Two perfect throws from Andy Dalton to Michael Gallup may have, at least for a week, saved the Cowboys’ season.
Dallas trailed most of Sunday’s game vs. the Giants in Arlington and lost star quarterback Dak Prescott to a serious right ankle injury. Dalton, Prescott’s backup and the longtime Bengals starter, was in during the final seconds to try to lead the Cowboys to a comeback win. A 34-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein as time expired secured the victory that Dalton set up with his throws to Gallup.
The 37-34 win moved Dallas to 2-3 on the season and gave it sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Dalton took over with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter after Prescott was carted off. Dallas led 24-23 at that point, but the offense mostly stalled with Dalton in. After his initial, partial drive ended in an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown, Dallas punted and fumbled on its next two possessions. Daniel Jones led New York to a field goal and touchdown to give his team a 34-31 lead. A Zuerlein field goal tied the game 34-34.
Dallas signed Dalton in the offseason for a moment like this. While the Cowboys surely would have preferred Prescott in the game, they had an established backup who has made three Pro Bowls in his career. A lesser quarterback might have frozen on a drive that started at his own 12 with less than a minute to play, but Dalton had been on stages like this one before.
The Cowboys’ struggling defense came through with a stop to get Dalton the ball back with 52 seconds remaining. After an incomplete slant route to CeeDee Lamb, Dalton found Amari Cooper on a 15-yard pass to get out of the shadow of the goal posts. That’s when Dalton made magic happen.
First, under pressure, he rolled to his right before unleashing an on-the-run pass toward Gallup. Gallup leaned along the sideline, extending his arms while keeping his feet in bounds, for a 19-yard completion.
On the next play, Dalton threw over the top down the right sideline to Gallup again. Gallup had to reach above his head to snag the ball before again landing his feet in bounds. In two plays, Dalton and Gallup had combined for 57 yards, and what was shaping up to be a long attempt at best from Zuerlein turned into basically an extra point. The Cowboys let the clock run down to three seconds before using their final timeout. Zuerlein then tucked his game-winning kick just inside the right upright.
“Obviously, Andy was ready for this position,” Lamb told reporters postgame (per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News). “It’s very tough. . . . He’s a great competitor.”
The postgame discussion would surely focus on Prescott, but at least it would come after a Dalton-led win.
Source: Read Full Article