BY: Greg Rector
DALLAS 1-1 40 ATLANTA 0-2 39
Okay, I got this game wrong, and man I am happy to say I was. The Dallas Cowboys looked absolutely pathetic in the first quarter. They had 4 fumbles 3 of which were recovered by the Falcons, who built a 20-0 lead. Matt Ryan was finding his receivers wide open and this looked like a blowout that would see the Cowboys fall to 0-2 on the season. They did score 10 points in the 2nd quarter but Atlanta was ahead 29-10 at halftime.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to a horrible loss, the Cowboys LED by Dak Prescott, fought their way back into this game. Prescott would score three rushing TD’s on his own, along with passing for one and throwing for 450 yards. No quarterback has ever done that in NFL history. Cooper, Gallup and Lamb, all had great catches at key moments to move the Cowboys into scoring position on those drives. Ezekiel Elliott had 89 rushing yards and a TD on the ground, and another 33 receiving yards. Dalton Schultz making his first start at TE for the injured Blake Jarwin was fantastic as well with 88 yards and a TD.
Meanwhile, the Falcons were still getting whatever they wanted on offense as well. The fourth quarter though saw them finally get stopped. The Cowboys only had one sack but it was a momentum swing. The Cowboys scored at TD and failed to make a 2 point conversion. They were down but not out. With time running down they would score another TD and it was 39-37. Then IT happened, Greg Zuerlein, without using a tee attempted an onside kick. How the Falcons didn’t just fall on the football is beyond me, and the Cowboys recovered the kick. That set up Zuerlein to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired.
I have seen a lot of great comebacks by the Cowboys in 51 years of being a fan, but this was simply SPECIAL. A defense that is already banged up, a new coaching staff trying to get their first win together, and then of course a far too often maligned quarterback proving to the entire league, his heart, his leadership, and desire to be the best he can be. Games like this make football so very special.
Enjoy this one Cowboys Nation. It doesn’t get any easier. Off to Seattle to face Russell Wilson next week.
Find me on Twitter @GregCowboys