“It's not how you start things; it's how you finish them.” In what was an incredible turnaround on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys went from handing the game over to the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in the second half.
The Cowboys played arguably the worst quarter of football in the history of their franchise in the opening frame of yesterday's contest, but then mounted one of the greatest comebacks in the history of their franchise over the final three quarters. It was such an unlikely victory that it left many in shock and awe for the rest of the day.
As we do every week after a Dallas Cowboys win, here are the 3 Stars from the epic come from behind win by the Dallas Cowboys.
First ✭ Dak Prescott, Quarterback
In a game where everything went wrong for the Dallas Cowboys early in the first quarter, including fumbles from Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dalton Schultz, the Cowboys starting quarterback provided a Herculean effort to get the Dallas Cowboys in the win column for the first time in 2020.
After a slow start by the offense, they then couldn't hold onto the football and found themselves down 20-0 after the first quarter of play. And even though things were looking better in the second quarter, the defense couldn't slow down the Falcons, and the Cowboys went into halftime down 29-10.
Then in the second half, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys offense were electric.
In the second half, the Cowboys outscored the Falcons 30-10 en route to an epic come from behind victory. On the day, Prescott was 34 of 47 passing for 450 yards and one touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz. He then added five carries for 18 yards, including three goal-line touchdown runs. He finished with a passer rating of 109.4 on the day. Per Pro Football Focus, on throws 10 or more yards down the field, Prescott was an impressive 9 of 15 for 243 yards and a touchdown.
The come from behind victory will stand out for Dak Prescott as a testament to his resiliency and mental toughness. Much like the Dallas Cowboys comeback win over the Buffalo Bills after Tony Romo threw five interceptions. Prescott's performance had even the biggest of detractors taking notice of the epic accomplishment on Sunday.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) September 20, 2020
Those intangibles are part of what has so many convinced that Dak Prescott is a top 5-10 quarterback in the NFL. While they struggled to overcome deficits in 2019 and get the victories, they always put themselves in a position to have a chance to win the football game.
Dak Prescott showed on Sunday why he's a quarterback you don't mind paying. When he's on the football field, there's always a chance for the Dallas Cowboys to win the football game. No matter the score.
Dak Prescott is the first player in NFL history with 400 passing yards and 3 rushing TDs in a single game!
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 20, 2020
Second ✭ CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver
If you need any further evidence about what had everyone so excited when they selected CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, you saw it on Sunday. Lamb was excellent in just his second NFL game, providing a much-needed spark to the offense. Lamb secured six of his nine targets for a team-high 106 yards and added a carry for nine yards. It was Lamb's 24-yard catch and run that helped set up Greg Zuerlein's game-winning field goal as time expired.
Young Lamb lead the skill players with 7.8 EPA.
— Burgers and Blitzes (@NotToBeTrite) September 20, 2020
CeeDee Lamb showed off all the tools that made him one of the best wide receivers in the draft, making several contested catches and showing that yard after catch ability that made him such a dangerous weapon at the collegiate level. The sky is the limit for the Cowboys rookie wide receiver, and after notching the first 100 yard game of his career, it's safe to say there are many more on the way for CeeDee Lamb.
CeeDee Lamb became the first rookie in Cowboys history to record a 100-yard game in the first two weeks of a season. He caught six passes for a team-high 106 yards.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 20, 2020
Third ✭ Dalton Schultz, Tight End
When Blake Jarwin went down at tight end, there was a collective groan of disappointment from Cowboys Nation. Jarwin's athleticism and ability after the catch were going to fit in nicely behind the Cowboys three-headed monster at wide receiver. The frustration of losing Jarwin for the rest of the season was only exacerbated by a poor performance by his replacement in week one, Dalton Schultz. After week two, there's a new level of excitement about what could be at the tight end position in 2020.
Schultz rebounded from an underwhelming game against the Los Angeles Rams with a massive day in his first start in his NFL career. Though he had a fumble early on, the third-year tight end was open all day long and saw 10 Dak Prescott targets. On the day, Schultz caught nine passes for 88 yards and the touchdown that would bring the score to 39-30 and provide some hope that the Dallas Cowboys could get in the football game.
In the Dallas Cowboys offense with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Ezekiel Elliott, Dalton Schultz will get a lot of opportunities in the passing game. However, it's essential that when he gets the targets as he did on Sunday that he makes the defense pay for ignoring him.
Tip of the Cap Goes To
Brandon Knight and Terrance Steele
Though they didn't make this week's 3 Stars of the game, I want to give a big shoutout to Terrance Steele and Brandon Knight for the job they did in their second NFL starts at right tackle. Indeed, they weren't perfect, as there was some pressure early in the game that caused the offense to struggle, but they settled in nicely and provided really good pass protection for Dak Prescott throughout the game. While there's optimism that Tyron Smith could be back for week three against the Seattle Seahawks, Brandon Knight and Terrance Steele showed they're more than capable of stepping in and providing good play at the tackle spots.