ATLANTA – The Cowboys are now 5-5 thanks to many big plays in this game, including a long touchdown run from Ezekiel Elliott, a nifty score from Dak Prescott, another pick by the rookie linebacker and the game-winning field goal at the end.
Like all games, there are several plays that go unnoticed, or could be overlooked. Still, they play a huge role in the eventual outcome. Let's look at five plays that changed the direction of this game, with a bonus play this week.
D-Law pushes Falcons out of Field Goal attempt – With a third-and-7 at the Cowboys' 31-yard line, the Falcons were looking for another long field goal attempt by Matt Bryant. But his quarterback, Matt Ryan, couldn't get away from DeMarcus Lawrence, who sacked him for a 6-yard loss back to the 37. Atlanta elected to punt. Without that sack, the Falcons likely kick the field goal with Bryant to take the lead. Instead, it remained tied, 3-3.
Zeke gets Cowboys in range – Early in the third quarter, the Cowboys trailed 6-3 and had a third-and-16 at the Falcons' 44-yard line. With Atlanta playing off, the Cowboys dumped it off to Elliott for a screen pass to the left flat. He did some nifty running to get 12 yards and into Brett Maher's range. Maher then drilled a 50-yard field goal to tie the game. Without that extra effort by Elliott, the Cowboys likely would've punted and continued to trail.
Collins with the scoop and dive – For all the great plays Elliott made on Sunday, it nearly could've been overshadowed by a costly fumble in the third quarter when the Cowboys were on the move to score. On third-and-1, he fumbled the ball, which rolled around for a moment before La'el Collins came over from his right tackle spot to not only scoop up the ball but fall forward for the necessary first-down yardage. The Cowboys were able to keep the drive going and take the lead with a touchdown early in the fourth.
LVE denies touchdown pass – One series after the rookie linebacker recorded his second career interception, Leighton Vander Esch had another huge play in the passing game. He was able to knock the ball away from Falcons tight end Austin Hooper for what appeared to be a touchdown. The Falcons had to settle for a field goal, keeping the Cowboys up seven late in the fourth quarter.
Gallup turns the tide – With the Cowboys facing third-and-5 on the final drive with 1:38 to play, the Falcons were looking to get the ball back, so they called a timeout to stop the clock. However, the momentum went back to Dallas after Prescott hit rookie Michael Gallup on the left side for a 10-yard catch to move the chains. That put the Cowboys back on the offensive, leading to another big play to Cole Beasley that eventually led to Maher's game-winning kick with no time left. It proved to be Gallup's only catch of the game but the Atlanta native picked a great time for it.