Cowboys rally, stun Falcons
ARLINGTON, Texas — One gamble after another failed for coach Mike McCarthy in his home debut with the Dallas Cowboys.
A successful onside kick made them all moot.
Greg Zuerlein kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and the Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 40-39, on Sunday.
The Falcons were still up 15 in the fourth quarter before Dak Prescott became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards and rush for three touchdowns in the same game, the third TD getting Dallas (1-1) within two.
Zuerlein did not use a tee for his slow-rolling onside attempt, a rare tactic. But even more curious was Atlanta’s players surrounding the ball when they could have recovered it. As soon as it crossed the 10-yard mark, C.J. Goodwin pounced — and later emerged from the big pile with the ball and 1:48 on the clock.
Rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb’s 24-yard catch got the Cowboys in field goal position, and they ran down the clock before “Greg the Leg” touched off a wild celebration for the players and the socially distanced 21,708 fans who booed Dallas off the field with Atlanta up 29-10 at halftime. The crowd was 27% of AT&T Stadium’s 80,000-seat capacity.
“I don’t know if I’ve been in many games like this thing,” Prescott said. “But to be able to get the win, and in front of those fans that were there, stayed the whole game, they didn’t give up on us. That was a huge difference.”
Instead of lamenting just his second 0-2 start — his only one was his first season in Green Bay in 2006 — McCarthy celebrated his debut on the Dallas sideline of the venue that hosted his Super Bowl win with the Packers a decade ago.
Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes, two off the three lost fumbles from the Cowboys in the first quarter, which ended with Atlanta in front 20-0.