Don't Forget These 5

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Don't Forget These 5: Picking Up Early 4th Downs


ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys jumped on the Falcons from the start and never let up. Blowouts like this aren't easy to find hidden plays that factored into the outcome, but here are a handful not to forget.

Cowboys take the ball first – It's not often we mention the coin toss for this piece, but it was a factor in the game. The Cowboys won the toss and decided to take the ball first instead of deferring. Clearly, head coach Mike McCarthy wanted to set the tone early and he did just that, as the Cowboys drove 73 yards in eight plays to get the first touchdown.

Kearse plays referee – On the Falcons' first drive, looking to tie the game, a third-down pass was ruled a catch although safety Jayron Kearse immediately got up and signaled it was incomplete. It forced a challenge by McCarthy and the officials changed the call, forcing the Falcons to kick a field goal instead of having first down at the 5-yard line.

Lewis breaks up two plays – With the Cowboys up 7-3 late in the first quarter, it appeared the Falcons were picking on cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who had a great game. But Lewis swatted away a pass to Kyle Pitts on third down and then did it again on fourth down while covering Russell Gage. It wasn't as nice as the interception he had in the fourth quarter, but Lewis had two big plays in the first quarter to set the tone.

Not afraid of fourth down – McCarthy wasn't shy about going for it on fourth down this week after it failed four times the previous Sunday. With the Cowboys leading 7-3 late in the first quarter, they went for it on fourth-and-5 at the Atlanta 33-yard line and Dak Prescott connected with CeeDee Lamb for 21 yards to the 12, setting up a touchdown by Ezekiel Elliott.

Prescott hits Gallup on fourth – Once again, another fourth down call needing three on the 25-yard line. But Prescott rolled to his left and fired a perfect strike to Michael Gallup, who toe-tapped the sideline for a catch at the 2-yard line. Elliott then scored on the next play to push the lead to 21-3.

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