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Falcons 39, Cowboys 28

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman celebrates in the second quarter after the second of his three touchdowns on the day. The former FSU standout had a career-high 141 yards rushing.

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Falcons running back Devonta Freeman celebrates in the second quarter after the second of his three touchdowns on the day. The former FSU standout had a career-high 141 yards rushing.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Julio Jones glided over the goal line on a diving touchdown. That quieted a Dallas crowd riled up by early hopes that the Cowboys might find a way to survive without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.

Fill-in Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman did most of the rest of the silencing.

Matt Ryan connected with Jones for two touchdowns and former Florida State standout Freeman ran for a career-high 141 yards and three scores starting for injured rookie Tevin Coleman as the Falcons beat the Cowboys 39-28 on Sunday.

"We just want to move the ball — I don't care how we do it," said Freeman, who had 52 yards receiving in addition to his first 100-yard rushing game as a pro. "Run, pass, if we get three points on a field goal, as long as we move the ball and get points."

Freeman's third score early in the fourth quarter capped a rally from a trio of 14-point deficits for the unbeaten Falcons, who didn't win their third game until Week 10 last year and Week 13 in 2013.

Jones had his third straight 100-yard game to start the season, finishing with 164 and a clinching 2-yard score late in the fourth. According to the NFL, Atlanta is the first team to start 3-0 after trailing in the fourth quarter of each game.

"We clearly got punched in the mouth and we were looking to respond," said Dan Quinn, who joined Jim Mora (2004) as the only Atlanta coaches to start their careers with three straight wins. "Dallas certainly had us reeling all the way through and we had to battle like crazy to get back in it."

The Cowboys had a six-game regular-season winning streak snapped in backup quarterback Brandon Weeden's ninth straight loss as a starter going back to his two-year stint in Cleveland.

With Romo watching with a sling supporting his broken left collarbone, and Bryant also in street clothes because of a broken right foot, Weeden started 9 of 9 to push his streak of completions to 16 to start the season. But the run ended with a second-quarter interception that turned the game in the Falcons' favor.

"We did a lot of really good things," Weeden said. "Maybe not so much in the second half."

Dallas running back Joseph Randle had 85 yards on his first three carries, including a 37-yard touchdown that helped the Cowboys to a 14-0 lead. But he had just 2 yards on his final 11 runs, and the Cowboys had just three first downs in the second half after getting 20 before halftime.

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Falcons 39, Cowboys 28 09/27/15 [Last modified: Sunday, September 27, 2015 8:10pm]
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