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DAL 27, TEN 13: Resilient Cowboys bounce back from 1st half mistakes, defeat Titans on the road

In the last game of the NFL season, the Cowboys travelled to Nashville to face the . The Cowboys came into this game as 12-point favorites and were expected to dominate from the start. Many Titans starters were out for this game, and at , they started recent signee Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs was signed off the ' just five days ago, never had an NFL start, and hadn't taken an in-game snap since 2020.

First Quarter:

The Cowboys got the ball first, punted on their first possession, then scored a touchdown on their second drive. They held a 7-0 lead until the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter: 

Dallas' next points came four seconds into the second quarter. kicked a 36-yard field goal to put the Cowboys up 10-0. They seemed likely to hold this lead until a bad snap caused the Cowboys to lose their rhythm a bit.  Two interceptions on the following two Cowboys possessions led to 6 points total on the board for the Titans.

The Cowboys went into the locker room with only a 4 point lead. DAL 10, TEN 6.

Third Quarter: 

The Titans got the ball first in the second half, but the Cowboys forced a quick three-and-out.

Dallas started on their own 11 yard line, and things looked bleak on their 9th play of the drive when a holding put them at first and 20. On third down, however, the Titans spotted the Cowboys 51 yards due to pass interference. The next play was a short pass from to who walked into the end zone. DAL 17, TEN 6.

If there was any question about whether or not the Titans were playing to win, it was answered on their following possession. Julius Chestnut returned the kickoff 25 yards from the Tennessee 4 yard line. Starting from their on 29 yard line, they used a series of mostly short passes and run plays to travel 71 yards down the field, score a touchdown, and get back to within 4 points. DAL 17, TEN 13. 

The Cowboys began their next drive on their own 25 yard line after a touchback. After their fourth play of that drive, the last play of the third quarter, left the game with an ankle . He was hurt was Titans DeMarcus Walker rolled up on his leg. Biadasz did not return to the game. was moved to . came into the game to play left , and moved to the left position.

Fourth Quarter:

The Cowboys completed that drive with a touchdown just over three minutes into the fourth quarter. DAL 24, TEN 13.

On the next Titans possession, Tennessee was forced to punt after 2:08 with the ball. Dallas followed that up with a 3:26 drive that ended in a 45-yard field goal by Brett Maher. DAL 27, TEN 13.

The Titans got the ball back for less than a minute before intercepted a pass Dobbs intended Robert Woods. The Cowboys took over on their own 40 yard line but went nowhere after three plays. On fourth and ten, they punted the ball back to the Titans.

The Titans went 20 yards before turning the ball over on downs at the Dallas 47-yard line. The Cowboys made it as far as the 50-yard line before punting the ball again, and the Titans used the remaining 1:50 to execute four plays and end the game.

Game Notes:

The Cowboys were not as dominant as many expected them to be, but they definitely showed resilience which is the theme for this season, after all.

In hindsight, the prediction of an easy win was based on assumptions that could not have been verified before the game started. We knew a lot of Titans starters would be out, but the idea that they'd no longer be able to stop the run was an assumption. We also knew that the Titans were starting a relatively inexperienced quarterback, but the ideas that he wouldn't be able to get their going and that the Titans were “playing for nothing” were assumptions.

The defense may not have racked up tons , but the pressures and hits on the QB were impactful in dampening Tennessee's momentum. They held Tennessee to only 13 points and even snagged an interception.

On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys overcame multiple turnovers and Biadasz leaving the game due to injury to ultimately win by a solid margin. After such a short week amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, they showed up, made plays, and got the job done in a respectable fashion.

Dak Prescott completed 29 of 41 passing attempts for 282 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.

recorded his 9th consecutive rushing touching down and holds the longest active streak in the NFL.

reached 100 catches on the season and logged his 5th 100-yard game of this season.

Dalton Schultz was declared the Cowboys Player of the Game via Twitter for his 7 receptions for 56 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Jazz Monet
Jazz Monet
Sports culture analyst. Sports competition enthusiast. Host of Bitches Love Sports podcast. Personal trainer. Roller derby athlete and trainer.

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