It was equal parts defensive battle and ineffective offense for most of the game in Cowboys-Falcons, but one of Atlanta's old standbys, Michael Turner, got things going late in the third quarter.
A 6-6 tie is not typically a requirement for an exciting football game and while Sunday night's game lacked some of the excitement the Falcons have shown at other points in the season, it was a tough-fought win that took a lot of scratching and clawing. One of the major scratches came from Turner when he found a hole in the Dallas defense and gained 43 yards in one mighty chunk.
Though the Falcons were getting sizable gains in the passing game, mainly from Roddy White, they were missing that one play to really get things jumpstarted, until Turner found that seam. The running game had been mostly ineffective for the night, with Turner only rushing for 24 yards prior to that carry. Jacquizz Rodgers ended the game with ** yards.
As the drive continued into the fourth quarter Turner finished it with a 3-yard run for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 13-6 lead. The Falcons would add another field goal to extend the lead to 10, but Dallas would respond late in the fourth to draw within three.
The Falcons would take the ball back and do what they do best: eat up the clock. They ate up yards on the ground combined with a 31-yard reception by Jacquizz Rogers, a catch and run that featured some nifty moves by the swift tailback. Atlanta would get another three points from the leg of Bryant and turned things over to their defense to close out the game and the Cowboys and get the 19-13 win.
Turner finished up with 102 yards rushing, one yard shy of his season high. More importantly, Turner averaged 5.1 yards per carry and got tough yards when they needed it most.
Atlanta's defense for the second straight game limited the opponent to less than 100 yards rushing. Before last week, they had not held an opposing team's rushing game under 100 yards this season.
Matt Ryan ended the night better than he started. After opening the game 3-for7 passing, Ryan finished the game 24 of 34 for 342 yards and zero touchdowns. Thought Ryan's 22-game touchdown streak ended in the win against Dallas, Ryan's team improved to 8-0.
Julio Jones and Roddy White combined for 247 yards receiving and Jones' night marked the first time he eclipsed 100 yards receiving at home in his career.