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Eatman: From Terrible To Epic In Just A Few Hours


ARLINGTON, Texas – I love football.

Seriously, it's the absolute best. As I sit here in the press box of AT&T Stadium, I think I could see one of the rollercoasters down the street here at Six Flags.

And while that's an awesome place, it doesn't have anything on football games like this.

Where else can you say, "This is the worst game I've ever seen" at 2:00 p.m., and then, "This is the best game I've ever seen" less than two hours later?

That's what happened here today at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys literally played as bad as any team could play, and still found a way to win.

OK, OK, I've been asking for this team, especially Dak Prescott, to be clutch – you know, rise up in the moments of adversity. Well, he did that to the highest level on Sunday. That dude played one of his best games, and did it on the run the entire time. We knew it would be a struggle with the injuries up front, but Dak didn't give up.

I mean, he literally went from the injury tent to a quarterback sneak in two minutes? Who does that? If you're in there getting evaluated for a head injury, the last thing you would expect is for him to go back and take the next snap – and run the ball leading with his head?

But he'll do anything it takes, and it showed in this game.

This was just an amazing example that football games aren't over until they're literally over.

Now, this one certainly looked done many times. I must say, and thankfully there are tweets and texts to prove it, but when the Cowboys stopped Atlanta late in the first quarter and the score was just 20-0, I did say I thought the Cowboys could win this.

You can't play any worse than this. And it's only 20-0. And there's a lot of time left. And, let's be honest, the Falcons have shown the ability to lose big leads in the past.

So it was still possible. But I'll say this, when the Cowboys didn't make the two-point attempt and were down nine, I thought there was no way.

Hey, great job on the win. But you can't convince me that going for two in that situation is the right decision. They overcame it because of the craziest onside kick you've ever seen and a misunderstanding of the new rules with that kick.

But no, when the Cowboys were down by nine, I thought it was officially over.

Again, did I say how much I love football?

And I know, games like this can go both ways. The Cowboys have managed to lose a few games over the years when they had no business losing.

But maybe that's the point of this whole column – did the Cowboys actually deserve to win?

Yeah, I think so.

Sometimes we look at the crazy plays at the end of the game and think maybe the Falcons choked it away. I'm sure the radio shows in Atlanta will suggest just that.

But is there a rule that "choke jobs" only happen in the fourth quarter? What were the Cowboys doing in the first quarter? That was pathetic. Tony Pollard fumbled but was ruled down. Dak fumbled the ball away. Ezekiel Elliott fumbled it twice. Dalton Schultz fumbled it. The Cowboys went for a fake punt, and then another one, and didn't make either.

The Falcons scored on a touchdown that completely fooled the Cowboys defense on one play, just proving once again how terrible this team was playing in one quarter.

And still, through it all, it was ONLY 20-0.

What's even more fascinating about this victory was realizing who became the real heroes of the game.

Well, Dak fumbled the ball early, leading to a touchdown for the Falcons. But he came back to throw for 450 yards and rush for three touchdowns – the only player in NFL history with a 400-yard passing game and three rushing scores. It was also the first time since the 2018 regular-season finale where the Cowboys trailed in the second half and still won. Yeah, this was the final two minutes and won, but the Cowboys haven't even had a second-half comeback in two seasons.

How about Zeke fumbling twice? Yet, he was instrumental in the comeback as well with his hard-nosed running.

Schultz fumbled the ball away. But he had nine catches and a touchdown in his first game as the starter with Blake Jarwin out.

C.J. Goodwin dropped a low pass on a fake punt. But he was the one who pounced on the onside kick to set up the winning field goal.

It was the guys who struggled early on, who came through in the end.

Yes, that's the kind of clutch performance I've been asking for from this team – and this quarterback.

Games come down to the end like this every week. Are you good enough to overcome your earlier mistakes and find a way to win?

Today, they did.

Again, not all roller coasters are fun. Some of them leave you dizzy and maybe even throwing up. And there was a time when that seemed to be the outcome.

But others leave you exhilarated and wanting to get back in line and do it again.

Most definitely, this was a ride to remember.


Don't miss the chance to see the Cowboys when they return to AT&T Stadium on October 4th to take on the Cleveland Browns. A limited number of tickets are on sale now. Click here to find tickets.

Details on all of the health and safety procedures you can expect at AT&T Stadium this season can be viewed at

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