ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rams (3-5) fell to the Cowboys 43-20 on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
A game that was 10-3 late in the second quarter became out of reach after the Cowboys (5-2) returned an interception for a touchdown and capitalized on back-to-back special teams miscues to quickly make it 26-3. The Rams added a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Royce Freeman with four seconds left in the second quarter to make it 33-9 (ensuing two-point try was unsuccessful).
Los Angeles cut its deficit to 17 with a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Ben Skowronek and 2-point completion from wide receiver Tutu Atwell to Stafford. While they held Dallas to a field goal on the ensuing possession, that scoring drive by Dallas still chewed nearly 10 minutes off the game clock.
Stafford completed 13 of 22 passes for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception prior to exiting in the third quarter with a thumb injury (questionable to return and ultimately did not), while defensive tackle Aaron Donald recorded two sacks.
Making his NFL debut, kicker Lucas Havrisik made both of his field goal attempts (33 yards and 47 yards).
Defensive back Cobie Durant sustained a shoulder injury in the first half. He was questionable to return but ultimately did not re-enter the game.
Here is the complete game recap:
The Cowboys overcame two early sacks by the Rams on the opening drive with chunk plays through the passing game, setting up an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dak Prescott to tight end Jake Ferguson for an early 7-0 Dallas lead. Los Angeles had a third sack on the drive negated by a penalty.
The Rams answered with with a 33-yard field goal attempt by Havrisik to cut their deficit to four with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter.
Despite a sack resulting for a 10-yard loss on third down, the Cowboys still managed to convert a 58-yard field goal attempt to make it 10-3 Dallas with 43 seconds left in the first quarter. Then, Stafford's first pass on the ensuing drive was intercepted and returned 30 yards for a touchdown by cornerback DaRon Bland to extend the Cowboys' lead to 17-3.
A pair of special teams miscues by the Rams then led directly to another nine points for the Cowboys. After Stafford was sacked on third down, punter Ethan Evans' punt was blocked out of the endzone for a safety. Then, wide receiver KaVontae Turpin returned the ensuing free kick by Evans 63 yards, which effectively set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to wide receiver CeeDee Lamb two plays later to make it 26-3 Cowboys with 12:50 left in the second quarter.
Jordan Fuller's interception in the endzone off a tipped Prescott pass gave the Rams some life late in the second quarter. On the series, the Cowboys appeared to get the ball back via a sack-fumble caused by linebacker Micah Parsons, but officials upon further review overturned the original call and ruled it was instead an incomplete pass. However, the incompletion came on the third down, so the Rams were forced to punt.
On the ensuing possession, the Cowboys extended their lead to 33-3 with 2:27 left in the first half via a 22-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to Lamb.
Freeman's 1-yard touchdown run, and the following unsuccessful 2-point try, cut the Rams' deficit to 26 at halftime.
A 32-yard catch-and-run by running back Darrell Henderson Jr. on the opening possession of the second half helped the Rams quickly move into Cowboys territory, and the Rams capitalized with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Skowronek and successful 2-point try on a pass from Tutu Atwell to Stafford to make it 33-17 Cowboys with 11:29 left in the third quarter.
Dallas added a 27-yard field goal by kicker Brandon Aubrey for a 36-17 lead late in the third quarter, at the end of a scoring drive that erased nearly 10 minutes off the clock.
On the ensuing possession, Stafford was replaced by backup Brett Rypien after going back to the Rams' locker room following the previous offensive series. Stafford returned to the sideline with his right thumb and wrist taped, but was questionable to return with a thumb injury.
A 25-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to wide receiver Brandin Cooks made it 43-17 Cowboys with 12:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Rams added a 47-yard field goal from Havrisik to make it 43-20 with 5:31 remaining.
The Los Angeles Rams take on the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Week 8 of the 2023 season. Take a look at photos from the matchup!