Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sports

Falcons 19, Cowboys 13

ATLANTA — Michael Turner had a 3-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to help keep the Falcons perfect with a 19-13 victory Sunday night over the Cowboys.

Turner's TD capped a six-play, 81-yard drive and put the 8-0 Falcons in front for the first time with 14:21 left. Turner also had a 43-yard run to set up the go-ahead score.

Before the big gain, Turner had run 11 times for just 24 yards, but a block by Roddy White on linebacker Bruce Carter created the space Turner needed.

He finished with 102 yards on 20 carries for the Falcons, who got all their other points from four Matt Bryant field goals.

Bryant, who missed just two field-goal attempts in 29 chances last year, pushed his first and fourth kicks wide right on Sunday night, but he hit his second and third attempts to make it 6-6 at halftime.

Beginning a drive at the 12-yard line with 1:03 left in the second quarter, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed a 20-yard pass to White and a 22-yarder to Tony Gonzalez to set up the field goal.

White became the leading receiver in Atlanta history late in the third quarter with his 574th career catch.

Dallas fell to 3-5 and has lost four of its past five. But the Cowboys had the early upper hand against Atlanta.

The Falcons seemed to have few answers for outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and nose tackle Jay Ratiff, stalwarts of Dallas' defense who were pushing back Atlanta's offensive line and collapsing the pocket around Ryan.

Midway through the second quarter, Ware sacked Ryan for a 7-yard loss and caused a fumble, but White kept the possession alive by falling on the ball at the Dallas 48.

Ratliff was punishing the interior of Atlanta's offensive line before walking off the field with an undisclosed injury late in the second. He was back on the field early in the third.

The Falcons struggled throughout the first quarter.

After Atlanta's offense went three-and-out on the first possession, Dallas' Dwayne Harris returned a punt 37 yards. He could have scored had Mike Peterson, a 14-year veteran linebacker playing special teams, not made an open-field tackle.

Dallas went up 3-0 six plays later on Dan Bailey's 23-yard field goal but missed a chance for more. Tony Romo appeared to have enough room for a 5-yard touchdown run on third and goal but instead lofted an incomplete pass outside the reach of receiver Cole Beasley in the left corner of the end zone.

Atlanta followed with a seven-play drive that included a 38-yard catch down the left sideline by Julio Jones. The Falcons then stalled when Carter stuffed Jacquizz Rodgers for a 1-yard loss up the middle and Bryant missed a 37-yard kick.

The Cowboys went up 6-0 on their next possession. Romo avoided pressure on his left side to step up and convert on third and 20 when Kevin Ogletree ran past Dunta Robinson and made a 65-yard catch to the Atlanta 14.

Three plays later, Bailey booted a 32-yarder.

Dallas was playing without running back DeMarco Murray, still out with a sprained right foot. Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon was sidelined by a sprained right ankle, and defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee) left in the second quarter.

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