Ravens hang tough but Cowboys prove too much in loss
For much of the first half Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens’ top-ranked defense hung tough against the NFL’s third- ranked offense.
But a pair of secondhalf touchdowns and a late field goal proved too much for the Ravens to overcome as they fell to the host Dallas Cowboys 27-17 at AT&T Stadium.
With the loss, Baltimore (5-5) falls into a tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers for a share of first place in the AFC North, while Dallas (91) maintain the top record in the NFL.
After forcing a punt near midfield to begin the third quarter, the Cowboys offense proceeded to march 92 yards in almost six minutes, breaking a 10-10 tie when rookie quarterback Dak Prescott connected with Dez Bryant for a 4-yard touchdown catch.
The Ravens offense then punted the ball away again, and Dallas embarked on another extended scoring drive that spanned the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, concluding with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to Bryant.
The Dallas quarterback finished 27-of-36 passing for 301 yards and three touchdowns.
Baltimore battled back to within a score on the ensuing possession when quarterback Joe Flacco directed the Ravens on a 75-yard scoring drive. The quarterback completed four passes, including three to Steve Smith Sr., who hauled in a 5-yard touchdown throw to move the score to 24-17 with just over 8 minutes remaining.
But the Cowboys leaned on the legs of rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott (25 carries for 97 yards) to eat up most of the remaining clock, before kicker Dan Bailey converted a 21-yard field goal to seal the win.
Elliott, who entered the contest as the league’s leading rusher, passed Tony Dorsett on Sunday to set the Cowboys’ rookie record for rushing yards in a season. He now has 1,102 rushing yards this year.
Baltimore opened the scoring with 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter after it drove 90 yards on the strength of four long rushing plays. Kenneth Dixon began the drive with a 14-yard drive and later added a 20-yard scamper to move the team to the Dallas 34yard line. Running back Terrance West then galloped for 16 yards before finding the end zone up the middle on an 18-yard scoring rush.
Prescott tied the game midway through the second frame with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Cole Beasley. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and Bailey then traded field goals to make the score 10-10 entering the break.
Smith (eight catches for 99 yards and a touchdown) recorded his 1,000 reception of his career when he made a 22-yard catch in the third quarter.
Flacco finished 23-of-35 passing for 269 yards and one touchdown, while Mike Wallace added five catches for 62 yards for the Ravens, who received 42 yards rushing on eight carries from West and 40 yards rushing on six carries from Dixon.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is sacked by Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford during the fourth quarter on Sunday,at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.