Jets win, boost play-off hopes

The New York Jets kept themselves firmly in the AFC play-off race by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 19-16 on Saturday at AT&T Stadium.

The Jets' fourth straight win saw them improve to 9-5. They hold a half-game lead over Kansas City and Pittsburgh in the AFC Wild Card race, with both the Chiefs and Steelers scheduled to play on Sunday.

"It's good to string some games together," New York Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "Play-offs or not, we have to string some games together. It's a good time to start playing some good football. It wasn't pretty today, all of them are not going to be pretty, but good teams win the ugly games.

"We're on our way to becoming one of those types of teams if we can keep it up."

Jets kicker Randy Bullock atoned for a missed extra point and field goal by nailing the 40-yard game-winner after the Cowboys had tied the game 16-16 on Dan Bailey's 50-yard field goal with 1:55 to play.

Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick moved the offence 58 yards, most of it coming on a 43-yard pass to Kenbrell Thompkins. A series of running plays set up Bullock's game-deciding kick.

Fitzpatrick completed 26 of 39 passes for 299 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Jets receiver Brandon Marshall had 74 yards on four catches. Fellow receiver Eric Decker had 55 yards on six receptions, including a three-yard touchdown catch that put the Jets up 16-13 earlier in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys fell to 4-10 and were officially eliminated from play-off contention.

Already eliminated from the NFC Wild Card race, they would have had to win the NFC East division to reach the post-season.

With Saturday's loss, they are out of the running in a division in which the other three teams all own losing records of 6-7 going into Sunday's games.

Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel, starting in place of injured Tony Romo, was pulled in the first half in favour of Kellen Moore, a fourth-year pro who saw his first NFL game action.

The move to Moore marked the first time since 2001 that the Cowboys have used four quarterbacks in a single season.

Moore led the Cowboys to 13 points, but his third interception of the night sealed the Jets' victory.