At 6-2, the Dallas Cowboys were hardly in a terrible position coming into the game. They’re the clear front-runner in an incredibly weak NFC East though they definitely wanted to get the bad taste of last week’s loss out of their mouths. For the Atlanta Falcons, every game feels critical. They’re highly unlikely to challenge the Buccaneers for the NFC South and their path to the playoffs is on shaky ground. Did the Falcons keep pace in the playoff race? Here’s how it played out.
Dallas wins the toss and elects to receive. After the return to the 27, the Dallas offense starts with a run by Ezekiel Elliott for 3. Dak Prescott hits CeeDee Lamb on the quick pass and he picks up 37. The pass to Michael Gallup is nearly picked by Eric Harris and Elliott runs for 5. On 3rd and 5, Prescott hits Gallup for 11 and the first. Tony Pollard runs for 4 and the pass to Lamb is too high. On 3rd and 6, Prescott finds Lamb in the end zone for the touchdown.
Falcons 0, Cowboys 7
After the touchback, the Falcons offense starts with a pass from Matt Ryan to Kyle Pitts for 17 yards. Mike Davis runs for 6 and Ryan hits Pitts again for a big 18 yard gain. Cordarelle Paterson explodes for a 14 yard run and runs for 3 more on 1st down. Ryan can’t connect with Olamide Zaccheaus and on 3rd and 7, Ryan hits Russell Gage but it is ruled incomplete after the review. Atlanta takes the short 35 yard field goal to put points on the board.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 7
Starting on their 20 with 1st and 15 after the touchback and false start, the Dallas offense starts with Grady Jarrett tackling Elliott for a 3 yard loss. The short pass to Elliott gains 5 and on 3rd and 13, Prescott can’t connect with Tony Pollard. Cowboys punt.
Starting on their 32, the Atlanta offense begins with a run by Wayne Gallman for 2. Ryan then hits Pitts again for another big gain of 17 yards. Ryan hits Patterson for 14 and he then runs for 3 on the ground. Ryan’s 2nd down pass is batted down and on 3rd and 7, Ryan can’t connect with Pitts. The Falcons go for it on 4th down and Ryan can’t connect with Gage and it’s a turnover on downs.
Offsides sets up 1st and 5 from the Dallas 37 and Pollard picks up 9 on the first down pass. Pollard then runs for 4 and a short pass to Sean McKeon picks up 12 and the first. Pollard runs for 2 and again for a 3 yard loss thanks to Foye Oluokun and Tyeler Davison. On 3rd and 11, the short pass to Amari Cooper only picks up 6 to force the 4th down. Dallas goes for it and Prescott hits Lamb for 21 yards and puts them at the Atlanta 12 as the quarter comes to an end.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 7
With 1st and 10 at the Atlanta 12, the Cowboys get 3 on the ground from Elliott and the screen pass picks up 6. Elliott runs for 2 to setup 1st and goal from the Atlanta 1. Dak can’t connect with Elliott on first down and he runs it in for the touchdown.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 14
After the touchback, the Atlanta offense starts a pass to Tajae Sharpe that goes nowhere. Patterson then runs for 5 and on 3rd and 5, Ryan’s pass to Patterson is low and is incomplete. Atlanta punts.
From their 32, the Dallas offense starts with a short pass to Noah Brown that picks up 18. Elliott runs for 9 and Pollard does the same. Pollard runs for 2 and Dak throws incomplete. On 3rd and 8 from the Atlanta 30, Dak hits Lamb for a short 5 yard gain. The Cowboys go for it and Prescott hits Gallup for 23 yards to setup 1st and goal from the Atlanta 2. Elliott runs it in to finish the drive.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 21
From their 25, Wayne Gallman starts the drive with a run that loses 3 yards and Davis runs for 4 to setup 3rd and 9. Matt Ryan is then sacked, which is the least surprising thing ever. Atlanta punts.
Dallas takes over on their 41 and start with a quick pass to Cooper that gains 7. Elliott runs for 2 and 1 to pick up the 1st. He runs again for 4 and Prescott hits Lamb for 9 and the first. The pass to Gallup gains 8 and Dak then hits Cooper for 16 to setup 1st and 10 from the Atlanta 12. Pollard runs for no gain and Elliott runs for 3. On 3rd and 7, Dak hits Lamb for his 2nd touchdown of the game.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 28 (yes, you read that right)
After the touchback, the Falcons offense starts with Matt Ryan being sacked and fumbling it, with Kaleb McGary recovering. Ryan then throws incomplete on 2nd down and on 3rd and 19, the short pass to Davis gains 1 yard. Atlanta punts and Dallas blocks it and recovers it for a touchdown. After a penalty on the extra point, Dallas tries for the 2 point conversion and succeeds.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 36
After the touchback, Wayne Gallman runs for -5 and then again for 1 as the quarter mercifully comes to an end.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 36
From their 25, the Falcons offense kicks off the second half with a dropped pass by Russell Gage. Ryan hits Pitts for a gain of 8 and the 3rd down pass to Mike Davis is also dropped. Atlanta punts and it’s downed at the 1.
After a false start, Dak runs up the middle for 1 yard and Elliott runs for 3. Dak can’t connect with Gallup and Dallas has to punt from their 5.
After the punt and return, the Falcons offense starts on their 20 after a false start with a run by Gallman for 6. Ryan then hits Zaccheaus for 13 and the first. Gallman runs for 2 then takes the pass for 21 and the first. He runs again for 4 and after the 2nd down pass goes incomplete, on 3rd and 6 on the Dallas 34, Zaccheaus bobbles the pass and it’s intercepted by Anthony Brown. Cowboys Ball.
The Cowboys offense takes over and Dak hits Dalton Schultz immediately for a 14 yard gain. Pollard takes the pass for 9 and then runs it for another 15. After holding sets up 1st and 20 from the Atlanta 42, Lamb takes the quick pass for 12 and Elliott runs it but Richie Grant punches it out and Atlanta recovers.
The Falcons offense starts from their 15 with a run by Davis for 7 and a pass to Zaccheaus for 9. and Ryan is then intercepted by Trevon Diggs on the pass intended for Pitts.
The Cowboys start their drive with a run by Pollard for 2 and a reception for 19. After a chop block penalty sets up 1st and 25 from the Atlanta 41, Prescott hits Malik Turner for 7 and again to Amari Cooper for 22. Offensive holding wipes out a Pollard touchdown and defensive offsides gives them 5 back. After a few more passes and runs, the Falcons force it to 4th and 2 from their 4. The Cowboys go for it and Dak runs it in for another touchdown.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 43
After the touchback, Josh Rosen comes on at QB and Wayne Gallman runs it for 17 yards and we go to the fourth.
Falcons 3, Cowboys 43
Gallman runs for 7 and again for 1 and on 3rd and 2, Josh Rosen is picked off by Jourdan Lewis to finish the drive.
Cooper Rush comes in at QB and they start with a penalty, a short run and a couple of short passes that sets up 4th and 6. Cowboys punt.
The Falcons start with a run by Gallman for 5 and again for 3. On 3rd and 2, Rosen’s pass for Frank Darby goes incomplete. Punt!
Corey Clement runs for no gain and again for 2. After offensive holding sets up 3rd and 18, Clement runs it again for 6 yards. Dallas punts.
Wayne Gallman comes on and runs for 2 and again for 3. On 3rd and 5 in the endless game of misery, Josh Rosen connects with Frank Darby for 14 and the first. Gallman runs for 10 and a chop block penalty on Atlanta sets up 1st and 25 from the Dallas 40. Rosen can’t connect with Zaccheaus and Keith Smith runs it for 5 yards. On 3rd and 20, Rosen can’t connect with Christian Blake. Atlanta goes for it on fourth down and the pass to Darby doesn’t work. Surprise surprise.
With 4 minutes left, the Dallas offense starts with a run by Clement for 5 and again for 2 and 5 and the first down. This game is eventually, mercifully, brought to an end.
Final: Falcons 3, Cowboys 43