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Don't Forget These 5

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Don't forget these plays: Drive-extending penalties


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – This one seemed over pretty early in the day as the Cowboys were dominated in all three phases in a 31-3 defeat.

While the game was never really close, here are a few plays that could've changed the course of the game – all of which occurred in the first half.

Late hit on Lawrence – While the Bills marched the ball down the field on their first drive, the Cowboys were getting off the field with just a field-goal attempt until DeMarcus Lawrence hit Bills quarterback Josh Allen after his throw went out of the end zone incomplete. But Allen sold the play, falling to the ground and pointing to his head. Even though Lawrence pushed Allen in the chest, it was enough to call the flag and give the Bills a first down. Two plays later, they scored on a Latavius Murray touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.

Smith's holding call sets offense back – The Cowboys were looking to respond to the Bills' early touchdown, but a run by Tony Pollard that would've captured a first down near the Buffalo's 35-yard line was wiped out by a holding call on Tyler Smith. From there, the Cowboys were stopped for a loss on a run by Rico Dowdle and then Dak Prescott was sacked, forcing a punt.

Roughing the punter on Williams – The Cowboys were down 7-0 late in the first quarter but were about to get the ball back in good field position thanks to a defensive stop on a Sam Williams pressure that resulted in an incomplete pass. But on fourth down, Williams was flagged for roughing the punter, giving the Bills an extra set of downs. They went down the field and scored a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead.

Pollard dropped for 3-yard loss – The Cowboys needed a big answer after going down 14-0, and the offense had a second-and-1 at Buffalo's 11-yard line. But the Bills sent safety Taylor Rapp on a blitz, and he was untouched as he met Tony Pollard in the backfield for a 3-yard loss. The Cowboys didn't convert third-and-4 and so settled for a 32-yard field goal by Brandon Aubrey. Needing just a yard to move the chains, that play was a big setback and allowed the Bills to keep a commanding lead.

No challenge after Bills fumble – The Cowboys were down 14-3 after a field goal and the Bills were on the move near the end of the first half. On what appeared to be a routine catch and tackle on Bills wideout Stefon Diggs, the ball came out at the end of the play, and the Cowboys grabbed it. But the officials ruled the play down. However, the Bills still hurried to the line to get the snap off. After the next play, the TV replays finally showed the previous play, revealing that Diggs had indeed lost the fumble before he was down, and the Cowboys would've been able to get the turnover since they were the team that recovered the ball. Instead, there was no turnover, and the Bills extended their drive, which ended with a touchdown.

Kearse penalty over the middle – The Cowboys were down 14-3 late in the half and were needing a big stop, especially after they didn't get the fumble called a few plays earlier. After a Mazi Smith sack, it was second-and-19 when Allen threw a deep pass that went through receiver Khalil Shakir's hands incomplete. But just when the ball passed by, he was hit in the back by safety Jayron Kearse, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Instead of third-and-19 at their own 38-yard line, it was first down at the Cowboys' 47. Buffalo then used that gift to go on and score for a 21-3 halftime lead.

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