice started again in place of Marion Barber, who was active but still limited by a broken pinkie toe.
Baltimore, bolstered by 41 penalty yards against the Cowboys, responded on its next drive with a 26-yard field goal by Stover that gave him his 12th consecutive 100-point season.
Stover, playing in his 109th consecutive game, added a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Flashbulbs were a constant during the game, and lit up the stands during pregame introductions when the Cowboys came out of the tunnel on the field. Dallas players wore commemorative patches on their jerseys, and Emmitt Smith Tony Dorsett and Randy White were among many former Cowboys greats in attendance - and scheduled to take part in a planned hour-long postgame ceremony.
Dallas got the ball to start the game, but when Romo tried to go deep to Roy Williams, the badly thrown pass was intercepted by Reed. The Ravens then had the ball only two plays before Ware's big hit, getting him within three sacks of Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record.
While the Ravens can't clinch a wild-card berth this weekend, the Cowboys can if they win and any of a number of other scenarios play out involving Philadelphia, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Atlanta.
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