JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ Win Over Atlanta

The Cowboys had not won a game when trailing after three quarters since December 2016

The Cowboys started the toughest five-game stretch of their season with consecutive road wins, something that seemed impossible just a couple of weeks ago, but a 22-19 win over Atlanta has the Cowboys looking for a three-game winning streak Thursday against Washington.

If the Cowboys beat Washington on Thanksgiving Day, they'll celebrate with a share of first place.

Here are NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's 10 thoughts on the Cowboys' win over the Falcons:

1) Dak Prescott wasn't perfect Sunday -- he passed for 208 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions -- but he was efficient and that's good enough for these Cowboys. He engineered his second consecutive game-winning drive on the road, and he was four of six for 45 yards on the game-winning, 10-play, 51-yard drive.

2) The Cowboys ended an eight-game losing streak when they were trailing after three quarters, with their win over Atlanta. The Cowboys had not won a game in that situation since rallying from a 20-17 deficit to beat Tampa Bay in December of 2016.

3) Leighton Vander Esch finished with 12 tackles, three pass deflections, a quarterback hit and an interception. His second interception in as many weeks and subsequent 28-yard return helped Dallas score the touchdown that put the Cowboys ahead 28-18.

4) The Cowboys' defense played a stellar game. Atlanta averages 27.1 points and 408.9 yards per game. Dallas held Atlanta to 19 points and 354 yards. Quarterback Matt Ryan passes for 335 yards a game, and Dallas held him to 291.

5) From the first drive, when he ripped off runs of six, one, eight and 12 yards, it seemed obvious the Falcons couldn't stop Ezekiel Elliott. He carried 23 times for 122 yards and was not dropped for a loss.

6) Give play-caller Scott Linehan credit for finally figuring out how to use Elliott in the passing game. Instead of using him primarily as a check-down receiver, Elliott took a first-down screen 34 yards and he caught several passes in the middle of the field, where he could do damage. He had four receptions of at least 10 yards.

7) Kicker Brett Maher made his second game-winning kick, but he also missed an extra point that allowed the Falcons to tie the score at 19-19 with an extra point instead of a two-point conversion. He made kicks of 21, 50 and the game-winner from 42, but he has now missed at least one kick -- three field goals and an extra point -- in each of the last four games.

8) Demarcus Lawrence set the tone early with a 1.5 sacks and did his usual strong work against the run. He finished with eight tackles and also hit the quarterback three times.

9) For weeks, the Cowboys have been saying Randy Gregory is getting better each week. Well, he's now had a sack in consecutive games. He hit the quarterback two other times and also had a tackle for loss.

10) Michael Gallup had a tough day with an assortment of average routes and a dropped pass, but on third down on the Cowboys' game-winning drive, he made a nifty sliding catch for 10 yards on a comeback to sustain the drive. That shows you what Prescott thinks of him, and that should do wonders for his confidence.

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