Cowboys lose after dormant second half vs. Rams: 5 things to know

Tale of two halves

The Cowboys controlled the clock in the first half, winning the time of possession battle by six minutes through two quarters. In the second half, though, the Rams flipped the script. Los Angeles held the ball for 18:32 in the second half and won the overall time of possession battle Sunday.

Dak Prescott, after going 11-of-15 in the first half, was just 9-of-21 in the second half, throwing an interception and missing several targets on the team's final drives.

Los Angeles scored 19 unanswered points, starting with the last play of the first half and ending with a Cowboys touchdown with 7:11 to go. Dallas mustered only those six points in the second half.

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Elliott was involved early and often

The Cowboys established the ground game early on Sunday, something they hadn’t done much of through the first three weeks of the season. Ezekiel Elliott had nine carries for 45 yards in the first quarter, and added a second-quarter touchdown through the air.

In the second half, however, Elliott saw just seven carries, putting up 29 more yards to total 85 on the day.

Dallas rushed for 189 yards, aided by a 70-yard burst by Alfred Morris that set up a short touchdown. Morris was active a week ago but didn’t play.

Quiet defense

The Cowboys’ defense, missing Sean Lee, was no match for Todd Gurley and the league’s top offense in the second half. Gurley churned out over 100 yards in the game and added a 53-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Demarcus Lawrence, who was off to a historic start to the season, recorded Dallas’ only sack of the afternoon.

While it surrendered 35 points, though, it's hard to pin the game squarely on the defense. Three of the Rams' scoring drives (a field goal and touchdown in the second quarter and a fourth-quarter field goal) combined for just 31 yards of offense because the Cowboys' offense or special teams set Los Angeles up in scoring territory.

7 field goals??

Conventional wisdom will tell you settling for field goals all afternoon is not a way to win a game.

But don’t tell Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein that. He was one short of an NFL record for field goals kicked in a game, putting seven kicks through the uprights Sunday.

“Greg the Leg” made kicks of 49, 44, 44, 30, 28, 43, and 33 yards.

He hasn’t missed a field goal or extra point all season.

Hanna’s first TD

James Hanna’s 28-yard fourth quarter touchdown was the first of his career. Hanna, the 11th-longest-tenured Cowboy, has been with the team since 2012 but hadn’t found the endzone in his first five years.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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