Greg Zuerlein kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and the Dallas Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 in Mike McCarthy’s coaching home debut Sunday afternoon.
Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes, two off lost fumbles from the Cowboys, on the way to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. But the Falcons couldn’t avoid their first 0-2 start under coach Dan Quinn in a performance reminiscent of their blown 28-3 lead in a Super Bowl loss to New England in Houston.
The key play of the game was the successful onside kick for Dallas, it came just after two failed fake punts and a gamble from McCarthy in going for the 2-point conversion before the final touchdown the Cowboys would have needed to get even. Dallas was down two after the third short touchdown run from Prescott, who threw for 450 yards and a score. It was Prescott’s first game with multiple rushing touchdowns. He’s the franchise leader for quarterbacks in that category.
The Cowboys offense continued to chip away late in the game despite a mediocre defensive effort by most, setting themselves up to strike when the Prescott and his weapons forced the game to 29-24 in the early fourth quarter. Big catches from CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup fueled the comeback, as did a career day from backup tight end Dalton Schultz. By the time the Cowboys recovered the onside kick that led to Greg Zuerlein’s game-winning kick.
Up Next for Both teams, the Falcons will play the Chicago Bears at home next Sunday, as for the Cowboys, they will be at Seattle next Sunday.