ATLANTA — Michael Turner finally found some room to run in the second half. It was just in time for the NFL’s last unbeaten team.
Turner had a tiebreaking 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Matt Bryant kicked four field goals and the Atlanta Falcons beat the Dallas Cowboys 19-13 on Sunday night to protect their perfect record.
Turner had 20 carries for 102 yards and Matt Ryan had a season-high 342 yards passing for the Falcons (8-0), who took their first lead with 14:16 left in the game.
Tony Romo completed 6 of 6 passes for 78 yards, including a 21-yard scoring pass to Kevin Ogletree, on the Cowboys’ touchdown drive later in the fourth.
The Falcons then worked the clock, holding the ball for 5 minutes, 4 seconds, leaving only 17 seconds after Bryant’s 32-yard field goal.
The Cowboys burned all their timeouts as Ryan kept the Falcons’ offense on the field in the crucial time-consuming drive. Ryan passed to Jacquizz Rodgers for 31 yards and 11 yards on third-down plays. A defensive holding call against cornerback Orlando Scandrick on another third down prolonged the possession.
Finally, the Cowboys stopped Turner on a third-down run at the Dallas 14.
Romo never attempted a deep pass, though he had only 17 seconds to cover 80 yards. He found Jason Witten for passes of 7 and 11 yards, leaving 9 seconds. He passed to Felix Jones for 8 yards, leaving time for one play from the Cowboys 40.
Romo scrambled before passing to Jones, who was dropped near the Atlanta 22 to end the game.
Romo completed 25 of 35 passes for 321 yards and one touchdown.
Ryan was 24 for 34. Roddy White had seven catches for 118 yards and passed Terance Mathis for the most receptions in Falcons history. Julio Jones had five catches for 129 yards for Atlanta.
There also is a new Dallas leader for career receptions. With seven catches for 51 yards, Witten has 754 for his career, passing Michael Irvin’s record of 750.