FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Adrian Clayborn was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday morning following his record-setting performance in the Falcons’ 27-7 home win over the Cowboys.
The seventh-year defensive end put on a show against the Cowboys, sacking quarterback Dak Prescott six times, the most in a single game in Falcons franchise history.
“The story of today was defensively Adrian Clayborn and the performance he had, to have that kind of night, a huge night,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after the game. “Just think a year ago he was in a dark place, had an injury, and the future was in doubt. For him to recognize that type of hard work gets rewarded, I was very, very happy for him.”
Prior to Sunday’s game, Clayborn had six sacks over the course of an entire season just once in his previous six years. Clayborn also had seven hits on Prescott, three tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He now has a career-high eight sacks this year.
“I feel like these last couple of weeks our whole defensive line has been playing a lot better,” Clayborn said after the game. “We have owned our gaps in the run, with the exception of Cam Newton; you know how he does. Other than that, owning our gaps in the run [and] playing together, so it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here.”
With his dominant performance, Clayborn not only bags a nice award from the league but he also reportedly pocketed some change for reaching eight sacks for the season.
With the win, the Falcons improved to 5-4 and are keeping pace in the wide-open NFC. Atlanta still has five of its six divisional games during the final seven games of the season, plus two games against the NFC foes Seattle and Minnesota.
“When you get a chance to hit the quarterback, that’s where some turnovers are likely to come,” Quinn said. “We’ve got another NFC team coming up. We’ll enjoy this one tonight, and then come Monday we’ll get right back to it.”
The Falcons will take on the Seahawks in Seattle on "Monday Night Football."