For the second straight week and third time in four weeks, the Dallas Cowboys could not find the big play they needed to come up with a vital win in Atlanta. The Falcons beat the Cowboys 19-13 on Sunday night, and this one will leave the Cowboys with as bad a taste in their mouths as last week’s close call against the Giants. While last week’s game was decided by a matter of inches, this one was decided in the fourth quarter on two long Falcons drives. While Tony Romo and the offense played relatively mistake free, the defense could not say the same as they repeatedly let Atlanta sustain long drives and hit big plays to squeeze the clock and eventually shut the door on Dallas’s chances.
The first half was dominated by strong defensive play on both sides, and at halftime the score was 6-6. In the second half, though, the offense began to pick up. Atlanta got 100+ yard performances from their two star wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, while Michael Turner added another 100 yard game and a score on the ground. In the fourth quarter, a long drive by the Falcons led to Turner’s touchdown which broke the tie and gave Atlanta a 13-6 lead. The drive was aided by Dallas mistakes, including penalties on third downs and big plays to Jacquizz Rodgers and the Atlanta playmakers. After the another field goal for Atlanta made it 16-6, Tony Romo led the Cowboys down the field and used his ability to keep plays alive and hit Kevin Ogletree in the end zone to cut the deficit to 3. Ultimately, another long drive aided by Dallas penalties and third down conversions led to a Falcons field goal with only 20 seconds left, and Dallas did not have enough time to sustain a game winning drive.
This loss certainly stings down in the big D, as it drops the Cowboys to 3-5 and two and a half games back of the division leading Giants. With half of the season finished, the Cowboys will need a strong second half to keep their playoff hopes, and possibly Jason Garrett’s job alive. It will be interesting to see if Tony Romo can reverse his career trend in December and January, where for his career he is only 11-21. Yikes. Up next for the Cowboys is a trip to division rival and the also struggling Philadelphia Eagles. Stay tuned for more Cowboys news, and enjoy your week!