ATLANTA — Defensive end Adrian Clayborn sacked Dallas Cowboys quarterback five times as the Atlanta Falcons soared 27-7 to victory Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Clayborn beat left tackle Chaz Green, who was filling for injured All-Pro Tyron Smith, to drop Prescott five times, a new Cowboys team record for most sacks by an opposing player. The Falcons sacked Prescott for a total of eight times, the likes of which had not been done eight times or greater since Sept. 15, 1991 versus the Philadelphia Eagles in a 24-0 loss.
Prescott finished with 19-of-29 for 176 yarsd. He also had two lost fumbles, both of which were forced by Clayborn.
Matt Ryan completed 22-of-29 for 215 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. The Falcons offense clicked after Dallas All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. Coleman led the Falcons in rushing with 20 carries for 83 yards and a score as Atlanta out-gained Dallas 336 to 233.
Alfred Morris started in place of suspended starting running back Ezekiel Elliott. Morris gained 53 on 11 carries as the Cowboys’ leading rusher. Reserves Rod Smith and Darren McFadden had three carries for 14 and a rush for minus-2 respectively.
Things appeared optimistic for the Cowboys early. Sixth-round safety Xavier Woods had an impressive outing as he intercepted Ryan on the Falcons’ first drive of the game. The Cowboys turned the takeaway into points four plays later with Prescott rushing for a 10-yard touchdown.
Dallas had special teams miscues that hurt them inside Falcons territory. Receiver Brice Butler’s offensive pass interference on a completed fake punt pass in the first quarter forced the Cowboys to punt. Mike Nugent, injured Pro Bowl kicker Dan Bailey’s fill-in, missed a 38-yard field goal late in the third quarter that clanged off the right upright.
Atlanta travels to Seattle for a Monday night encounter next week while the Cowboys go home to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas to host the 8-1 Eagles coming off their bye week.
Summary — The Falcons pass rush found Prescott and Ryan found the open receivers as Atlanta dominated the Cowboys.
Turning point — Lee’s hamstring injury. It opened up the running game and the passing game for the Falcons.
Stat — Clayborn’s five sacks were the most ever allowed by the Cowboys to a single player in team history.
Dallas -7 0 0 0 – 7
Atlanta – 3 7 7 10 – 27
Prescott 10 run (Nugent kick), 6:26
Bryant 50 kick, 0:02
Coleman 1 run (Bryant kick), 1:34
Hardy 3 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 8:31
Hooper 1 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 13:53
Bryant 29 kick, 8:32