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Game Recap

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Bills 31, Cowboys 10 | Final score, game highlights + stats to know


As James Cook front flipped into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night, Highmark Stadium erupted as the second year running back's career night fueled the Bills to a 31-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Cook finished with 221 total yards and a pair of touchdowns. The running back out of Georgia made explosive play after explosive play, averaging over eight yards per touch while building up a wealth of plays to add to his growing highlight reel.

The Bills' opening score was a true team effort. On first down near the 50-yard line, Cook looked like he had been stopped by a pile of Cowboys defenders after a short gain, but a swarm of Bills pushed Cook forward for a 12-yard gain. Eight plays later, it was Latavius Murray's turn to ride the offensive line, with Connor McGovern – who spent the previous three seasons in Dallas – pushing Murray over the goal line.

Buffalo would continue to pound the rock, running on 69 percent of their plays in the first three quarters. Because of their success on the ground, the Bills dominated in time of possession with three drives of five-and-a-half minutes or more.

From the beginning, Cook was the most utilized player on the offense. On Buffalo's second touchdown drive of the game, Cook accounted for 63 of the drive's 86 yards and capped it off by making an impressive catch on a low ball from Allen for the score.

With the Bills up 24-3 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Cook took a handoff 24 yards for a touchdown as he refused to end his incredible night without some late fireworks.

Allen only threw 15 passes as there was never a need to get away from the run game. Stefon Diggs finished with four receptions for 48 yards, including an eye-popping one-handed grab that earned a well-deserved roar from the crowd.

The defense held an explosive Cowboys offense to just 195 total yards. The pass rush got to quarterback Dak Prescott three times and Dallas only crossed the 50-yard line three times over the entire game.

On the Cowboy's opening drive, defensive end Leonard Floyd wrapped Prescott up for a nine-yard sack to force a long fourth down. On their next drive, Christian Benford broke up a pass on first down, Terrel Bernard forced an incompletion on a pass to Tony Pollard and Shaq Lawson wrapped up the drive by shoving Prescott out of bounds to force an errant throw.

The onslaught continued in the second half, starting with Tyrel Dodson and Greg Rousseau bringing Prescott down for a 10-yard sack.

While the game felt over before the third quarter ended, Christian Benford stepped in front of a pass from Prescott – the icing on the cake of the Bills best defensive performance of the year. Before Sunday's loss, the Cowboys ranked first in the league in points per game (40.2) and third down percentage (52.9) while ranking second in yards per game (437.4). On Sunday, they went five-for-13 on third down and scored their only touchdown of the game with under three minutes remaining.

As Kyle Allen checked in with over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Bills sideline was buzzing as they improved to 8-6 on the season.

Buffalo Bills vs Dallas Cowboys, Regular Season, December 17, 2023 at Highmark Stadium.

Key stats and facts to know

  • With his first half rushing touchdown, Josh Allen surpassed Cam Newton for the most rushing touchdowns among NFL quarterbacks in a players' first six seasons. Allen had his 10th game this season with at least one passing and rushing touchdown, passing Kyler Murray for the most such games in a single season.
  • Allen snapped a career-long nine-game interception streak, ending his night without creating a turnover.
  • Stefon Diggs surpassed 1,000 receiving yards on the season with 48 receiving yards Sunday, marking his fourth such season with the Bills after reaching 1,000 yards twice with the Vikings.
  • With his rushing touchdown in the opening drive, Latavius Murray recorded his ninth consecutive season with at least four rushing touchdowns, the longest active streak in the NFL.
  • With his sack in the first quarter, Leonard Floyd became the first Bill with 10 or more sacks in a single season since Lorenzo Alexander's 12.5 in 2016. Floyd has 10.5 sacks through 14 games this season.
  • Before the first half was over, James Cook had over 100 total yards, making him the first Bill since LeSean McCoy in 2016 to have five consecutive games with over 100 scrimmage yards.
  • Cook's 221 total yards were a career high
  • According to OptaSTATS, the Bills became the only NFL team in the last 30 years to have three touchdown drives of over 11 plays and over 75 yards in the first half of a game.
  • Benford's interception was the first of this season and the second of his career.
  • With the win, the Bills have evented their regular season record against the Cowboys at 6-6.

Scoring plays

8:06 1Q | BUF 7 DAL 0 | Latavius Murray run left for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN

12:52 2Q | BUF 14 DAL 0 | Josh Allen pass deep right to James Cook for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN

7:13 2Q | BUF 14 DAL 3 | Brandon Aubrey 32-yard field goal is GOOD

1:36 2Q | BUF 21 DAL 3 | Josh Allen run left for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN

2:36 3Q | BUF 24 DAL 3 | Tyler Bass 23-yard field goal is GOOD

12:30 4Q | BUF 31 DAL 3 | James Cook run right for 24 yards, TOUCHDOWN

2:48 4Q | BUF 31 DAL 10 | CeeDee Lamb run right for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Check out the best photos from the Bills vs. Cowboys at Highmark Stadium. This gallery is presented by Gabe's Collision.

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