Late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, before they would force the Atlanta Falcons to relive their Super Bowl 51 nightmare, the Dallas Cowboys owned incomprehensibly low odds of emerging victorious.
The digits are barely registerable, difficult for even the most complex football mind to fathom: 0.05%.
Then, the impossible happened.
“We weren’t supposed to win that game,” Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot said after the 40-39 stunner, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “It’s a testament to the type of guys we have in this locker room. We got it done.”
It took a true team effort in all three phases. The offense — led by quarterback Dak Prescott, who re-wrote the NFL record books — was responsible for the points, the defense for getting the offense the ball, and special teams for … well, maybe the best onside kick ever.
“I saw us run it in practice and it just looked amazing,” linebacker Jaylon Smith recalled, via the Dallas Morning News. “From the jump, understanding the opportunity, I knew that was the kick that was going to occur I had 100 percent faith. I wish I could have bet on it if that was legal.
The result: 16 points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter, erasing a three-touchdown deficit, and a 46-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal to complete the Miracle at Jerry World.
“It almost felt unreal,” Elliott said, per Machota. “For us to persevere with that bad of a start, that’s kind of unbelievable.”
Zeke contributed to the bad start, coughing up a pair of first-half fumbles in a comically rare display of butterfingers. But the league’s richest running back redeemed himself as the Week 2 tilt wore on, rumbling for 89 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. He added 33 yards on six catches as Dallas mounted a furious offensive barrage.
Of course, what Elliott or any other player did was dwarfed by the performance from Prescott, who totaled 468 yards and four touchdowns, becoming the first QB in the sport’s history to surpass 400 passing yards and three rushing scores in a single game.
“We showed our resiliency,” Prescott said. “That win was huge in so many ways.”
The Falcons had 39 points with zero turnovers in their loss against the Cowboys.
Entering today, teams were 440-0 when scoring 39 points with 0 turnovers since 1933, when team turnovers were first tracked, according to Elias. pic.twitter.com/LZdqzwQZyD
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 20, 2020
Huge, and more mind-blowing with each passing analysis. Nobody inside or outside AT&T Stadium — players, coaches, media, fans, referees, ballboys — will soon forget what they witnessed, because it’s so mathematically unlikely to repeat.
And impossible, emotionally, to reproduce.
“It’s a better feeling than any other game that I’ve had,” wide receiver CeeDee Lamb said.
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