Cowboys use record-breaking second quarter to humble Falcons, 43-3
Dak Prescott passed for two touchdowns and rushed for one Sunday as the Dallas Cowboys steamrolled the Atlanta Falcons 43-3 at Arlington, Texas.
Ezekiel Elliott rushed for two touchdowns and CeeDee Lamb had six receptions for 94 yards and two scoring receptions as Dallas (7-2) built a 36-3 halftime lead while winning for the seventh time in its past eight games.
Prescott completed 24 of 31 passes for 296 yards for the Cowboys, who outgained the Falcons 431 to 214 and scored a touchdown on a blocked punt. Trevon Diggs raised his NFL interception lead to eight while Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis also had picks for Dallas.
Matt Ryan of the Falcons (4-5) posted a subpar 21.4 quarterback rating while facing Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, his former head coach in Atlanta. Ryan completed 9 of 21 passes for 117 yards and two interceptions before exiting when the Falcons fell behind by 40.
Atlanta was 1 of 11 on third-down conversions while Dallas converted 6 of 13. The Cowboys’ 33-point halftime lead was their largest since the Roger Staubach-led team held a 38-3 advantage over the New York Jets on Dec. 14, 1971.
The Falcons were on the other end of that scale as their 33-point deficit was their biggest at the half since trailing the Johnny Unitas-led Baltimore Colts 35-0 on Nov. 12, 1967.
Dallas started the assault on the opening drive when Prescott tossed a 13-yard scoring pass to Lamb. Younghoe Koo booted a 35-yard field goal to get Atlanta on the board with 8:24 remaining in the quarter before the Cowboys set a franchise record with 29 points in the second quarter.
Elliott scored on second-quarter runs of 1 and 2 yards to make it 21-3 and Prescott threw a 9-yard scoring pass to Lamb with 1:10 left.
The Cowboys forced the Falcons to punt and Dorance Armstrong blocked Dustin Colquitt’s kick. The ball rolled toward the end zone and Nanshon Wright recovered for a touchdown with 37 seconds left. Dallas tacked on a two-point conversion run by Elliott to make it 36-3.
The Cowboys added a 4-yard scoring run by Prescott to increase their lead to 40 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
–Field Level Media