The offense was able to move the ball efficiently and effectively all night. They just couldn't close the deal on all but one of their drives. Michael Turner was the most effective Falcon of the night gaining 102 yards on his 20 carries and scoring the Falcons only touchdown.
Roddy White and Julio Jones were also excellent in the passing game gaining over 100 yards each. Tony Gonzalez had four catches tonight to put himself as just one of two players to have 15 straight years of over 50 catches—the other being Jerry Rice.
The quarter started with the Falcons having the ball in a second-and-seven situation from the Cowboys 11-yard line. Matt Ryan hit Roddy White for a seven-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal from the three-yard line. On first-and-goal, Michael Turner scored the first touchdown of the night on a blast-play through the B-gap.
The Falcons start on their own 19-yard line again on their second drive in the fourth quarter. Ryan hit Jason Snelling for a short screen for a loss of yardage to start it off. Then on second down, Ryan hit Julio Jones for a 48-yard completion to bring it to the Dallas 35-yard line.
On first down after the long completion, Turner gains three on a run. Then, Jacquizz Rodgers gained five yards on a short completion in the flat. On third-and-one, Julio Jones lined up at tailback and ran for the first down and eight yards.
First down-and-10 from the Cowboys 18, and Victor Butler sacked Ryan for a nine-yard loss. On the long second down, Michael Turner gained nine yards on the draw play. On third-and-10, Ryan went for White in the endzone, but missed to set up another field goal.
Opening from their own 20-yard line, Matt Ryan went deep to Julio Jones, but a pass interference call was made against Jones. On their own 10-yard line, Turner gained 10 yards to bring them back to the initial line of scrimmage.
On second-and-10 from their own 20, Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for a four-yard gain to set up a third-and-six. Jacquizz Rodgers took the short third down pass 31 yards into Cowboys territory to extend the drive and give Atlanta another set of downs and the Cowboys to take their first timeout.
Turner took it another three yards on first down and forced the Cowboys to take their second timeout. On second-and-eight, Ryan threw it to Roddy White but the ball dropped incomplete. On third-and-eight, Roddy White got held by Orlando Scandrick to force a new set of downs.
With just 3:29 left on the clock, Jason Snelling took his first run five yards, and the Cowboys were forced to take their final timeout. On second-and-five, Ryan missed White deep on a pass. On third-and-five from the Cowboys 33, Ryan hit Jacquizz Rodgers for yet another first down and 11 yards.
On first down from the 22, Michael Turner took it five yards to bring the game into the final two minute warning. On second down, Turner took it one more yard to force the third-and-four from the Cowboys 16-yard line. On third down, Turner got another two yards to force a field goal with just 23 second left in the game.
Michael Turner started the first drive of the second half with no gain. Then on second down, Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones with an 18-yard strike over the middle. Turner tried bouncing a run outside but lost two yards.
On second-and-12 from the Falcons 30, Ryan made a bad pass while pressured that was incomplete to set up a long third down. For third-and-12, Ryan scrambled behind the line and hit Roddy White for 26 yards and another first down.
Ryan then hit Roddy White again at the 24-yard line of the Cowboys for another 20 yards. On the very next play, Ryan got sacked for a three yard loss. On second-and-13, Ryan had a bad throw to the slot to set up the long third down. On third-and-13 from the Cowboys 27, Ryan hit Jason Snelling for a three yard gain and set up another field goal attempt.
Starting from their own 19, Ryan hit White for another 15 yard gain right over the middle. Turner then followed it up with a seven yard run up the middle to set up a short second down. On second-and-two, Michael Turner busted it 43-yards and into the redzone for his longest run of the night. After Turner brought it to the 14, Jacquizz Rodgers gained another three yards to close the quarter out.
Starting the quarter out on a third-and-seven from the Dallas 29-yard line, Matt Ryan dumped it to Jason Snelling for a two yard gain and another field goal attempt.
Their second drive of the quarter started on their own 44-yard line. On the first play, Michael Turner gained eight to bring the ball across midfield. On second-and-two, Ryan got sacked by DeMarcus Ware and fumbled, but Roddy White recovered the ball at the line of scrimmage.
On third-and-two from the Dallas 48, Ryan hit the reliable Michael Palmer for a six-yard gain and the first down. On first, Ryan hit Julio Jones for a five yard gain for his third catch of the game before handing it to Turner on second for a two yard gain. Third-and-three from the Cowboys 36, and the Cowboys got too much pressure on Ryan and forced another fourth down to force another punt.
Starting at their own 12 with just over a minute left, Ryan hit Jacquizz Rodgers for a five-yard gain and then failed to hit Rodgers on second down. On third-and-five from their own 17-yard line, Ryan hit Roddy White for a first down and 20 yards.
From their own 37, Ryan scrambled for eight yards on first down. Then on second down, Ryan threw it to Tony Gonzalez for a pair of catches to bring it down to the 28-yard line for a tying field goal at the half.
Starting the game with a passing play, Lousaka Polite dropped an easy catch from Matt Ryan. Michael Turner takes the second down play for just a single yard. Harry Douglas looked like he was interfered with on a third down play, but the call wasn't made. Three-and-out on the first drive.
The second series started with a one-yard rush by Turner. On second, they spread the defense out and Ryan started up the no-huddle and then threw it away. There was a defensive penalty that forced an automatic first down to help the offense.
On the next first down, Michael Turner couldn't catch the ball and it popped to almost intercepted. On the second down play, Julio Jones went deep and Ryan hit him in stride for a 38-yard gain down to the Cowboys 36.
Right after that, Ryan hit Roddy White for another 10-yard gain. Turner finally gets into the action and gains three on first down. On second down, Anthony Spencer was off-sides, and the Falcons were given a second-and-two from the Cowboys 18-yard line where Turner gained just one yard.
On a third-and-one from the Cowboys 18, Jacquizz Rodgers got crushed in the backfield to set up a field goal for the offense. The offense needs to calm their nerves early in big games, or it could be a long season.
On the third drive, Ryan hit Julio Jones over the middle for a 20-yard quick hitter. Then Jacquizz Rodgers had a loss of a yard to start the next set of downs. Tony Gonzalez caught it out at the 50 on second down to set up a third-and-seven.
On third-and-seven from the 50, Ryan hit Roddy White for the first down catch and another 18 yards. Turner rumbled for a four-yard gain on the first play of the new set of downs. On second down, Ryan checked down to a Turner run to close the quarter out.