Jackson, Ravens run past Cowboys 34-17, virus cancels Dez rematch minutes before kickoff
With an active three-game losing streak and an internal COVID-19 outbreak on their hands, the Baltimore Ravens had a must-win game in front of them. Fortunately for Baltimore, the Lamar Jackson-led bunch faced the struggling Dallas Cowboys at home on Tuesday night. The game, which was rescheduled twice, ended favorably for the Ravens. Despite a solid challenge from Dallas initially, Jackson, Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins combined for 294 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Ravens past the Cowboys 34-17.
With 14:19 left in the second quarter, Dallas took a 10-7 lead after quarterback Andy Dalton found wideout Michael Gallup from 13 yards out following a strong 66-yard kickoff return from reserve running back Tony Pollard. Gallup’s touchdown catch capped off a 3-play, 28-yard drive that took just 1:06 off the clock.
Ravens’ placekicker Justin Tucker had a rare field goal miss from 36 yards out on Baltimore’s ensuing drive, but Dalton gave the ball right back to the Ravens two plays later. Dalton threw an interception that was hauled in by Ravens’ rookie linebacker Patrick Queen at the Dallas 38 with just over eight minutes remaining before halftime. On the next play, though, Jackson hit Miles Boykin in stride for a 38-yard strike to take a 14-10 lead following the successful point-after attempt.
Baltimore added a late field goal to their lead and the Ravens entered the third quarter with a 17-10 advantage over Dallas. Cowboys’ kicker Greg Zuerlein struggled in the contest by missing three of his four field-goal attempts, and two of those misses were in the second half. Meanwhile, Baltimore did not take its foot off the gas. Jackson tossed a touchdown to Marquise Brown and Dobbins ran one in late from five yards out to seal the 17-point win for the Ravens (7-5), who snapped a three-game losing skid and kept its playoff hopes intact.
The win was sour for one player familiar with Dallas. The former star Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant was a last-second scratch from the lineup after he tested positive for the coronavirus just minutes before kickoff. The news was confirmed with a colorful tweet from Bryant less than an hour before kickoff. However, the team knew the added significance of the game and the Ravens were mindful of it during their performance and in their press conferences.
“This was more than just another game for me… It wasn’t about revenge.. I didn’t need a catch… I wanted to make a point…,” Bryant said in a tweet.
Jackson paced the Ravens with 201 total yards of offense and 3 total touchdowns. The reigning league MVP completed 12-of-17 passes for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception while carrying the ball 13 times for 94 yards and a score. Dalton finished 31-for-48 through the air with 285 yards with 2 touchdowns against 1 interception.
Dallas (3-9) will try to bounce back at noon Sunday at the Cincinnati Bengals, which will be broadcast on Fox. For more sports coverage, click here.