Drive Chart
DAL
ATL

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Maher boots FG on final play, Cowboys beat Falcons 22-19

ATLANTA (AP) Brett Maher got another shot on the final play of the game.

This time, he made it count.

Maher's 42-yard field goal as time expired Sunday gave Dallas a 22-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons after the resurgent Cowboys squandered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

A month ago, Maher clanked a 52-yarder off the left upright that would've forced overtime in a 20-17 loss to Washington. And he had to shake off a missed extra point earlier Sunday that gave the Falcons an opening to tie it up.

''I was confident,'' Maher said. ''Every time I step on the field, the goal is to go one for one. Everyone in here is doing so much for our team. For the offense to be able to drive the ball down the field and get us in position again, and L.P. (snapper Louis-Philippe Ladouceur) and Chris (Jones, the holder) coming through like they always do, I was just happy to do my part.''

The Cowboys (5-5) have won two straight on the road and trail Washington by only one game in the NFC East after the division leaders lost at home to Houston, 23-21. The teams meet on Thanksgiving Day with first place on the line.

''We've got a big one against as big a rival as there is in sports,'' Dallas owner Jerry Jones said. ''We have a lot at stake there.''

Atlanta (4-6) dropped its second in a row and now faces long odds to reach the postseason - especially playing in the NFC South, where the Falcons trail New Orleans and Carolina.

''It's aggravating,'' cornerback Robert Alford said. ''We've got to learn to finish games.''

Ezekiel Elliott had a huge day for the Cowboys in what was a defensive slugfest until a wild fourth quarter, with the teams combining for 26 points over the last 15 minutes. He had 122 yards rushing on 23 carries, including a 23-yard touchdown, and led the team with seven catches for 79 yards.

Matt Ryan threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones for Atlanta's only touchdown with 1:52 remaining to tie the game. But Dallas drove 51 yards in 10 plays, setting up Maher's winning kick as time expired .

After a field goal battle between Maher and Atlanta's Matt Bryant left the Falcons with a 9-6 lead heading to the final period, Dak Prescott and Elliott scored on a pair of runs to push the Cowboys to a 19-9 lead.

Grinding for every yard, Dallas needed 14 plays to cover 75 yards leading to Prescott's 4-yard scoring run after the quarterback faked a handoff to Elliott . Prescott had a couple of 17-yard passes - one to Amari Cooper, another to Cole Beasley - but no other play on the possession went for more than 5 yards.

Maher hooked the extra point, however, leaving the Cowboys with a 12-9 lead.

They quickly extended the margin. On Atlanta's next possession, Ryan threw a short pass to Calvin Ridley cutting over the middle. The ball was thrown a bit too hard, the rookie couldn't hang on and it ricocheted into the arms of Dallas linebacker Leighton Vander Esch . He returned his second interception in as many weeks 28 yards to the Atlanta 31.

''Some things happen so quick, just bang-bang plays, and you've got to be ready for them,'' said Vander Esch, a first-round pick of the Cowboys. ''Sometimes, the ball bounces the right way.''

Two plays later, Elliott darted through a big hole up the middle, shook off Falcons safety Damontae Kazee at the 15 and powered in for the touchdown . Maher connected on this extra point, giving the Cowboys a 10-point lead with 12:26 remaining.

It didn't hold up.

Suddenly coming to life offensively, the Falcons quickly drove to the Dallas 3 before settling for Bryant's fourth field goal, a chip shot from 21 yards. The defense forced a punt, and Atlanta finally made it all the way to the end zone.

Ryan lofted a pass to Jones, who somehow managed to come down with the ball despite tight coverage from Chidobe Awuzie . When Jones held the ball aloft to celebrate, Awuzie swatted it away in disgust.

In the end, it was the Cowboys who celebrated.

MONEY MATT RETURNS

Bryant resumed his duties as Atlanta's kicker after missing three games with a strained right hamstring.

The 43-year-old looked as good as new, connecting on field goals of 41, 45, 53 and 21 yards.

He is 13 of 13 for the season, including four kicks of at least 50 yards.

''I got through everything OK,'' Bryant said. ''Obviously, I'd rather have the win.''

INJURY REPORT

There appeared to be no serious injuries.

Three Atlanta players went down with minor ailments: cornerback Desmond Trufant (thigh), Kazee (shoulder) and linebacker Duke Riley (neck). All were able to return.

Dallas also had at least three players shaken up. Tackles La'el Collins and Tyron both left the game briefly, as did defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford.

UP NEXT

Cowboys: This will be the second time in the past three years that Dallas has hosted Washington on Thanksgiving Day. In 2016, the Cowboys prevailed 31-26. Overall, Dallas leads the series 70-45-2.

Falcons: Also have a short turnaround before playing Thursday night at division-leading New Orleans. Atlanta likely needs to win out to have any shot at making its third straight playoff appearance.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

---

For more AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
E. Elliott 21 RB
122 RuYds, RuTD, 79 ReYds, 7 RECs
25
FPTS
J. Jones 11 WR
118 ReYds, ReTD, 6 RECs
17
FPTS
Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:03
B.Maher 42 yard field goal is GOOD Center-L.Ladouceur Holder-C.Jones.
10
plays
51
yds
1:52
pos
22
19
Point After TD 1:52
M.Bryant extra point is GOOD Center-J.Harris Holder-M.Bosher.
plays
yds
pos
19
19
Touchdown 1:52
M.Ryan pass deep right to J.Jones for 34 yards TOUCHDOWN.
6
plays
68
yds
2:10
pos
19
18
Field Goal 8:28
M.Bryant 21 yard field goal is GOOD Center-J.Harris Holder-M.Bosher.
0
plays
0
yds
0:00
pos
19
12
Point After TD 12:26
B.Maher extra point is GOOD Center-L.Ladouceur Holder-C.Jones.
plays
yds
pos
19
9
Touchdown 12:26
E.Elliott right guard for 23 yards TOUCHDOWN.
2
plays
31
yds
00:41
pos
18
9
Missed Point After Touchdown 14:19
B.Maher extra point is No Good Wide Left Center-L.Ladouceur Holder-C.Jones.
plays
yds
pos
12
9
Touchdown 14:23
D.Prescott left tackle for 4 yards TOUCHDOWN.
14
plays
75
yds
7:53
pos
12
9
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 14:19
M.Bryant 53 yard field goal is GOOD Center-J.Harris Holder-M.Bosher.
14
plays
75
yds
7:53
pos
6
9
Field Goal 10:20
B.Maher 50 yard field goal is GOOD Center-L.Ladouceur Holder-C.Jones.
8
plays
43
yds
4:45
pos
6
6
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:34
M.Bryant 45 yard field goal is GOOD Center-J.Harris Holder-M.Bosher.
10
plays
33
yds
4:13
pos
3
6
Field Goal 14:56
M.Bryant 41 yard field goal is GOOD Center-J.Harris Holder-M.Bosher.
7
plays
52
yds
3:04
pos
3
3
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 3:00
B.Maher 21 yard field goal is GOOD Center-L.Ladouceur Holder-C.Jones.
15
plays
85
yds
7:23
pos
3
0
Team Stats
Time of Pos 31:57 28:03
1st Downs 20 19
Rushing 9 6
Passing 10 13
Penalty 1 0
3rd Down Conv 7-13 6-12
4th Down Conv 0-0 0-0
Total Net Yards 323 354
Total Plays 63 55
Avg Gain 5.1 6.4
Net Yards Rushing 132 80
Rush Attempts 29 18
Avg Rush Yards 4.6 4.4
Net Yards Passing 191 274
Comp. - Att. 22-32 24-34
Yards Per Pass 6.0 8.1
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-17 3-17
Penalties - Yards 2-20 2-15
Touchdowns 2 1
Rushing TDs 2 0
Passing TDs 0 1
Other 0 0
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles - Lost 1-0 0-0
Int. Thrown 0 1
Punts - Avg 3-39.0 2-31.0
Return Yards 0 48
Punts - Returns 0-0 3-16
Kickoffs - Returns 0-0 2-32
Int. - Returns 1-0 0-0
Kicking 4/5 5/5
Extra Points 1/2 1/1
Field Goals 3/3 4/4
Red Zone Eff. 1-2 -50% 0-1 -0%
Goal to Go Eff. 1-2 -50% 0-0 -0%
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Cowboys 5-5 3031622
Falcons 4-6 0631019
191 PASS YDS 274
132 RUSH YDS 80
323 TOTAL YDS 354
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
D. Prescott 4 QB
14
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
68.8% 208 0 0 86.5
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.6% 2138 11 5 90.3
D. Prescott 22/32 208 0 0 14
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
E. Elliott 21 RB
25
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
23 122 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
191 953 5
E. Elliott 23 122 1 23 25
D. Prescott 4 QB
14
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 5 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
52 261 4
D. Prescott 4 5 1 4 14
J. Lewis 27 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 12 0
J. Lewis 1 5 0 5 0
R. Smith 45 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
18 49 0
R. Smith 1 0 0 0 0
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
E. Elliott 21 RB
25
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
8 7 79 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 42 341 2
E. Elliott 8 7 79 0 34 25
C. Beasley 11 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
7 5 51 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 45 454 2
C. Beasley 7 5 51 0 19 5
A. Cooper 19 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 3 36 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 36 449 2
A. Cooper 5 3 36 0 17 3
G. Swaim 87 TE
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 4 24 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 26 242 1
G. Swaim 5 4 24 0 12 2
M. Gallup 13 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 1 10 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 16 285 1
M. Gallup 5 1 10 0 10 1
R. Smith 45 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 2 8 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 30 0
R. Smith 2 2 8 0 5 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
X. Woods 25 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
22-10 1 0.0
X. Woods 7-2 0.0 0 0
C. Awuzie 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
41-7 0 0.0
C. Awuzie 6-1 0.0 0 0
B. Jones 31 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
37-8 0 0.0
B. Jones 5-2 0.0 0 0
L. Vander Esch 55 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-4 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
65-19 2 0.0
L. Vander Esch 4-4 0.0 1 0
A. Brown 30 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-4 0 0.0
A. Brown 3-0 0.0 0 0
D. Lawrence 90 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 1.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
30-14 0 7.5
D. Lawrence 3-2 1.5 0 0
J. Heath 38 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
33-16 1 0.0
J. Heath 2-1 0.0 0 0
M. Collins 96 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-4 0 2.0
M. Collins 2-0 0.0 0 0
N. Brown 85 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
N. Brown 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Wilson 57 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-6 0 1.0
D. Wilson 2-1 0.0 0 0
C. Reid 51 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
C. Reid 1-0 0.0 0 0
K. Frazier 35 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
13-8 0 1.0
K. Frazier 1-0 0.0 0 0
R. Gregory 94 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-3 0 3.0
R. Gregory 1-0 1.0 0 0
D. Armstrong 92 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-5 0 0.0
D. Armstrong 1-0 0.0 0 0
L. Lenoir 14 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
L. Lenoir 1-0 0.0 0 0
J. Smith 54 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
46-26 0 3.0
J. Smith 0-2 0.0 0 0
T. Crawford 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
12-12 0 3.5
T. Crawford 0-1 0.5 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
B. Maher 2 K
10
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
3/3 1/2
SEASON FG XP
21/25 18/19
B. Maher 3/3 50 1/2 10
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
C. Jones 6 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 44.3 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
40 44.1 8
C. Jones 3 44.3 1 49
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
M. Ryan 2 QB
15
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
70.6% 291 1 1 94.1
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
71.1% 3306 22 4 111.5
M. Ryan 24/34 291 1 1 15
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
T. Coleman 26 RB
7
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 58 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
114 500 2
T. Coleman 8 58 0 17 7
I. Smith 25 RB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
59 199 4
I. Smith 6 10 0 5 2
C. Ridley 18 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 27 0
C. Ridley 1 5 0 5 3
M. Sanu 12 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -1 0
M. Sanu 1 3 0 3 5
M. Hall 17 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
M. Hall 1 3 0 3 0
M. Ryan 2 QB
15
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
20 81 2
M. Ryan 1 1 0 1 15
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
J. Jones 11 WR
17
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
9 6 118 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 73 1158 3
J. Jones 9 6 118 1 34 17
M. Sanu 12 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 4 56 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 38 472 3
M. Sanu 6 4 56 0 18 5
C. Ridley 18 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
4 3 32 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 39 532 7
C. Ridley 4 3 32 0 14 3
A. Hooper 81 TE
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
8 4 27 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 50 445 3
A. Hooper 8 4 27 0 9 2
T. Coleman 26 RB
7
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 3 27 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 26 251 4
T. Coleman 3 3 27 0 18 7
L. Paulsen 82 TE
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 2 19 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 7 70 1
L. Paulsen 2 2 19 0 13 1
I. Smith 25 RB
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 2 12 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 19 126 0
I. Smith 2 2 12 0 9 2
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
F. Oluokun 54 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-4 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
34-18 0 0.0
F. Oluokun 6-4 0.0 0 0
R. Alford 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
23-7 0 0.0
R. Alford 4-1 0.0 0 0
D. Riley 42 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
33-21 0 0.0
D. Riley 3-3 0.0 0 0
J. Richards 29 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
21-8 0 0.0
J. Richards 3-1 0.0 0 0
D. Campbell 59 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
39-16 0 0.0
D. Campbell 3-3 0.0 0 0
V. Beasley 44 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 3.0
V. Beasley 3-0 2.0 0 0
D. Trufant 21 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
37-6 0 0.0
D. Trufant 3-2 0.0 0 0
J. Crawford 95 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
13-6 0 4.0
J. Crawford 2-0 0.0 0 1
G. Jarrett 97 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
15-15 0 3.0
G. Jarrett 2-1 0.0 0 0
D. Kazee 27 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
38-13 5 0.0
D. Kazee 2-3 0.0 0 0
S. Neasman 41 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
10-3 0 0.0
S. Neasman 1-2 0.0 0 0
B. Irvin 52 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-1 0 3.0
B. Irvin 1-1 0.0 0 0
B. Poole 34 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
38-11 1 2.0
B. Poole 1-1 0.0 0 0
K. Ishmael 36 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-5 0 0.0
K. Ishmael 1-1 0.0 0 0
D. Shelby 90 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.0
D. Shelby 1-0 0.0 0 0
B. Carter 55 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
14-4 0 0.0
B. Carter 1-1 0.0 0 0
I. Smith 25 RB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
I. Smith 1-0 0.0 0 0
T. McKinley 98 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-4 0 5.0
T. McKinley 1-1 0.0 0 0
B. Reed 50 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-7 0 1.0
B. Reed 0-1 0.0 0 0
T. McClain 99 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-7 0 0.0
T. McClain 0-3 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Bryant 3 K
13
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
4/4 1/1
SEASON FG XP
13/13 17/18
M. Bryant 4/4 53 1/1 13
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Bosher 5 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
2 31.0 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
33 43.5 14
M. Bosher 2 31.0 2 35
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Hall 17 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 16.0 28 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
13 24.0 53 0
M. Hall 2 16.0 28 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Hardy 14 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 5.3 13 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
14 4.9 14 0
J. Hardy 3 5.3 13 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:19 DAL 12 7:23 15 85 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:52 DAL 25 1:03 3 4 Punt
8:09 DAL 10 3:27 5 8 Punt
0:29 DAL 25 0:29 3 18 Half
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 DAL 25 4:45 8 43 FG
10:11 ATL 18 7:53 14 75 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:07 ATL 31 0:41 2 31 TD
8:26 DAL 25 4:24 6 10 Punt
1:52 DAL 25 1:52 10 51 FG
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 ATL 24 4:41 8 29 Punt
2:56 ATL 25 3:04 7 52 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:49 ATL 44 5:40 9 19 Punt
4:42 ATL 40 4:13 10 33 FG
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:15 ATL 18 3:03 7 47 FG
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:19 ATL 25 1:12 3 24 INT
12:26 ATL 25 4:00 9 72 FG
4:02 ATL 32 2:10 6 68 TD