Andy Dalton, Michael Gallup rally Cowboys past Giants in thriller after Dak Prescott injury

After losing quarterback Dak Prescott to a serious ankle injury, the Dallas Cowboys rallied on Sunday in a thriller for a 37-34 win over New York Giants to secure first place in the NFC East.

Prescott suffered a compound fracture of his right ankle in the third quarter on a tackle and had to leave the field on a cart. He was taken to a hospital to undergo surgery to clean out the wound.

Back-and-forth final quarter

The Cowboys led 24-23 when Prescott left the game in the third quarter and took a 31-23 lead on the same possession that ended with an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown.

But the Giants scored 11 unanswered points on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter to take a 34-31 lead with 8:46 remaining.

With Dalton under center, the Cowboys responded with a 53-yard drive to set up a tying field goal by Greg Zuerlein. The Giants punted on the ensuing possession, setting the Cowboys up with a chance to win the game in regulation with 53 seconds remaining.

Andy Dalton throws a pass as Giants linebacker Markus Golden pressures.
Andy Dalton was effective in relief of an injured Dak Prescott. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Dalton, Gallup catch fire on final drive

Dallas started the drive on its 12-yard line. Dalton found Amari Cooper on second down to advance the ball to the 27-yard line. Then it was all Michael Gallup, who made a pair of acrobatic sideline catches to set up Zuerlein for a 34-yard winning field goal as time expired.

Gallup dragged his toes to stay in bounds on a right-sideline grab near midfield with 31 seconds remaining on Dalton’s next pass. Officials had to check the video to determine if he got both feet down. He did.

On the next play, Dalton looked again to Gallup, this time deep down the right sideline with Giants cornerback Ryan Lewis in tight coverage. Gallup hauled an over-the-shoulder catch as Lewis dragged him down at the 16-yard line.

Like the previous catch, this one was close, and officials had to check the replay. Like the previous play, the catch was good.

The 38-yard catch set up Zuerlein for the winner on the next play.

Dalton makes plays

Dalton was effective in relief, completing 9 of 11 passes for 111 yards in less than one half of play. Gallup tallied four catches for 73 yards, while rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb led the air attack with eight catches for 124 yards. Elliott ran 19 times for 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

With the win, the Cowboys improved to 2-3, which is good enough to lead an NFC East with the second-place Philadelphia Eagles posting a 1-2-1 start. The effective play from Dalton was a good sign for Dallas. He’s the presumed starter moving forward with Prescott expected to miss significant time.

More disappointment for Giants

The Giants fell to 0-5 after taking a 17-3 first-half lead and are still seeking 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 a pair of touchdowns taken of the the board because of penalties.

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