The Dallas Cowboys have defeated the New York Giants 37-34 on a Greg Zuerlein 34-yard field goal as time expired, but the victory came at a price. Quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a compound fracture of his ankle and is out indefinitely.
Dallas (2-3) turned to backup Andy Dalton, who led the Cowboys on a game-ending drive that culminated with Zuerlein's field goal to propel them into first place in the NFC East.
New York (0-5) held a 17-3 lead in the second quarter and was led by quarterback Daniel Jones, who was 20 of 33 for 222 yards while wide receiver Darius Slayton caught eight passes for 129 yards.
Dalton was 9 of 11 for 111 yards, getting help from Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for 91 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns on the afternoon. CeeDee Lamb hauled in eight catches for 124 yards.
Cowboys lose Prescott in bittersweet victory over Giants
The Cowboys took the game's opening drive and promptly marched it down to the Giants' four-yard line, but the New York defense held, forcing Dallas to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Zuerlein to take a 3-0 lead.
New York took the lead, driving 64 yards, aided by a roughing the passer penalty on linebacker Joe Thomas that gave them a first down on the Dallas 49. Five plays later, tight end Evan Engram took a reverse around the left end three yards to give the Giants a 7-3 lead.
Three plays into the Cowboys' next drive, Prescott's dump pass to Elliott was high and intercepted by linebacker Kyler Fackrell, who rumbled 46 yards down the right sideline and into the end zone to put the visitors further in front 14-3.
A minute and a half into the second quarter, a 55-yard field goal by Graham Gano capped a 12-play drive to extend the lead to 17-3. The Cowboys then went to work, a 14-play drive that took 6:57 off of the game clock, ten of those plays runs, Elliott diving in from one yard out.
The Cowboys defense then forced their first turnover of the game, DeMarcus Lawrence sacking Jones and stripping him of the ball, recovered by Anthony Brown. The cornerback scooped up the loose ball and ran 29 yards into the end zone to tie the game.
The Giants appeared to take the lead, trying a fake field goal in which Engram hauled in a pass from punter Riley Dixon, but an illegal shift nullified the score and New York could only manage a 50-yard field goal by Gano to re-take the lead at 20-17.
Prescott and Lamb hooked up three times for 53 yards, the last catch drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty on Adrian Colbert. A trick play gave Dallas the lead again, Prescott handing off to Elliott, who tossed it to Cedrick Wilson on a reverse, who passed it 11 yards back to the quarterback to give the hosts a 24-20 lead going into halftime.
Disaster struck to begin the third quarter. After Gano cut the lead to one with a 54-yard field goal as Prescott was tackled by Logan Ryan, everyone involved stunned at the gruesome sight. The Cowboys regrouped and Elliott powered into the end zone from 12 yards out to boost the lead to 31-23 with a little over five minutes left.
Dallas unsurprisingly had problems with Dalton under center and the Giants moved closer with Gano's fourth field goal of the game from 28 yards, the lead now 31-26 with 11:09 remaining. The former Cincinnati Bengal mishandled a snap from rookie center Tyler Biadasz, New York recovering at the Cowboys' 17.
Devonta Freeman, recently signed by New York in place of the injured Saquon Barkley, plowed in from four yards out to put the Giants back on top and Jones found tackle Andrew Thomas for the two-point conversion to make it 34-31.
Dallas then chewed up more than six and a half minutes of the clock and tied the game on Zuerlein's 40-yard field goal. The defense then forced a punt and starting on their own 12 with 52 seconds left, Dalton hooked up with Michael Gallup for 57 yards to set up Zuerlein's winner.
The Giants return home still seeking their first win of the season when they host Washington on Sunday at 1pm while Dallas will also be at home to face Arizona on Monday Night Football on October 19th at 8:20.