Falcons pull out 19-13 victory over Cowboys to remain undefeated

Eight up. Eight down.

The Falcons flexed their muscles against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night to remain the only undefeated team in the NFL.

On a day when the pass protection was spotty, the defense was leaky and the field goal kicker was not automatic, the Falcons hung on to pull out a 19-13 victory before 70,840 fans at a rowdy Georgia Dome.

“I thought our guys had a really hard fought football game against a very good football team,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “It was an electric atmosphere for the entire 60 minutes. I like the way our team played tonight in all three phases.”

A national television audience saw a good evening’s work from quarterback Matt Ryan (342 passing yards with no interceptions), wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, who had 247 yards in receptions between them, and running backs Michael Turner (102 rushing yards) and Jacquizz Rodgers.

The Falcons trailed early 6-0, but like they have so many times in the five years under Smith, they showed their resiliency with the game in the balance.

With the win, the Falcons took a four-game lead over Tampa Bay (4-4) in the NFC South as they head into the second half of the season. The Saints (2-5), who play on “Monday Night Football,” are 5 1/2 games back and the Panthers (2-6) are six games back.

Extending the best start to a season in franchise history, the Falcons had stated their top goal is to win their division and that is nearly done at the halfway point of the season.

Dallas, considered a preseason contender in the NFC East, dropped to 3-5.

“We did a nice job staying focused because it could’ve been real easy early on when we held those first two scored to field goals,” Smith said. “We did some things very well. I can’t say enough about the guys and it’s week-to-week. We’ll put this one behind us and move on to the next one.”

After the Cowboys moved the ball in the early going. Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan made some adjustments, forcing the Cowboys to punt on four straight possession starting late in the second quarter and into the third quarter.

Falcons running back Michael Turner flexes in the endzone celebrating his touchdown with Roddy White, left, and Peter Konz, right, to take a 13-6 lead during fourth quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. The Falcons won the game 19-13 to remain undefeated at 8-0. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons running back Michael Turner flexes in the endzone celebrating his touchdown with Roddy White, left, and Peter Konz, right, to take a 13-6 lead during fourth quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. The Falcons won the game 19-13 to remain undefeated at 8-0. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

“It’s not about ratings,” Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. “It’s about winning and losing.”

The offense took advantage of that opening, tying the game by halftime and putting together a touchdown drive and a following field goal to open a 16-6 lead with 7:53 to play.

But the defense allowed the Cowboys to quickly drive 78 yards in 2:28. Romo connected with wide receiver Kevin Ogletree for a 20-yard touchdown to close the lead to 16-13 with just over 5 minutes to play.

It was then Rodgers’ turn. He converted on two key third downs to help the offense stay on the field and run the clock down to 22 seconds. Bryant then made a 32-yard field goal for the game’s final points to cap a 12-play, 66-yard drive that took 5:04 off the clock.

The Falcons did not get off to one of the trademark fast starts and had to fight hard just to scratch out a 6-6 halftime tie.

On Atlanta’s opening drive, fullback Lousaka Polite dropped a pass, Turner was stuffed on second down and Matt Ryan tossed an incompletion on third down.

Dallas’s Dwayne Harris, a Tucker High School product, took Matt Bosher’s punt and returned it 37 yards to set the Cowboys up at Atlanta’s 32-yard line. Linebacker Mike Peterson made a touchdown saving tackle.

The Cowboys drove to the Falcons’ 5 before their drive stalled. Dan Bailey came on a made a 23-yard field goal to make it 3-0.

Bryant, who was listed on the injury report with a back problem, missed a 37-yard field goal to end the Falcons’ second possession. He entered the game making 92.5 percent (148 of 160) of his field goal attempts under 40 yards and hadn’t missed one under 40 since the Cleveland Browns blocked a 30-yard attempt on Oct. 10, 2010. He wound up converted four of six attempts.

On the Cowboys next possession, Romo kept the drive alive by connecting with Kevin Ogletree on a third-and-20 for a 65-yard gain behind cornerback Dunta Robinson.

The defense held and Bailey came on and made a 32-yard field goal to make it 6-0.

The Falcons drove from their 27 to the Cowboys’ 27 before the drive stalled. Bryant made a 45-yard field goal to make it 6-3.

“This whole season we’ve been finding a number of ways to win football games; that’s the true test of a team, not just winning in one particular style of play,” Turner said.

The Falcons will have a chance to tie the franchise mark for most consecutive wins when they face the Saints at 1 p.m. Sunday in New Orleans. The Falcons won nine straight games in 1980 and 1998.


Sean Weatherspoon is out for Sunday’s game vs. Dallas

Matt Ryan is climbing the charts to elite status

Tony Gonzalez needs four catches to reach 50 mark for 15th straight season

Video: Matt Ryan on scoring in the red zone

UNDEFEATED: Can the Falcons pull it off?


Falcons rough up Vick, Eagles to soar to a 7-0 mark

Video: Falcons soar to 7-0 win over Eagles

Falcons guard Peter Konz shines in first NFL start

Falcons quotes after win over Eagles

Injury report: Weatherspoon suffered an ankle injury

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79 comments Add your comment


November 5th, 2012
12:36 am

Falcons are good. That’s all there is to it.

[...] Photo: Chuck Burton / AP. Dallas Cowboys …Rapid Reaction: Falcons 19, Cowboys 13ESPN (blog)Falcons pull out 19-13 victory over Cowboys to remain undefeated.Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)There are no comments yetYahoo! SportsSB Nation -Daily [...]


November 5th, 2012
12:43 am

Thanks goodness for Matt Ryan. He is a true leader. Even on an off night, he threw formover 340 yards with no turnovers.

Go Falcons.


November 5th, 2012
12:46 am

F-A-L-C-O-N-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 – 0 BABY!!!! LOL

[...] beat the Dallas Cowboys 19-13 on Sunday night …Cowboys 13, Falcons 19Fort Worth Star TelegramFalcons pull out 19-13 victory over Cowboys to remain undefeated.Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)2012 Week 9 Rapid ReactionESPN (blog)Daily Astorian -Yahoo! [...]

Mora less Petrino

November 5th, 2012
12:48 am

453 yards tonight! Could get 700+ next week.


November 5th, 2012
12:48 am

Enter your comments here

Gray Mule

November 5th, 2012
12:48 am

Atlanta wins two tonight!!

Hawks win their first one and Falcons remain unbeaten!!


November 5th, 2012
12:48 am

Way to go Falcons!!!! 8-0

LOVE me some : Coach Smith, Matty Ice, Roddy WHite, Juliooooooooooooooo, Tony G, and the entire defense you played fantastic!!

On to the aint’s Yugo/Hyundai Super dome


November 5th, 2012
12:49 am

media lockout is in line


November 5th, 2012
12:50 am

Don’t believe the hype and so much for winning Super Bowl. If history is to be believed anyway. Any time the Cowboys have played a team undefeated this late in the season they have beat that team. But. That team has ALWAYS gone on to win the Super Bowl. It’s happened 3 times and I thought tonight would lead to the fourth.
The team is fun to watch but I still guarantee a first round playoff loss. I’ve followed these birds for too long I know want they are incapable of.

Seen This B 4

November 5th, 2012
12:51 am

I have never Seen This B 4 in the Falcons 45 year history.



November 5th, 2012
12:53 am

Goodbye to the over covered Cowboys. Hello over covered Aints!

Got to grind out another win in the Big Easy next week! Let’s hope we are as ignored as we’ve been all season! GO BIRDS!

Fan since 66

November 5th, 2012
12:59 am

Waiting for the naysayers who will make this win about bad calls, unlucky breaks and missed opportunities for the Cowboys. Bottom line is the Birds won against a very good team. It wasn’t real pretty, but the coaching staff adjusted on the fly and the players performed well enough to win. Still concerned about the missed tackles, but am sure that will be addressed again this week. BTW, did it seem to anyone else besides me that Chrissy Collingsworth was almost crying while trying to figure out how the Cowboys could pull this one out? Maybe it’s my imagination that he was almost apoplectic that the Falcons were going to actually win the game. Guess I should be used to it by now! Go Falcons! Proud of the Birds!

[...] beat the Dallas Cowboys 19-13 on Sunday night …Cowboys 13, Falcons 19Fort Worth Star TelegramFalcons pull out 19-13 victory over Cowboys to remain undefeated.Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)2012 Week 9 Rapid ReactionESPN (blog)Daily Astorian -Yahoo! [...]

Mike Franklin

November 5th, 2012
1:00 am


Damn… so this is what it feels like


November 5th, 2012
1:01 am

Can’t wait to watch the Cowboys Crow Video’s on Youtube. All week long I’ve been hearing Jerry Jones this and that…Dez Bryant…ect. I told ya’ll we were going to win. Now watch ESPN downplay the win and say “The Cowboys were off” instead of saying that we won flat out! Falcons Baby! Lets Go to the Superbowl

Falcons Chic

November 5th, 2012
1:04 am

Outlive, outlast.. Ugly, tough, but a win. Here, here to the D.

Fan since 66

November 5th, 2012
1:09 am

@ McGarrett…Are you watching the same team that I’m watching???? Really???? I was at the first Falcon home game in ‘66 so I have some experience in watching the Birds. This is without a doubt the most well rounded, best coached Falcon team I have ever seen. So take your half as#@d loyalty and go hang out somewhere else. True Falcon Fans can see the future with this team. Don’t need no haters here! Go Falcons!

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November 5th, 2012
1:25 am

IM TIRED of the fake fans /haters here this the best falcon team we had in a long time we will make superbowl and watch how we beat the giants in a few weeks


November 5th, 2012
1:28 am

Been here since ‘66 as well (but was only 6.) This is the best team I’ve seen. Want to ride the wave with them. Just don’t want to see stupid mistakes. That is my thing. Yes there are unfortunate drops, but when they are a pattern, THAT is a stupid mistake.

Answer This

November 5th, 2012
1:33 am

Now what haters?

Punchy Potorff

November 5th, 2012
1:38 am

We need to tighten up the defense, and do better at protecting Matti. Then we’d be impenetrable. But I’ll gladly take this 8-0. Are you kidding? Wow.


November 5th, 2012
1:48 am

I guess our friend McGarrett is as close to hater as can be. Playoffs. Each one is a different story, and a different year. All three playoff losses were to the NFC champion, and two won the superbowls.
This year it will be ours! New OC and new DC is the difference. Never enjoyed so much watching our Defense as this 2012 Defense. AMAZING!

erilo vasquez

November 5th, 2012
1:53 am

love the falcons,best in years.However saw Roddy white at chuckie cheese last night in Buford.Approached with a smile and told him how i liked to see him play.He didnt look up just kept stuffing fries in his mouth.Your an a&% and I’ll never cheer for u again.If u caught balls like you stuff fries you’d be my fantasy player sh$# head.


November 5th, 2012
2:00 am


KC Falcon

November 5th, 2012
3:12 am

Gritty win. Ryan had pressure in on him all night and still delivered 300 yards. Roddy and J. Jones terrific. Turner finally popped a long one! Quiz with a pair of huge 3rd down conversion catch and runs. Those plays finaly arrived. Been waiting for them.

Nat’l people and the contrarions (trolls) will not care. This was a very good win against a desparate team. Kept the Gunslinger Romo without completely going off. Figured he’d throw a pick or 3, but it was a victory without it.


November 5th, 2012
6:15 am

Likely will see head coach changes in Dallas and Philly this week unless Philly beat Brees Monday night. Dallas is a better team than they are playing like.


November 5th, 2012
6:28 am

I want you to think about what you felt like 2 years ago after Green Bay left here. You are setting yourself up. Birds are the only team I’ve ever stood beside and I will bask in the 8-0. But. I will not set myself ip for that kind of heartache ever again. Won’t do it. Too much of a letdown.

Fan since 66

November 5th, 2012
7:01 am

Just a suggestion then…maybe, just maybe you find another team, another sport or something else to invest your time in. As for you basking in the 8-0 record…quite frankly, fans like you have no right to bask in the Falcons record. I can say with confidence that you didn’t stick by the Falcons during all the lean years. e.g., (The Glanville experiment, the Patrino fiasco, not to mention the years and years of the darkness that was called the Smith ownership) So go find another place to “bask in the 8-0″. Go Falcons, cya. Gotta go to work and praise my Birds!

Fan since 66

November 5th, 2012
7:04 am

Oh, and a btw, 2 years ago, I felt great that my team was finally a consistent winner, with a top notch front office, a classy intelligent coach, and a team that never says die. I’ll take that year we had over most of the other teams’ in the league’s season. Just my humble opinion! Go Falcons!


November 5th, 2012
7:24 am

I admit I have only been around since the Bartkowski days. I feel Wiliam Andrews is the best back to ever play the game. I’ve never turned my bak on the Birds. But. I have to face reality. And the reality is this, they always let me down when the game really counts for something. If they would only compete in the game that really counts.

Come playoff time another team always shows up. Not the one you rooted for all season. It happened with Green Bay. It happened in the Super Bowl with the Broncos. You cannot with a straight face say you do not know what I’m talking about.
If come December they go down with a fight then I will say I am proud of em. If they come out and lay the usual egg them my point is proven. I won’t post again here until that time.


November 5th, 2012
7:33 am

I still can’t figure out WHY the national media insists that the Falcons are good but none of this means anything unless we win a playoff game.

The media has 16 games per team to pump each and every one of them up or relegate them to the trash heap. They have their darlings, Cowboys included, and they will glorify them and report on them no matter WHAT they do on the field. But the Falcons always get an asterisk and short shrift.

I could care less what happened to the Falcons of the past. This year’s team is different than every other Falcons team that preceded it; new players, new coordinators, new vision, new purpose. ESPN can stick it up their northeastern aspects.

DC Dirty Bird

November 5th, 2012
7:36 am

McGarrett, Green Bay went 15-1 and looked untouchable. Remember how their offense was clicking so well that even teh back up threw for 400 in the final game. They got handled at home by the Giants after a bye. That’s what makes the NFL so awesome….on any give Sunday, the hot team can beat anybody. It’s happened to us twice. All we can do in the playoffs is be excited about the moment and root for a Falcon victory for 60 minutes.

Whadda Ya Know?

November 5th, 2012
7:39 am

Good hard fought win last night. The team shows resolve in these games that require they dig deep. I swear I don’t know what happened to the five yard rule, but defenses are hanging all on our receivers and TE. They’ll have to get use to playing that way the rest of the season and go beast mode like Julio did. LOL

Let’s go stomp some Aints in the Toilet Bowl this coming Sunday.

Falcon Since 1966

November 5th, 2012
8:24 am

Fan since 66 Nice nick by the way,

Ya collins was wetting his pants wanting the clownbabies to come back and win. I hope his mommy rocked him to sleep last night.

8-0 way to go!


November 5th, 2012
9:00 am




November 5th, 2012
9:37 am

Congrats FALCONS…Great Game …!!! I’m enjoying this and very proud of our team…One game at a time.


November 5th, 2012
9:57 am

We win, people still groan. We lose, they groan even louder. I guess you guys wanna see us go 0-8 instead huh? Come on…lets just enjoy the ride and see what happens in the playoffs. The only team I dont really wanna see is the Bears right now. Other than them, everyone else looks vunerable in the NFC. We’ve almost swept the NFC East. A win against the G Men would be GREAT in December when it really heats up. I believe this team just might be able to hang with anyone in the league.


November 5th, 2012
10:00 am

Remember the 24-2 beatdown at New York last year? Does anyone think THIS offense will be held scoreless? No, we got rid of Malarkey and look at the difference. The days of running Turner on 1st and 2nd down are over.

what da hey

November 5th, 2012
10:18 am

Pull out a victory, yet they never trailed in the 2nd half, Dallas cross out 40 1 time in the 2nd half. Did Collinsworth write this article?

what da hey

November 5th, 2012
10:22 am

@Punchy Potorff
“We need to tighten up the defense…”

We gave up 13 points to a team that put up 24 on the “great” Giant’s defense. Please stop the sillyness. Other than 1 busted coverage on a nice play by Romo, the Falcons D was impressive. That was without our best player on D.


November 5th, 2012
10:22 am

I had to stop watching part way into the 2nd half. The announcers were just atrocious – might as well have put on Cowboy jerseys and pom-poms. Glad the Falcons won and hope those guys never announce another Falcon game again.


November 5th, 2012
10:33 am

FALCON 8-0!!!!!! Gotta love it!! Good hard fought victory!!
Now that is how you RISE UP!!!!!


November 5th, 2012
11:02 am

Love the record, for what it’s worth. Still haven’t done much in the playoffs. Regardless of playoffs it does feel extrememly good to field a team that most days is going to beat the opponent. JUst wish we could run the ball better, then we’d REALLY have something to be confident about. Way too many stops for zero gain. Not a team that can run 3rd and 2 and pick it up majority of the time. THat will come back to bite us come playoffs.

Roswell Falcon

November 5th, 2012
11:07 am

Birds look great overall except for a few brain lapses from Dunta.
Julio not only a beast playmaker but becoming a posession receiver like RW. Turner breakin loose and Quizz making moves. Great game AGAIN.
RISE UP baby, lets go whoop up on the aints.


November 5th, 2012
11:29 am

Congrats to the Falcons….but I have to ask – Did we really learn anything Sunday night to convince us that this season will end differently than 2010, when a top-seeded Atlanta team bowed out at home to Green Bay? Or 2011, when the Falcons face-planted in New York against the Giants?


November 5th, 2012
11:55 am

Great start, but I’ll be a believer once we win a playoff game

Rick Day

November 5th, 2012
11:58 am

1. Why was the DC allowing Samuel to play the receivers so soft? A little tightness on his park could have resulted in at least 2 picks.
2. If anyone had any doubt as to the critical importance of one Mr. S. Weatherspoon, this sloppy tackling display should put THAT issue to rest.
3. Matt Ryan: I hope you read this. We don’t like it when you sit on the bench and flog yourself mentally over missed field goals. I literally wanted to jump the rail and just give you a hug and a noogie. Falcons: When Matt flubs one, DO NOT AVOID him. Jeeze, everyone acts as though he had rotten breath!
4. More touches for Snelling, please!
5. One game at a time, people. One game at a time. With this defense, we won’t win a SB this year, although I have as much hope as anyone. Just chill, enjoy the wins, and take life one day, one game, one play at a time. RISE UP.