In a tale of two halves, the Dallas Cowboys fell to the Los Angeles Rams 35-30 to snap an eight-game home regular season winning streak.
The Cowboys started off the game with a huge 36-yard Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant pass and catch on the first offensive play of the game. The offense would get as far as the Rams 15-yard line before a sack forced a 34-yard Dan Bailey field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. The Rams would respond with a 49-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal on the following drive to tie the game 3-3 middle of the first quarter.
The Cowboys would open up the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to running back Ezekiel Elliott to cap off a 15-play, 81-yard drive that took 8:02 to take a 10-3 lead. The Rams could not capitalize on wide receiver Pharoh Cooper’s 66-yard kick return to the Cowboys 35-yard line and had to settle for a 44-yard Zuerlein field goal to make it 10-6. The Cowboys would respond quickly as backup running back Alfred Morris would bust through the line for a 70-yard gain down to the Rams 5-yard line on the first play of the drive. Three plays later Elliott would punch it in from a half yard out to take a 17-6 lead.
Following a three and out, wide receiver Ryan Switzer would fumble the punt giving the Rams the ball at the Cowboys 18-yard line. The Rams would quickly capitalize on the turnover as five plays later quarterback Jared Goff would find wide receiver Cooper Kupp for a 7-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-13 middle of the second quarter. The Cowboys offense would keep rolling as Prescott would hit wide receiver Brice Butler in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown to take a 24-13 lead late second quarter. The Rams would tack on three more points before the half as Zuerlein hit a 44-yard field goal with four seconds left to make it 24-16 at the half. The Cowboys offense was able to roll up 287 yards of offense, 14 first downs and did not punt in the first half.
After a pair of stops by both teams, Zuerlein would hit a 30-yard field goal to make it 24-19 middle of the third quarter. The Rams would keep the momentum going as Goff would hit running back Todd Gurley II for a 53-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 90-yard drive and take their first lead of the game 26-24 late third quarter. That was the longest reception of Gurley II career. The Rams would continue to extend their lead as Zuerlein would hit his fifth field goal from 28-yards to make it a 29-24 game early fourth quarter.
The Cowboys offense continued to struggle as Prescott was hit as he threw and was picked off by Rams safety Mark Barron at the Rams 29-yard line. The Rams would get three points off of the turnover as Zuerlein would hit his sixth field goal and the Rams 19th straight point from 43-yards out to make it 32-24. After five straight empty possessions, the Cowboys would score for the first time in the second half as Prescott hit tight end James Hanna for a 28-yard touchdown pass, the first of Hanna’s career, but could not convert the 2-point conversion as wide receiver Terrance Williams dropped the pass in the back of the end zone to make it 32-30 with 7:08 left in the game.
The Rams would respond as they ran off 5:51 and tacked on three more points as Zuerlein would hit a franchise record seventh field goal from 33-yards to make it 35-30 with 1:55 left to play. The Cowboys offense would get one last shot but could not get the ball in the end zone as Elliot was stopped a yard short and fourth down giving the Rams the ball and the win with 27 seconds left in the game.
The Cowboys were outscored 19-6 in the second half and only gained 157 yards. They finished the game with 440 total yards of offense and 23 first downs. Prescott finished 20-35 for 252 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Elliott led in rushing with 21 carries for 85 yards and one touchdown and had four catches for 54 yards and one touchdown as well. Bryant led in receiving with five catches for 98 yards.
After a dominating six-sack effort last week against the Cardinals, the defense could only muster up one sack and allowed 412 yards, 25 first downs, and 35 points to the league’s leader in scoring offense. Gurley II finished with 215 total yards of offense, 121 on the ground and 94 yards and a touchdown through the air as he was six yards shy of becoming the first Rams running back to have 100 yards receiving in a game since Stephen Jackson back in 2006. Jaylon Smith led in tackles with seven.
The Cowboys will look to rebound and some payback as they take on the Green Bay Packers who knocked them out of the playoffs last year at home next Sunday.