For the sports fans, it is an integral and exciting part of their lives. A comeback in a game brings a touch of fairy-tale to the mix as it inspires fans across the globe. In the history of sporting events, there are quite a few examples of great comebacks. Still, the Dallas Cowboys’ rallying win against Falcons in 2020 will rank among the most improbable comebacks in the last 50 years, may be among the best one yet in this century.
A 20-point Deficit Match: Miracle or Absolute Brilliant Team-play?
From trailing 20 points behind to an inspired rally in the dying hours of the game, Cowboys did something, that almost no other team could achieve in recent sports history. How big was it? We will come to that later. But one thing is for sure, it kept everyone on the edge of their seats to the very last second.
Overcoming more than a 20 point lead is quite uncommon in a game of this level, but not unheard of. However, this Cowboys win on this Sunday, which was 40-39 at the AT&T Stadium, was almost miraculous as the tide changed in the end. The winning team rallied together to score a massive 16 points in the final five minutes. The drama did not end there as it included a shocking onside kick recovery with only 1:49 remaining. This led to the 46-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein just when the time expired. It was set from two quick Cowboys touchdowns in the fourth quarter leading to the final nail on the coffin (one from a 10-yard pass to Dalton Schultz by Dak Prescott and the second from Dak Prescott with a one yard run). Finally, it was Cornerback C.J. Goodwin who finished to job to blast Dallas at 40.\
The morning did not show the day for the Cowboys, as they fumbled and missed a number of chances. With the ugly start, they lost tree in the first quarter and trailed the Falcons by 20-0 at the end of the first quarter. At the half, they were trailing at and 29-10. It was Mike McCarthy’s first home opener as the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach, and it was going poorly before the majestic turnaround in the finale. When he was asked if he had any similar experience before, he referred to the 2014 NFC Championship Game, where his team lost to the Seattle Seahawks, conceding a 12 point lead.
“I had one on the other sideline, but it’s not like this.”
-Mike McCarthy, Head Coach, Dallas Cowboy
How big was the Dallas Cowboys’ last-second win Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons? Impact Analysis
If the match followed the trend, starting 0-2 meant that their play-off chances were only at 12% , if the records since 2007 is taken into consideration. When the Cowboys started 0-2 earlier in three instances (2000, 2001 and 2010), they missed the playoffs every time. Their last win from such situation was back in 1993, where they went to win a Super Bowl.
If we take ESPN’s win probability model into consideration, there were only 10 other games in the past 20 seasons, with lower win probability in the game. In fact, in the second quarter, the probability went down the drain to as low as 01.% win probability. Still, the Cowboys managed to bounce back.
Players’ reaction- Post-match:
The ecstatic players, team officials and members could not contain their joy when the match ended, as it was evident from their reactions. Ezekiel Elliott described it as “crazy,” linebacker Jaylon Smith called the moment “ecstatic.” Dalton Schultz said, “That’s a helluva first win, especially at home. I think it gives us a lot of momentum going forward.”
“That’s a helluva first win, especially at home. I think it gives us a lot of momentum going forward.”
Mike McCarthy was given the game ball as it was his first win as the coach of the Cowboys. It was his 126th career win as well as fifth in a row for him at the AT&T Stadium. As the team will look forward to hold on to this momentum, this comeback victory has already curved its place in the sports history books.