ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — New backup, same result for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys.
Prescott threw three touchdown passes, two to Dez Bryant, in the first game with Tony Romo as his backup, and the Cowboys set a franchise regular-season record with their ninth straight win, beating the Baltimore Ravens 27-17 on Sunday.
The Cowboys (9-1) punted on their first four possessions — a first this season — against the NFL’s No. 1 defense. But Prescott completed 14 of 15 in the second half and led consecutive drives of 92 and 88 yards after halftime to break a 10-10 tie. Both drives ended with TD passes to Bryant .
“Like I said before, the guy’s amazing,” said Bryant, who had six catches for 80 yards in his first two-score game since his All-Pro season of 2014.
“We’re going to follow that guy. We’re going to continue to keep following that guy. The way that he adjusts and the way he handles his business, it says a lot about him.”
Romo, who broke a bone in his back in a preseason game, was active for the first time since Thanksgiving last year, and was the Dallas backup for the first time in 10 years.
The 36-year-old never took off his baseball cap, although he was watching with interest as medical personnel surrounded Prescott after the 23-year-old went down hard on a late hit by C.J. Mosley after throwing his first touchdown pass , to Cole Beasley in the second quarter.
Prescott, who was off target on three straight throws during the rough start for the offense, bounced off the bench moments later and finished 27 of 36 for 301 yards for another 300-yard game a week after his first.
He joined Dan Marino and Russell Wilson as the only rookie quarterbacks since 1970 to have multiple touchdown passes in five consecutive games.
“Before the game starts I know we’re going to figure things out,” Prescott said. “The game plan that we got going into there and the adjustments we’ve made all season long. There’s no worry in us not figuring things out.”
The Ravens (5-5), who lost to Dallas for the first time in five games in franchise history, controlled the tempo most of the first half. Baltimore stayed close on Joe Flacco’s 5-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter to Steve Smith, who became the 14th player with 1,000 career catches.
But Dallas’ third possession of the second half took more than six minutes before Dan Bailey’s 21-yard field goal for a 10-point lead with 1:50 remaining as the Ravens fell back into a tie for first with Pittsburgh in the AFC North.
“They scored every time they had the ball,” Flacco, who was 23 of 35 for 269 yards, said of the second half. “In that kind of game, we’ve got to do the same thing.”
NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott, who had 97 yards to give him 1,102 this season, broke the Dallas club rookie rushing record of 1,007 yards set by Tony Dorsett in 1977. That’s the same year the Cowboys set the previous franchise mark with an 8-0 start.
Dallas won the Super Bowl that season, but ever-optimistic owner Jerry Jones is resisting such talk.
“I can hang my hat on this little thing called nine wins in a row,” Jones said.
GET HIM THE BALL
Elliott didn’t have a touch in the second quarter, but had 10 for 70 yards in the third. That included an 8-yard catch when he did what’s becoming his customary hurdle over Tavon Young, one of the cornerbacks filling in with Jimmy Smith sidelined by a back injury.
1,000 FOR SMITH
Smith’s 1,000th career catch came on the first play of the second half, a 22-yarder over the middle. His 999th was a toe-tapping gem on the sideline in the first half and held up after a review challenge from Dallas coach Jason Garrett. The 16th-year pro finished with 99 yards on eight catches, putting him at 1,005 for his career.
FIRST AND 30
The Cowboys faced first-and-30 after starting with the four punts when Prescott scrambled for 12 yards, threw a 12-yard pass to Bryant and then a 41-yard deep ball to Brice Butler, who hauled it in at the Baltimore 7. The scoring toss to Beasley came two plays later.
Terrance West had an 18-yard run for Baltimore’s first touchdown and 42 yards rushing at halftime, but one carry for zero yards in the second half. The Ravens had 86 yards rushing at the half and finished with 101.
Ravens: A key NFC North matchup with Cincinnati in the first of consecutive home games. Surging Miami follows.
Cowboys: Annual Thanksgiving game against the most traditional of opponents: the Redskins. The Cowboys will have a chance for big cushion over Washington and Philadelphia in the NFC East, with Giants hanging closer in second place.
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