Andy Dalton, Michael Gallup rally Cowboys past Giants in thriller after Dak Prescott injury
After the Dallas Cowboys had lost quarterback Dak Prescott to a serious ankle injury, they rallied in a thriller on Sunday for a 37:34 win against the New York Giants and secured first place in the NFC East.
Prescott suffered a compound fracture of his right ankle in a tackle in the third quarter and was forced off the field with a cart. He was taken to a hospital to undergo wound cleaning surgery.
Back and forth last quarter
The Cowboys were leading 24-23 when Prescott left the game in the third quarter to take the 31-23 lead, with the same possession that ended with a touchdown from Ezekiel Elliott.
But the Giants scored 11 unanswered points on two consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter and took an 8:46 lead.
With Dalton at the center, the cowboys responded with a 53-yard drive to achieve a retention goal from Greg Zuerlein. The Giants stumbled upon possession and gave the Cowboys the chance to win the regular game by 53 seconds.
Andy Dalton was effective in relieving an injured Dak Prescott. (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)
Dalton, Gallup catch fire on their final drive
Dallas started the journey on its 12-yard line. Dalton found Amari Cooper in second place to get the ball down the 27-yard line. Then it was all Michael Gallup doing a few acrobatic sidelights to prepare Zuerlein for a 34-yard winning goal when the time ran out.
Gallup drew his toes to keep within bounds near midfield on the right and 31 seconds before Dalton's next pass. Officials had to check the video to see if he had both feet down. He has.
At the next game, Dalton looked at Gallup again, this time deep down on the right, with Giants cornerback Ryan Lewis in close coverage. Gallup pulled a catch over his shoulder as Lewis pulled him down the 16-yard line.
Like the previous catch, this one was scarce and officials had to verify the replay. As in the previous game, the catch was good.
The 38-yard catch prepared Zuerlein for the winner of the next game.
Dalton does plays
Dalton was effective in relief, completing 9 of 11 passes for 111 yards in less than half the game. Gallup made four catches for 73 yards while rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb led the airstrike with eight catches for 124 yards. Elliott ran 19 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
With the win, the Cowboys improved to 2-3, which is good enough to run an NFC East, with the runner-up Philadelphia Eagles posting a 1-2-1 start. Dalton's effective play was a good sign for Dallas. He is the putative starter and Prescott is expected to miss a significant time.
More disappointment for Giants
The Giants fell to 5-0 after a 17-3 lead in the first half and are still aiming for their first win under rookie head coach Joe Judge.
Second year quarterback Daniel Jones completed 20 of 33 passes for 222 yards with no touchdowns and a lost fumble. The Giants had taken two touchdowns off the board due to penalties.
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