CINCINNATI, Ohio (KXAN) — The Dallas Cowboys, one of the league’s worst teams in turnover differential, turned the tables on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
The Cowboys defense forced three fumbles on Cincinnati’s first three possessions, building a 17-0 lead on the Bengals in the second quarter. Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton had a happy homecoming in his return to his former franchise, guiding Dallas to a 30-7 win.
The Bengals fumbled on their second play from scrimmage, which the Cowboys turned into a field goal for the 3-0 lead. Defensive lineman Aldon Smith recovered a Trayveon Williams fumbled on the Bengals’ second possession and ran 78 untouched yards for the 10-0 lead.
Cincinnati drove 60 yards on its next possession before fumbling the ball away to the Cowboys defense for a third time. Dalton capped off the next offensive series with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper for the 17-0 lead with 6:38 to go in the first half.
The Bengals responded with their only score of the game. A.J. Green caught a five-yard pass from Brandon Allen for Cincinnati’s touchdown in the closing seconds of the second quarter.
Greg Zuerlein added two more field goals in the second half to close out a three made field goal day. In the fourth quarter, Dalton threw his second touchdown pass of the game with Tony Pollard’s seven-yard reception.
The Bengals actually outgained the Cowboys by 37 yards (309-272), but the turnovers completely changed the makeup of the game. Ezekiel Elliott played after nursing an injury in practice this week, finishing with 48 yards on 12 carries. Dalton completed 16 passes for 185 yards.
The Cowboys are still technically alive for the NFC East division crown and a playoff berth, trailing the Giants and Washington Football team by one game with three games remaining in the regular season.