The Atlanta Falcons are 1-6. Let that sink in.
How did the Dallas Cowboys win that? That’s the question every fan is asking this week after they came back from a 20-0 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 thanks to Greg Zuerlein’s 46-yard field goal as time expired.
How the Falcons managed to lose still boggles the mind. Matt Ryan had as much time as he wanted throwing the football and the Cowboys defensive line could not get anywhere near him. Ryan finished with 273 yards and four touchdowns. Receiver Calvin Ridley had his way with the Cowboy secondary, ending his day with 109 yards and two touchdowns.
But is this about the Falcons choking yet again or the Cowboys comeback? It’s probably a bit of both, if not slightly more down to Atlanta. There’s no way they should have let Dallas back into the game, let alone win it. After the first quarter many Cowboys fans would have been thinking the game was over with a 20- point deficit to erase, but they were determined to right the wrongs of the first quarter.
Dak finished an incredible game going 34/47 for 450 yards, one passing touchdown and three rushing touchdowns to breathe life back into their season, but in truth is should never have happened. For people saying Dallas are back, perhaps cool your jets a bit. Let us not forget this was a Falcons team who got torched by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks last week. So while fans should be happy with the win, the way they had to win was alarming.
Give Dak Prescott credit today, though. He played like a grown man. Missing both starting tackles, he stood in the pocket and sprayed the ball around the field. Fumble aside, he looked every bit a top-15 quarterback today.
Ceedee Lamb was huge, Amari Cooper’s spectacular one-handed catch and Michael Gallup’s catch up the left touchline late in the game was incredible. Along with tight end Dalton Schultz, who has seen his rep increase with Blake Jarwin’s season-ending injury, Dallas had winners everywhere in the second half.
Then there was the onside kick attempt. Another brain fade from the Falcons and Dallas somehow recovered the ball and got a chance to win the game. Dak went 26 yards in six plays to set up Greg Zuerlein with a 46-yard field goal to win it. He converted to give Dallas a miraculous win.
It was the biggest NFL regular-season choke of all time. I am not sure which was worse: this game or the Super Bowl in which they blew a 28-3 lead against the Patriots.
Dallas had a massive 570 yards of total offence, mostly thanks to them being so far behind for most of the game, but it does show that when their offence gets going they will be tough to stop.
However, if they play like they did in the first half against the Seahawks, they will get blown off the field, so improvements have to be made, especially on the defensive side. Maybe a certain safety free agent could provide help?
I am still at a loss as to how Atlanta botched this one, and it will haunt their dreams for many weeks to come. Somehow Dallas snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to move to 1-1 on the season in heart-stopping fashion.
What a game!