Final

Falcons 21

(4-2, 1-2 away)

Cowboys 37

(4-2, 2-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, October 25, 2009

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
ATL 7 0 7 721
DAL 0 17 7 1337

Top Performers

Passing: T. Romo (DAL) - 311 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: J. Snelling (ATL) - 7 CAR, 68 YDS

Receiving: M. Austin (DAL) - 6 REC, 171 YDS, 2 TD

Romo, Austin hook up for 2 scores in Cowboys' win

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The young backup who comes from nowhere to make big play after big play for the Dallas Cowboys is the storyline made famous by Tony Romo. Now, he's leading Miles Austin down that same path.

Romo Flies By Falcons

The Falcons' base 4-3 defense could do nothing to stop Tony Romo and the Cowboys Sunday. When the Falcons used four in the secondary, Romo had an almost perfect passer rating.

4 DBs 5 Or More DBs
Cmp-Att 12-16 9-13
Yards 199 112
TD-Int 3-0 0-0
Passer Rtg 156.0 95.7

-- ESPN Stats and Information

Austin proved his incredible performance in his first career start was no fluke by catching six more passes for 171 yards and two long touchdowns, sending Dallas to a 37-21 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday that the Cowboys hope shows they're no fluke, either.

Dallas (4-2) had been alternating wins and losses, needing overtime to beat Kansas City last time out. Now the Cowboys have consecutive wins and this was their first against a winning team.

It also was their best overall performance, with Romo having fun without making any careless mistakes, the defense making Matt Ryan miserable and the special teams breaking the game open with a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown by Patrick Crayton.

Yasinskas: Turner MIA

Since right about the time he toted the ball for the 376th time last season, it has been fair to ask if perhaps the Atlanta Falcons wore out Michael Turner, writes Pat Yasinskas. Blog

• NFC South blog

Coincidence or not, Dallas is 2-0 since Austin became a starter. Could this turn into the same kind of boost the Cowboys got when Romo burst onto the scene in 2006?

Austin is an undrafted guy in his fourth season who'd done little more than special teams the first three years, all of which follows Romo's script. With Terrell Owens gone, the fast kid from Monmouth College showed he could be the new deep threat with a team-record 250 yards and two touchdowns against the Chiefs, and backed it up Sunday with touchdowns of 59 and 22 yards.

"He's definitely a big part of this offense," Romo said. "I'm glad to see all his hard work and effort is paying off."

Fast Facts

• Tony Romo went 21 for 29 for 311 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to their second straight win. It was Romo's second straight game of at least 300 yards passing.

• Miles Austin, in his second career start, had six catches for 171 yards and two TDs. In the last two games, Austin has 16 catches for 421 yards and four touchdowns.

• Matt Ryan threw for 198 yards with two scores and two interceptions. He has four picks in the last two games.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Atlanta came in 4-1, matching the best start in franchise history, but former Falcons star Keith Brooking, DeMarcus Ware and the rest of the Dallas defense pestered Ryan into four sacks, two interceptions and two fumbles. He only lost one, and on the very next play Romo hit the long TD pass to Austin, which put the Cowboys ahead for good.

Ryan had gone 142 passes without a sack and had gone down only twice all season before Dallas got him on consecutive plays in the first quarter.

"It's frustrating because we feel we can play better," said Ryan, who finished 19 of 35 for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

Two of the sacks and the lost fumble were caused by Ware, the NFL's reigning sack king, who was stuck at zero sacks through four games. Brooking didn't have any huge plays, but his energy and excitement were as evident as ever a few days before his 34th birthday.

"The last thing I was told by one of the coaches is this is a young man's game. I guess an old man can still play in this league," said Brooking, who grew up in Atlanta, went to college at Georgia Tech and played 11 seasons for the Falcons until being forced to leave when he wasn't re-signed in the offseason.

The Falcons trail undefeated New Orleans in the NFC South and will have to bounce back quickly because the teams will meet in the Superdome next Monday night.

Romo didn't have a single yard passing in the first quarter, just 17 running on a third-and-18 scramble. He was hit hard in the back at the end of that play, then got an ice pack on his neck while sitting on the bench. Backup Jon Kitna got ready to go in, but Romo wouldn't miss a snap.

Romo finished 21 of 29 for 311 yards and three touchdowns. His biggest play came right at the end of the first half. It was second-and-goal from the 5 and Dallas was out of timeouts when Romo eluded three defenders, popped up and threw a touchdown pass to Crayton that stretched the lead to 17-7 at halftime. Had he taken the sack, time would've run out without Dallas getting any points.

Romo used to run around and make plays like that all the time. He hasn't done it much this season, with coaches preaching being smarter with the football. But this was the right time to switch into swashbuckling mode and it paid off.

"I think that you've got a wiser and you've got a more experienced Tony Romo than of old, and I think you see he's still got some of that instinctive thing that he can make plays and make winning plays," team owner Jerry Jones said.

Crayton's two touchdowns came in his first game since losing his jobs as a starting receiver and as the punt returner, replaced by Austin and newly signed Allen Rossum. Crayton got the return job back when Rossum hurt a hamstring on his first return.

"[Crayton] is the kind of guy you want on your football team," Dallas coach Wade Phillips said. "He's going to make plays when he has opportunities."

Game notes


Atlanta scored a TD on its opening drive for the first time this season. The Falcons led the league in first-quarter scoring last season. ... It was a record-low crowd at Cowboys Stadium for the first daytime game, drawing "only" 81,521. ... Austin's 171 yards are the most by a Cowboys receiver following a 200-yard outing.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ATL
DAL
1st Downs2118
Passing 1st downs
1313
Rushing 1st downs
75
1st downs from Penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
6-126-13
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Plays6559
Total Yards298414
Yards per play4.67.0
Total Drives1114
Passing174299
Comp - Att
19-3521-29
Yards per pass
5.010.3
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks - Yards Lost
4-242-12
Rushing124115
Rushing Attempts
2628
Yards per rush
4.84.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-21-3
Penalties3-308-50
Turnovers31
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession31:0828:52

Passing Leaders

ATLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Ryan19/351985.7224-24
DALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Romo21/2931110.7302-12

Rushing Leaders

ATLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Snelling7689.7031
Turner18502.8115
DALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Barber14473.4013
Jones8374.6012

Receiving Leaders

ATLRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
White6508.311211
Gonzalez4379.30177
DALRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Austin617128.52598
Witten55310.60227

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERATLDAL
atlTD06:26Roddy White 4 Yd Pass From Matt Ryan (Jason Elam Kick) 70
SECOND QUARTERATLDAL
dalFG11:03Nick Folk 38 Yd 73
dalTD05:50Miles Austin 59 Yd Pass From Tony Romo (Nick Folk Kick) 710
dalTD00:06Patrick Crayton 5 Yd Pass From Tony Romo (Nick Folk Kick) 717
THIRD QUARTERATLDAL
atlTD05:26Michael Turner 2 Yd Run (Jason Elam Kick) 1417
dalTD02:32Miles Austin 22 Yd Pass From Tony Romo (Nick Folk Kick) 1424
FOURTH QUARTERATLDAL
dalFG10:10Nick Folk 46 Yd 1427
dalTD08:38Patrick Crayton 73 Yd Punt Return (Nick Folk Kick) 1434
atlTD05:07Eric Weems 30 Yd Pass From Matt Ryan (Jason Elam Kick) 2134
dalFG02:21Nick Folk 34 Yd 2137