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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Game recap: Dallas Cowboys lose to Washington after QB Andy Dalton knocked out of game with concussion from illegal hit

Rookie seventh-round draft choice Ben DiNucci took over the quarterbacking duties when Dalton left the game, and the Cowboys ended up losing 25-3.

This story has been thoroughly updated.

Washington won against Dallas 25-3 Sunday, bringing both teams to 2-5 on the season, tying them for second place in the NFC East standings. Philadelphia leads 2-4-1. 

Andy Dalton started at quarterback after replacing injured starter Dak Prescott hoping to turn things around. 

But Dalton walked off the field late into the third quarter after taking a vicious hit from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic. He has a concussion and will be out for the rest of the game.

The hit occurred on a third-down play with 6:32 left in the third quarter. Dalton scrambled up the middle on 3rd-and-10 and as he slid to the ground, Bostic lowered his helmet and hit Dalton’s helmet squarely. 

Dalton appeared to be knocked unconscious momentarily. Bostic was assessed with a personal foul and ejected from the game.

Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) lies on the ground after getting hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

This marks the second Cowboys quarterback knocked out of a game in the last three games. Dalton took over the Cowboys quarterback reigns when starting quarterback Dak Prescott injured his ankle and was lost for the season two weeks ago against the Giants.

Dalton led the Cowboys on a game-winning drive to beat New York, but he struggled the following game against the Cardinals. He completed 34 of 54 passes for just 266 yards, when the Cowboys failed to be able to push the ball down the field.

Before leaving the Washington game, Dalton was 9-of-19 for 75 yards with an interception which translates into a quarterback rating of 36.1.

A Cowboys spokesperson said Dalton was alert and doing much better after the game than when he walked off the field, and will be flying home with the team. 

Rookie seventh-round draft choice Ben DiNucci took over the quarterbacking duties when Dalton left the game. DiNucci said Dalton asked him after the game in the locker room what had happened with the play, as Dalton couldn't remember.

Washington is now 2-5 with Kyle Allen under center after coach Ron Rivera pulled the plug on Dwayne Haskins' development upon seeing a winnable division. 

Here's how the game played out:

First Quarter

Washington, the worst rushing offense in the NFL, was able to run it five times for 59 yards early on before getting within a few yards of the end zone with 11 minutes left in the first quarter.

On third down, Washington nearly scored but came up a few inches short, and the Cowboys defense was able to hold them on fourth down, turning the ball over. 

But then, when the Cowboys had possession of the ball, Washington scored a safety, putting them up 2 points over Dallas. 

Dalton had fumbled after being pressured, but tight end Dalton Schultz recovered it, saving it from becoming a touchdown and making it a safety instead.

Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson (37) and cornerback Trevon Diggs (27) fail to stop Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) from scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Running back Antonio Gibson then carved through the Dallas defense to score a touchdown for Washington, raising the score to 9 for the team while Dallas had nothing on the board.

With around four minutes left in the first quarter, Washington had an average of 7.4 yards per play so far while Dallas had just 1.2 yards.

But the Cowboys began to come back with a 66-yard return from running back Tony Pollard following the kickoff. 

It helped get Dallas close enough to score a field goal, bringing the score to 9-3 with the Cowboys trailing. 

That remained the score by the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

After the Cowboys went for it on the fourth down and came up short, Washington scored a 52-yard touchdown with a little less than 10 minutes remaining, raising the score 15-3.  

Washington made another touchdown play late in the second quarter, bringing their lead over the Cowboys to 22-3 with a little more than 3 minutes left.

And with just about 30 seconds left to go in the half, Washington linebacker Cole Holcomb grabbed a turnover off of running back Zeke Elliott's hands, ending a drive inside the 10-yard line for the Cowboys.

Elliott has had five fumbles so far this season, according to his NFL stats page, with four lost and one recovered. He had three total in 2019, two of which were lost.

Third Quarter

Dalton was hit hard in the third quarter and his helmet went flying. He was still on the ground as the game went to commercial break. Dalton walked off the field with assistance and backup quarterback Ben DiNucci came out to play his debut NFL game. 

Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton's (14) helmet comes off after getting hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. Dalton left the field after this hit and Bostic was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Washington linebacker Jon Bostic was ejected from the game for the hit on a personal foul call.

DiNucci's first pass was a 31-yard completion to wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Fourth Quarter

Washington kicked a field goal to bring the score to 25-3 against Dallas. That's where the score would stay until the end of the game.

WFAA Digital Producer Jennifer Prohov and Sports Anchor Joe Trahan contributed to this report, as well as the Associated Press' Stephen Whyno.