Greg Zuerlein kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Dallas Cowboys over the New York Giants 37-34 after an injury to quarterback Dak Prescott Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Tied at 34 with 52 seconds left in regulation, backup quarterback Andy Dalton led Dallas into field goal range as Michael Gallup made two spectacular sideline catches on the final drive. The first was a toe-dragging 19-yarder and the second an over-the-shoulder catch to the New York 16 with Dion Lewis running stride for stride and one foot barely staying inbounds.
Both catches help upon review, the latter after the Cowboys had run the clock down to 3 seconds before a timeout to set up Zuerlein's 34-yarder to drop the Giants to 0-5. Both wins for the NFC East-leading Cowboys (2-3) have come on game-ending kicks by Zuerlein, and after rallies from deficits of at least two touchdowns.
It was the first game at the home of the Cowboys for former coach Jason Garrett, the Giants' offensive coordinator who was replaced by McCarthy in Dallas after the Cowboys missed the playoffs amid high expectations last season.
Four years ago, Garrett chose to keep Prescott, then a rookie leading a franchise-best 11-game winning streak, as the starter over Tony Romo when Romo was healthy again. Prescott, who replaced an injured Romo in the preseason, has started every game of his career.
Garrett's offense stopped a two-game streak without a touchdown by getting in the end zone on New York's first possession on a 3-yard reverse to receiver Evan Engram.
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The Giants led 17-3 in the second quarter -- the fourth straight game with a double-digit deficit for the Cowboys -- before the Cowboys went in front 24-20 with 16 seconds left in the first half on Prescott's first career touchdown catch. The 11-yarder was from receiver Cedrick Wilson, who took a reverse pitch from Elliott.
Prescott had a huge smile when greeted by right guard Zack Martin after becoming the first Dallas QB with a touchdown catch since Danny White had his second in 1985. A mere 30 minutes later, Prescott's season was over.
Dalton was Cincinnati's starter for nine seasons before the Bengals drafted Joe Burrow No. 1 overall last spring and Dalton signed a one-year deal to be Prescott's backup.
Dalton and rookie center Tyler Biadasz fumbled an exchange on Dalton's first full series, setting up Devonta Freeman's 4-yard scoring run and offensive tackle Andrew Thomas' 2-point conversion catch for a 34-31 lead for the Giants (0-5).
Three of Graham Gano's four field goals were from at least 50 yards for the Giants, from 55, 50 and 54.
GREEN BAY CONNECTION
Two New York linebackers who played for McCarthy in Green Bay had hands in the biggest defensive plays for the Giants. Linebacker Kyler Fackrell returned an interception by Prescott 46 yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 New York lead in the first quarter. Blake Martinez recovered Dalton's fumble.
The Cowboys had another slight increase in the pandemic-reduced crowd at 25,147. Dallas has had fans at all three home games. There were 21,708 at the home opener and 25,021 last week. AT&T Stadium has 80,000 permanent seats.
Giants: LB Lorenzo Carter injured his left Achilles tendon on the final play of Dallas' opening drive and didn't return.
Cowboys: DT Trysten Hill was carted off with a right knee on New York's first drive of the second half.
Giants: Washington at home next Sunday in second of three straight NFC East games.
Cowboys: Arizona at home in their only scheduled Monday night appearance, Oct. 19.