Despite three turnovers, Cowboys win ugly in Nashville 27-13 over Titans

Dec 29, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) runs the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Despite three turnovers, Cowboys win ugly in Nashville 27-13 over Titans

It was ugly, but they got it done. The Cowboys came away with a 27-13 win over the Titans in Nashville to improve to 12-4 and keep the slim hopes of a division title alive.

Dallas rarely wins a game when they fail to run the football effectively and lose the turnover battle. This time, they pulled off that feat, likely due to the scarcity of talent from Tennessee’s roster available for this matchup. Star running back Derrick Henry was out, and third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs made his first NFL start. The odds heavily favored the Cowboys; however, this game was closer than the score reflects.

Dallas mustered up just 361 yards of total offense, most of which came through the air. Dak Prescott did not play well, especially in the first half. Dak finished 29-of-41 for 282 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also fumbled a snap making it three turnovers for the night. The issue with Dak recently has been interceptions, and that showed no signs of improvement Thursday night.

The two main targets for Dallas produced as usual on Thursday. CeeDee Lamb caught 11 balls for 100 yards, while Dalton Schultz pulled in seven catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. New addition T.Y. Hilton caught four passes for 50 yards.

The first score of the game would not come until the third drive. After both teams traded punts, Dallas would find pay dirt first after a 12-play drive with a 1-yard run from Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke had carried the ball seven times in the first two drives to this point as Dallas led 7-0 with about four and a half minutes to play in the first quarter.

On Dallas’ next drive, they would continue to move the ball effectively, primarily with the pass, eventually extending their lead. They would settle for a 36-yard Brett Maher field goal extending their lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter.

Defense would prevail on both sides for most of the second quarter, as on back-to-back drives, both defenses would force and recover fumbles. Josh Dobbs would fumble on a sack by Dante Fowler, which Micah Parsons would recover. However, on the very next possession, Dak would fumble the snap giving the Titans the ball back.

The Titans’ first score came off a Dak Prescott interception, which has been an issue in recent weeks. The pick came on a ball that hit rookie tight end, Peyton Hendershot in the chest and bounced into the hands of safety Kevin Byard. The Titans would then lead an eight-play drive that resulted in a 37-yard Randy Bullock field goal cutting the Dallas lead to just one score, 10-3, with just over a minute to play in the half.

The next possession for Dallas would end in a similar fashion as Dak threw his second interception of the night; this time, it was his own fault. Kevin Byard came up with the pick once again and gave Tennessee an opportunity to score with 21 seconds to play in the half.

Josh Dobbs would set up Tennessee for a field goal on a 30-yard completion to Treylon Burks. Randy Bullock would punch through a 29-yard field goal as time expired, narrowing Dallas’ lead to 10-6 at the end of the half.

Dallas would strike first in the second half with a touchdown after a long drive where penalties got the best of Tennessee. After a 51-yard pass interference penalty on a pass intended for Michael Gallup, the Cowboys would set up at the 6-yard line. On the very next play, Dak would hit Dalton Schultz for a 6-yard touchdown pass extending their lead to 17-6 midway through the third quarter.

Tennessee would answer right back on the next possession, putting together a 14-play drive ending in their first touchdown of the night. Dobbs would lead the Titans all the way to the Dallas 7-yard line before hitting Robert Woods on a touchdown pass, cutting the Dallas lead to 17-13 with two minutes to play in the third.

The Cowboys came back and cushioned their lead early in the fourth quarter. They led a 10-play drive where Dak would find Dalton Schultz for a second time on a 10-yard touchdown pass extending the Dallas lead to 24-13 three minutes into the final quarter.

On Dallas’ next possession, they would add to their lead with a field goal. A seven-play drive would result in a 45-yard field goal extending the lead to 27-13 with just over six minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys put the nail in the coffin on Tennessee’s next drive. Josh Dobbs, who had been keeping the Titans in the game all night, got careless with one throw as he threw an interception to Nahshon Wright, giving Dallas the ball back and essentially sealing the game for the Cowboys.

The game would end with Dallas taking the win 27-13 as their defense held on in the final minutes. The Cowboys move to 12-4 with a win and still hold a slim chance at the division title. They will finish the season on the road against the Washington Commanders.

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