A messy first quarter gave way to a gutsy fourth for McCarthy and Co.
By Patrik Walker CBS Sports
The Dallas Cowboys should send an apology letter to any fan subjected to the misery that was their first quarter against the visiting Atlanta Falcons, but it’ll return to sender after they pull out a thrilling 40-39 victory to spoil the upset. The former coughed up a total of four fumbles in that quarter alone and lost three of them — allowing the Falcons to score 14 points off of those turnovers en route to a big lead in Arlington. It dug a huge hole early for the Cowboys, but they were able to clean up their act a bit on the back end of the quarter, and took the momentum from a positive drive into the start of the second quarter, which ended in Ezekiel Elliott bullying his way into a much-needed touchdown.
The Falcons mounted a 12-play drive to reply, as the Cowboys defense began to wear down a bit from Dallas losing the time of possession battle. A game that began with the injury bug ravaging the latter has since seen it do the same against the former though, with key injuries changing the dynamic for the Falcons — Kaleb McGary out with a knee injury, Ricardo Allen battling an elbow ailment and Demontae Kazee entering concussion protocol after being victimized by Elliott on the aforementifoned touchdown run.
It ultimately turned into a bit of a barnburner as opposed to what looked early on to be a looming blowout, and the Falcons nearly escaped with a 1-1 record, but hold your horses. A big play by Michael Gallup, second rushing touchdown by Dak Prescott, recovered onside kick and game-winning boot by Greg Zuerlein instead changed the entire plot to this movie.
Cowboys win. Falcons collapse. Football is back.