*ARLINGTON, Texas – *The Cowboys were supposed to have extra emotion and energy for this game. For a while, it looked like they were going to not only start off fast, but run right over the Bills. But things changed quickly, thanks to Buffalo’s stingy defense that created pressure, sacks and turnovers.
But all games have other plays that might go unnoticed, yet still play a factor in the outcome. Here are the five you can’t forget about:
Beasley’s first catch created room – The Cowboys were up 7-0 and had the Bills pinned back near their end zone facing third-and-10 at their own 2-yard line. Instead of a conservative play to get them room for a punt, the Bills went to Cole Beasley, who got loose for 29 yards out to the 31. While the Bills eventually punted, the Cowboys got the ball back on their own 10-yard line. Without the completion to Beasley, it would’ve been near midfield or better.
Bills run out of problems again – The Cowboys had just gone for a fourth-and-1 deep in their own territory, which helped them flip the field. The Bills had to start their next drive early in the second quarter on their own 15-yard line. But after a quick pass to John Brown for 14 yards, the Bills had their longest rush of the day, a 26-yarder from Devin Singletary out to the Cowboys’ 45. Buffalo used the momentum to score a touchdown and tie the game, but it was a good time for the Bills to have their best run from scrimmage.
Allen avoids disaster with recovery – The Bills already had missed a field goal after getting an interception. Now, they recovered a fumble again inside Cowboys’ territory but were on the verge of giving it right back. On fourth-and-1 from the Cowboys’ 30-yard line, Josh Allen fumbled the snap and the ball fell right underneath Christian Covington. But Allen was able to not only scoop it up but then surged forward for the necessary yardage to get a first down at the 2:00 warning. On the next play, Buffalo ran a double-reverse pass for a wide-open touchdown to take the lead and never look back.
Sack leads to missed opportunity – The Cowboys trailed 16-7 midway through the third but had some life as they drove the ball down to the Bills’ 25. But on second-and-7, Dak Prescott was sacked by Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips, losing 7 yards back to the 32. Another 5-yard penalty on Connor Williams, followed by an 8-yard completion to Amari Cooper, set up a 47-yard field goal attempt by Brett Maher, who pushed the ball to the right for a miss.
Four straight passes with goal-to-go – The Cowboys found themselves down 23-7 as the final seconds of the third quarter wound down. With first-and-goal from the Bills’ 9-yard line, the Cowboys decided to call four straight passes, starting with a deep fade to Cooper on first down, followed by a short out route to Ezekiel Elliott for 3 yards. On third down, Michael Gallup’s catch was ruled a touchdown, but the replay officials reversed the call, leading to a bad throw from Prescott on fourth down to Elliott, who still would’ve had to break some tackles to get into the end zone. The four passes ended with an empty red-zone trip again.