NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs offers his analysis after the Cowboys overcame a 20-point first-quarter deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
WHAT IT MEANS
Dallas gets victory number one of the season with a stunning 40-39 comeback win over Atlanta in Arlington. Starting 1-1 is a lot better than starting 0-2.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has never lost a game at AT&T Stadium.
Dallas did everything it could to give the game away with three turnovers, two failed fake punts and a failed two-point conversion.
“It almost felt unreal," Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said after the game. "For us to persevere with that bad of a start, that’s kind of unbelievable.”
Once Dak Prescott scored his third rushing touchdown to make it 39-37 late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys had to recover an onside kick to have a chance to win the game. Greg Zuerlien hit a great ball, C.J. Goodwin recovered it and Dallas had its shot.
In my opinion, the onside kick recovery was the turning point and the first time the Cowboys looked to have control of the game. Of course, the offense went six plays, burned up the clock and Zuerlien kicked the game-winner.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott set a franchise single-game record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with three. Prescott had 450 passing yards and the touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz.
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He is the first player in NFL history with three rushing touchdowns and more than 400 yards passing in a single game.
“Those are just statistics,” Prescott said. “That was a team effort all the way around. My stats are just a credit to the whole offense.”
Prescott didn’t panic despite losing a fumble that helped Atlanta gain a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.
Last week, Prescott was blamed because he didn’t lead Dallas back on the final drive to beat the Rams. This week, give him credit for doing his part to win the game.
And don’t forget the Cowboys didn’t have any of their three top offensive tackles in this game. Tyron Smith, La’ell Collins and Cam Erving were all injured.
KEY STAT: 20
The Cowboys were down 20-0 to Atlanta in the first quarter. That ties the largest comeback in franchise history according to the Cowboys public relations department.
The Cowboys hit the road to face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3. Who knows what the offensive line combinations will be. Who knows what the defensive backfield will look like. Bottom line, Dallas is 1-1 and tied for first place in the NFC East.