IRVING, TEX., NOV. 11 -- Joe Montana completed 12 passes to Jerry Rice for 147 yards and a touchdown tonight as the San Francisco 49ers extended their NFL-record road winning streak to 16, and their overall winning streak to 17, with a 24-6 victory over the downtrodden Dallas Cowboys.

Montana, playing his first game in Texas Stadium, led the 49ers to their ninth victory this season to keep pace with the New York Giants as the only unbeaten teams in the NFL.

San Francisco's winning streak of 17 games includes three playoff games from last season, when the 49ers went on to win their second straight Super Bowl. The road winning streak also includes playoff games.

Montana completed 27 of 37 passes for 290 yards and capped the performance by scoring on a four-yard run with 3:12 to play to put away the punchless Cowboys.

Dallas dropped to 3-7 as it lost to the 49ers for the sixth consecutive time.

"We had it going pretty good tonight," Montana said. "Jerry is amazing the way he can get open. He has the ability to find the holes and improvise. He's the kind of player who wants the ball. There is great chemistry between us, and he always seems to make the big play."

Montana didn't play in last year's 31-14 victory over the Cowboys and hadn't made an appearance in the Dallas area since he guided Notre Dame to a 35-34 victory over Houston in the 1979 Cotton Bowl.

Dallas Coach Jimmy Johnson was so impressed with tonight's performance that he ran to midfield to shake Montana's hand after the game.

"He's a great player," Johnson said. "At this stage, we've got to have the breaks to have a chance to beat a team like the 49ers. They don't make mistakes and we do."

The 49ers spotted Dallas a 3-0 first-period lead on Ken Willis's 23-yard field goal, the sixth time San Francisco has trailed this season.

But the combination of a quick referee's whistle and Rice's acrobatic receiving put San Francisco ahead 17-6 at intermission.

Rice fumbled at the end of a 37-yard pass play from Montana, but referee Gene Barth said a whistle had stopped the play at the Dallas 5.

A face mask penalty on the play by defensive back Issiac Holt gave the 49ers the ball at the Dallas 2. It took San Francisco four plays to score, with Tom Rathman plunging across from inches away.

"It was a strange call," Johnson said. "The replay official decided to call the pass complete. It cost us the ball."

Linebacker Matt Millen positioned San Francisco for its second touchdown when he intercepted Troy Aikman's pass at the Dallas 22. Aikman was accidentally bumped on the play by his fullback Tommie Agee.

"It was a play that changed the game," Millen said. "All of a sudden we jump up 14-3."

The payoff for the 49ers came on third and five from the 7 when Rice outjumped defender Kenneth Gant. Rice caught the ball in his left hand and cradled it to his stomach before coming down in the end zone.

"He's got to be the only guy in the world who could have caught that ball," Montana said.

Holt, who guarded Rice most of the game, was hardly surprised. "Joe and Jerry did the same thing they've been doing for six years. They just go out and do it," he said.

Willis kicked a 37-yard field goal to cut San Francisco's lead to 14-6 with less than a minute remaining in the first half, but a 27-yard Montana-to-Rice pass set up San Francisco for Mike Cofer's 42-yard field goal at the gun.

Aikman completed nine of 21 passes for 96 yards before being replaced by former Washington Redskins reserve Babe Laufenberg, who made his regular season debut for Dallas.

Dallas, which had only one first down in the second half, was "outmanned -- and outgunned," Johnson said.

San Francisco has a 10-8 lead in the all-time series between the teams.