It was ugly, it was sloppy, it was pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the 2012 Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas fell to the Falcons, 19-13, in Atlanta on Sunday night to sink to 3-5 on the year.
The Cowboys jumped out to a six-point lead with a pair of first quarter field goals from kicker Dan Bailey, but the lead was erased in the second quarter, as Atlanta’s Matt Bryant hit two field goals to even the score at 6-6 going into halftime.
In the second half, the Cowboys’ defense--which had been so solid through the first 30 minutes--began to wear down.
Atlanta put up 100 yards of rushing in the final two quarters after gaining just 23 in the first half; Michael Turner, the Falcons’ leading rusher in the game with 102 yards on 20 carries, gave the home team their first lead of the game with a three-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, at 16-6.
Bryant added a field goal to extend that lead to 19-6 before Dallas finally found the end zone, on a 21-yard pass from Tony Romo to Kevin Ogeltree to pull within three at 16-13 with around five minutes remaining.
With a stop, Dallas would’ve had a good shot at the comeback, but the defense that kept the Cowboys in the game all night couldn’t get off the field on this final Falcons’ drive--their effort was hampered by a missed tackle and a huge defensive holding penalty, both of which extended the drive and both of which were the handiwork of cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
The Falcons’ Bryant hit his final field goal of the night with 17 seconds remaining to extend Atlanta’s lead to 19-13, which would stand as the final.
At 3-5, the Cowboys will travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles next Sunday.
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